Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Infront but still way behind -- NBC's Fall Pickups

True to Ben Silverman's half-assed fashion, NBC announced only half of their fall slate at yesterday's "infronts." He will announce the rest of the line up in a few weeks, which will coincide with the exact day he has to pick something. This process may include using a dart board or a very smart chicken*.

Following is my completely uninformed prediction of the fate of NBC's new shows. That said, I guessed pretty well last year. Wanna bet against me?

Logline: Eight is Enough on a different network.
Smells Like: A TV show loosely based on a Steve Martin movie (Cheaper by the Dozen) which is based on another Steve Martin movie (Parenthood).
Prediction: The first time NBC took Parenthood to TV, they made 12 episodes before getting sacked. That time Ed Begely Jr. was the dad. This time it's Peter Krause. I find neither of them interesting and the show won't make it to mid-season.

Logline: Seth Meyers attempts to prove he's funny.
Smells Like: A desperate attempt to hold on to the last vestiges of the audience that isn't addicted to the much better Daily Show and Colbert Report.
Prediction: Six episodes and out. NBC needs to read a copy of Galileo's Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo to help them remember the Sun is at the center of the universe, it's not 2008, Sarah Palin isn't running for VP (thus no Tina Fey) and Thursday isn't a Weekend day (unless you're unemployed like me). It's also a bad idea to front run your own programming.

Logline: Girl dumps guy who proposes to her. Then re-enters the dating pool.
Smells Like: Friends-style dinner-theater sex comedy. Hello 1995.
Prediction: Three seasons of the same jokes -- "scrotum" this and "boobs" that -- with periodic moments of well-orchestrated schmaltz. Sophie Winkleman's British accent will fade significantly over time after data reveals people can't stand it.


Logline: Improbably sexy doctors ®
Smells Like: Something to fill the hole in NBC's line up left by ER, Friends, Seinfeld, Frasier, Cheers and The Cosby Show.
Prediction: Sure. Why not? A Top 20 show for a couple seasons, but not much longer than that.

Logline: Shtick
Smells Like: Jay Leno's ego as played by Kathy Bates character from Misery.
Prediction: Actually, I have a serious programming question here. If Jay Leno's target audience is heavily concentrated in Middle America/Central and Mountain timezones, will they want to watch this at 9 p.m.? That's a tad early for Ma and Pa Kettle to put Junior to sleep and watch the talkies? Initial interest will wear off quickly. Or worse, if interest stays high, Conan's ratings will suffer. Somebody is gonna lose, it's just a matter of who and by how much.

* For those unfamiliar, this is the second time I've used this smart chicken joke. See question #17.

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