NBC’s Creative Resurgence: Too Fast too Furious?

Officially closing the door on the disastrous 2009/10 season courtesy of the failed experiment that was Jay Leno at 10PM, NBC announced a Fall schedule yesterday that is overflowing with — for lack of a better word — awesomeness.

Unfortunately, never a network to get things exactly right (cough*PARENTHOOD*cough*lead in*cough*still*BIGGESTLOSER*cough*really?) we do feel the inexplicable need to point out one teensy little problem that NBC will now face as we inch closer and closer to Fall. That problem: There may be such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Now don’t get us wrong — with the notable exception of ‘TIL DEATH — we’re 100% behind the return to prominence of scripted programming to prime-time. Seriously. We cannot stress enough the fact that anything, and we mean anything that keeps THE MARRIAGE REF and other cheap alter (Read: Cheap alternative programming) off our television until midseason, we’re all for! That said, we can’t help but feel that launching eight new shows this Fall (13 if you factor in midseason premieres) does little more than set NBC up for failure.

Suffice to say, the once-proud Peacock has an enormous fourth place hole to climb out of. And while populating their prime-time lineup with shows such as UNDERCOVERS, THE CHASE and LOVE BITES is certainly a great first step, it’s also the easy one. The real challenge will be watching how the network — which just spent the better part of two seasons convincing viewers that scripted fare at both 8 and 10PM was no longer a viable option — will attract viewers to all 8 of their new shows come Fall.

NBC West Coast Chairman Jeff Gaspin argued on a conference call yesterday with reporters that NFL Sunday Night Football, with it’s 20 million viewers per week, is an unparalleled promotional platform in which to help the network cut through the clutter. We argue that the creators of the now defunct TRAUMA and HEROES might disagree.

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  • Nick

    Might be a costly strategy of throwing loads of poop against the wall and seeing what sticks.

    Gotta say, I might give Outsourced a look during repeat season, and might glance at The Cape. But other than that, sorry…nothing. Without NBC’s Thursday comedies, I’d never have reason to watch the Biggest Loser Network.

  • joshemerson

    I disagree, I think they're doing the right thing by just going all-out with scripted programming. I'm not sure what exactly you think they should have done instead. More reality shows? Keeping Mercy and Heroes on the air?

    This sort of reminds me of ABC's decision last year to debut Wednesday Comedy Night. So many people thought that was crazy and expected it to flop, but yet it's done extremely well. They debuted 4 new shows and 3 of them were renewed. I could see NBC having similar success.

  • Abby

    Some will fail spectacularly as always but they could get a few hits out this batch and that will give them a great start to a resurgence. I hope they do ok so they don't go back to the reality and game show dreck.

  • NAB!l

    NBC thinking might be like this
    with lunching so many shows at the same time few of must succeed in some capacity , this way even if some don't make it to next season they can build on the ones that do