The upfronts are upon us! Yes, it’s that time of year again. All the networks will be unveiling their fall 2012 schedules throughout this week, announcing time slot shifts for seasoned shows and debuts for the pilots that made the cut to full-series. Today NBC announced their line-up with a pretty disparaging shake-up to the old schedule: Community has been moved from its prime Thursday night slot to Friday (aka where your favorite shows go to die). The fan-favorite series wasn’t guaranteed a fourth season pick-up, but the TV gods were merciful as the show was recently given a renewal for a 13-episode fourth season. However, the Friday slot isn’t exactly great news. The show’s young and vocal fanbase has kept the series alive, but I wonder how many will actually choose to stay in on Friday nights to watch the show live.
There is hope, as previous ratings-challenged yet critically loved series like Friday Night Lights and Fringe managed to squeak by on Friday. That said, with a short episode order and the new Friday timeslot I’m getting the feeling that NBC doesn’t have much faith in the show’s future post-season four. I guess we should be thankful that it’s even coming back at all. Nevertheless, the network has a slew of new series (some promising) that they hope will catch on. After the jump you’ll find descriptions and clips of all of NBC’s new series, so take a look at plot out your new fall 2012 TV schedule accordingly.
NBC FALL 2012-13 SCHEDULE
*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. – “REVOLUTION”
8-9 p.m. –“The Voice”
9-9:30 p.m. – “GO ON”
9:30-10 p.m. – “THE NEW NORMAL”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood”
8-8:30 p.m. – “ANIMAL PRACTICE”
8:30-9 p.m. – “GUYS WITH KIDS”
9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
10-11 p.m. – “CHICAGO FIRE”
8-8:30 p.m. – “30 Rock”
8:30-9 p.m. – “Up All Night”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”
10-11 p.m. – “Rock Center with Brian Williams”
8-8:30 p.m. – “Whitney”
8:30-9 p.m. – “Community”
9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”
10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
SUNDAY (Fall 2012)
7- 8:15 p.m. — “Football Night in America”
8:15-11:30 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”
SUNDAY (Post-football/Winter 2013)
7-8 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
8-9 p.m. – “Fashion Star”
9-10 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice”
10-11 p.m. – “DO NO HARM”
The musical series Smash is being held until midseason, which is also when Hannibal, Do No Harm, Infamous, Save Me, 1600 Penn, and Next Caller will premiere. I’m probably most looking forward to Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal. I was a huge fan of Fuller’s Pushing Daisies and I’m eager to see how his well-laid plans for this Hannibal Lecter series play out. I’m also interested to see how Ryan Murphy fares with a half-hour comedy, and I’ll give anything with Matthew Perry a try.
Here are clips and descriptions for the new series:
Misery loves company. Unless you’re sportscaster Ryan King (Matthew Perry, “Friends,” “Mr. Sunshine”) who thinks misery should just be left alone. After taking some time off, Ryan – who recently lost his wife in a car accident – is now ready to get back to work. And while he seems like his same old charming, cocky self, his boss won’t set him back on the air until he seeks counseling. So, Ryan reluctantly joins a support group with one goal in mind: get in, get out and get back on the radio as quickly as possible. Played by the fast-talking, sarcastic, and charismatic Perry, Ryan gives grief a real run for its money. Within one day of group therapy, he hijacks the meeting and suddenly the downtrodden are cajoled into playing a game of “who’s got the best sob story?” And in no time all of them are battling it out, trying to one-up each other’s despair. Now, this is fun! Ryan’s total lack of interest in healing might be just what this group needs – and maybe, exactly what he needs to move on with his life. Also starring are Tony winner Laura Benanti (“The Playboy Club”), Julie White (“Transformers”), Suzy Nakamura (“Dodgeball”), Khary Payton (“General Hospital”) and Allison Miller (“Terra Nova”). From the Emmy-winning writer and executive producer Scott Silveri (“Perfect Couples,” “Friends”) comes a new series that proves grief can be good. Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle”) and Karey Burke (“Free Agents,” “Miss/Guided”) also serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Holland. “Go On” is a production of Universal Television, Dark Toy Entertainment and Silver & Gold Productions.
The New Normal
These days, families come in all forms – single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It’s 2012 and anything goes. Bryan (Andrew Rannells, “Girls,” “The Book of Mormon”) and David (Justin Bartha, “The Hangover”) are a Beverly Hills couple and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed and loving partnership, the one thing missing is a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie (Georgia King, “One Day”), an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A Midwestern waitress and single mother looking to escape her dead-end life and small-minded grandmother (Ellen Barkin, “Ocean’s Thirteen”), Goldie decides to change everything and move to L.A. with her precocious 8-year-old daughter. Desperate and broke – but also fertile – Goldie quickly becomes the guys’ surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams. Surrogate mother, surrogate family. “The New Normal” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Ryan Murphy Productions. Murphy serves as creator/executive producer and director along with executive producer/creator/writer Ali Adler (“Glee,” “Chuck”) and executive producer Dante Di Loreto (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”).
Meet Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk, “Weeds”), a top-dog New York veterinarian. With an unorthodox style of operating, George’s success comes from his undeniable gift with animals of all kinds. That is, all but the human kind. Dorothy Crane once held the key to George’s heart, but today she also holds the key to the family business as she takes over Crane Animal Hospital. Not only is she George’s new boss, but her romantic history with him and her lack of experience with animals is seriously cramping his style. Dorothy is whip-smart and ambitious, and she’s going to make George pay for the past. Needless to say, he’s determined not to make any changes in his (animal) kingdom — which includes poker games with a resident capuchin monkey. Also starring are Tyler Labine (“Reaper,” “Sons of Tucson”) as Dr. Doug Jackson, a vet who’s great with animals but hapless in matters of the heart, Bobby Lee (“Harold & Kumar”) as Dr. Yamamoto, and newcomer Betsy Sodaro as Angela. “Animal Practice” is a production of Universal Television and American Work Inc. The executive producers are Scot Armstrong (“The Hangover Part II,” “Old School”) and Ravi Nandan (“Best Friends Forever”) of American Work Inc. (“Best Friends Forever”) along with Emmy Award winners Joe & Anthony Russo (“Community,” “Arrested Development”). “Animal Practice” was written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka (“The Sitter”), who also serve as executive producers. Gail Lerner (“Happy Endings”) also is an executive producer. Directed by the Emmy-winning Russo brothers, “Animal Practice” is a comedy where the animals are running the asylum.
Guys with Kids
From Emmy winner and executive producer Jimmy Fallon comes a new comedy about three thirty-something dads trying to hold on to their youth, while holding onto their new babies’ hands. Easy, right? Thankfully, Chris (Jesse Bradford, “The West Wing”), Nick (Zach Cregger, “Friends with Benefits”) and Gary (Anthony Anderson, “Law & Order”) have each other to help navigate their survival as new dads, while still trying desperately to remain dudes. Balancing work or staying at home, painfully married or happily divorced, they know that taking care of the little ones while maintaining a social life is a daily challenge. Whether it’s hosing the little squirt down in the kitchen sink or hitting the bar strapped with a baby björn, these guys are on a roller-coaster adventure – parenting like you (and they) have never seen before. Also starring are Jamie Lynn Sigler (“The Sopranos”) and Tempestt Bledsoe (“The Cosby Show”). Someone once said it is much easier to become a father than to be one. These three guys are about to find out just how true that is. “Guys with Kids” is produced by Universal Television and Holiday Road. Fallon (“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) serves as executive producer/creator along with executive producer/creator/writer Charlie Grandy (NBC’s “The Office”) and executive producer/creator Amy Ozols (“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) as well as executive producers Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz (“Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place,” “American Dad”). Emmy-nominated director Scott Ellis (“Modern Family,” “30 Rock”) is the director.
Welcome to the Midwestern suburbs, where exciting things never happen. Well, almost never. After a near-death experience (choking on a hero sandwich), Beth (Emmy nominee Anne Heche, “Hung”) is revived only to realize she now has a direct line to God. Of course, her husband Tom (Michael Landes, “Final Destination 2”) is skeptical and dismissive – and his mistress (Alexandra Breckenridge, “American Horror Story”) is stunned to learn that her lover’s wife is now a prophet! But when inexplicable things begin to happen, everyone’s beliefs are tested. Beth starts to say and do things that shock her family and entrance her friends, but she isn’t going to be your typical “fire and brimstone” prophet. Let’s just say, if God had a desperate housewife as His mouthpiece, Beth would be it! She is the absolute last person on Earth who would be chosen. Then again, they say He works in mysterious ways. And this one is a real mystery! Heather Burns (“Bored to Death”) and Madison Davenport (“Shameless”) also star. “Save Me” is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Original Film. Novelist John Scott Shepherd (“Henry’s List of Wrongs,” “The Days”) is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Scott Winant (“Breaking Bad,” “True Blood,” “Californication”) and executive producers Neal H. Moritz (“The Big C,” “Prison Break,” “Fast Five”), Vivian Cannon (“The Big C”) and Alexa Junge (“Friends,” “Sex and the City”).
The Gilchrists are just the average American family dealing with all the everyday issues – like a grown kid who’s forced to move back home, children who are smarter than their teachers and a stepmom (Jenna Elfman, “Dharma and Greg”) desperately trying to win over the kids. They’re loving, fun and a little crazy. In other words, just like everybody else. With one exception: they live in a very special house. The White House! Whether it’s entertaining foreign dignitaries, sneaking away for a night out, dealing with middle school crushes or putting out fires – figuratively and sometimes literally – there’s never a dull moment in the Gilchrist White House. For example, the First Son (Josh Gad, star of Broadway sensation “The Book of Mormon”) is one of the administration’s biggest liabilities, but also the glue that holds this family together. The President (Bill Pullman, “Independence Day,” “While You Were Sleeping”) knows too well that the only thing harder than being Head of State is being head of the family. Also starring are Martha MacIsaac (“Superbad”), Andre Holland (“Friends with Benefits”), Amara Miller (“The Descendants”) and Benjamin Stockham (“Sons of Tucson”). “Modern Family” meets “The West Wing” in this election-year comedy from Emmy-winning executive producer/director Jason Winer (“Modern Family”). The executive producers are Winer, Gad and Jon Lovett (former White House speechwriter). Winer also directed the pilot. “1600 Penn” is produced by 20th Century Fox.
What happens when a foulmouthed satellite radio DJ – played by the multi-platinum selling artist and outrageously charming Dane Cook (“My Best Friend’s Girl”) – is forced to share the mic with a chipper NPR feminist? It’s anyone’s call in this sharp new comedy from producer Stephen Falk (“Weeds”) and Emmy-winning director Marc Buckland (“Grimm,” “My Name Is Earl”). It’s her first day in New York City, and 26-year-old Stella Hoobler (Collette Wolfe, “Young Adult”) is ready to take on the world. After a stint on public radio, she’s been hired to co-host the no-holds-barred show “Booty Calls with Cam Dunne.” Smart, spunky and passionate, Stella is determined to elevate the show beyond its boy’s-club-locker-room humor into a respected debate about men, women and the state of human relationships. But there’s a problem: Cam! She’s going to find out the hard way that he’s got no intention of sharing the spotlight, especially with someone like her. It’s going to be a tense fight, but with the station’s one rule being “make some noise,” Cam and Stella could be a winning combination – as long as they don’t knock each other out on their way to success. Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”), Joy Osmanski (“True Jackson, VP”) and Wolé Parks (“Premium Rush”) also star. The series is created and executive-produced by Stephen Falk (“Weeds”) and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Marc Buckland (“Grimm,” “My Name Is Earl”), who also serves as executive producer on the pilot. “Next Caller” is produced by Lionsgate Television and Universal Television.
Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why? Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it? On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future. From director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) and the fertile imaginations of J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Person of Interest”) and Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”), comes a surprising “what if” action-adventure series, where an unlikely hero will lead the world out of the dark. Literally. The series stars Billy Burke (“The Twilight Saga”), Tracy Spiridakos (“Being Human”), Anna Lise Phillips (“Terra Nova”), Zak Orth (“Romeo + Juliet“), Graham Rogers (“Memphis Beat”), J.D. Pardo (“A Cinderella Story”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”), David Lyons (“The Cape”), Maria Howell (“The Blind Side”), Tim Guinee (“Iron Man”) and Andrea Roth (“Rescue Me”). Kripke, Abrams, Favreau and Bryan Burk (“Lost,” “Star Trek”) serve as executive producers. “Revolution” is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions, Kripke Enterprises and Warner Bros. Television. The pilot was directed by Favreau.
No job is more stressful, dangerous or exhilarating than those of the Firefighters, Rescue Squad and Paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51. These are America’s everyday heroes — the courageous men and women who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way. But the enormous responsibilities of the job also take a personal toll. Big reputations and hefty egos, coupled with the pressure to perform and make split-second decisions, are bound to put squad members at odds. When a tragedy claims one of their own, there’s plenty of guilt and blame to go around. In the middle of a divorce, Lt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer, “House M.D.”) tries to go about business as usual but can’t help butting heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney, “The Vampire Diaries”) of the Rescue Squad – and each blames the other for their fallen team member. When it’s “go-time” though, they put aside their differences and put everything on the line for each other. “Chicago Fire” is a look inside one of America’s noblest professions. Also starring are Eamonn Walker (“The Messenger”), Charlie Barnett, (“Law & Order: SVU”), David Eigenberg (“Sex and the City”), Monica Raymund (“The Good Wife”), Lauren German (“Hawaii Five-O”), Teri Reeves (“Three Rivers”) and Merle Dandridge (“Sons of Anarchy”). “Chicago Fire” is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films. Emmy Award-winning creator/ producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand), Derek Haas (“3:10 to Yuma”), Michael Brandt (“3:10 to Yuma”), Peter Jankowski (“Law & Order” brand) and Danielle Gelber serve as executive producers. Haas and Brandt wrote the pilot, which was directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (“Homeland”). From renowned Emmy-winning producer Dick Wolf and the writing team behind “3:10 to Yuma” comes an edge-of-your-seat view of a dirty job that often means the difference between life and death.
Do No Harm
Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale, “Rescue Me”) is a highly respected neurosurgeon who has it all – a lucrative career, confident charm, the gift of compassion. But he also has a deep, dark secret. One morning when he wakes up disoriented in a wrecked hotel room amidst several near-naked women he’s never seen before, he knows one thing: it’s happening again. Every night at the same hour, something inside Jason changes, leaving him almost unrecognizable – seductive, devious, borderline sociopathic. This new man is his dangerous alternate personality who goes by the name of ‘Ian Price.’ For years he’s battled Ian, keeping him in check with a powerful experimental sedative. But now his – their – body has developed a resistance to the serum, setting Ian free once again. And to make matters worse, after being suppressed for so long, Ian’s hell-bent on taking revenge on his oppressor. With everyone Jason cares about at risk – patients, friends, coworkers and even the woman he loves – he’s got to stop Ian once and for all. Will they find some common ground, or will they bring each other down? Hell hath no fury like an alter ego scorned. Also starring are Alana De La Garza (“Law & Order”), Mousa Kraish (“Superbad”), Michael Esper (“A Beautiful Mind”), Ruta Gedmintas (“The Borgias”) and Phylicia Rashad (“The Cosby Show”). “Do No Harm” is produced by Universal Television and Traugott Company. The executive producer/writer is David Schulner (“Desperate Housewives,” “The Event”). Peter Traugott (“Ringer”) and Rachel Kaplan (“Ringer”) also are executive producers. Michael Mayer (NBC’s “Smash”) is the co-executive producer and director.
When wealthy socialite and notorious party girl Vivian Bowers is found dead of an overdose, no one is really surprised. The heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire has been tabloid fodder for years: wild, pretty, privileged… and now dead at the age of 32. But for FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso, “Avatar”), things don’t add up with this suspicious dynasty. Convinced that the troubled girl’s death was a homicide, he has a clever plan to get to the truth. Her name is Detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good, “Think Like a Man”). Twenty years ago, she was Vivian’s best friend, having grown up in the Bowers’ home. And when she appears at Vivian’s funeral, the family re-embraces her and no one is the wiser. Joanna quickly begins to uncover dark secrets and clues about why Vivian’s life was very much in danger. At the same time, she rekindles an old romantic relationship and rediscovers the allure of the luxurious lifestyle she once knew. She’s about to see once again just how the other half lives… and dies. Also starring are Victor Garber (“Alias”), Tate Donovan (“Damages”), Katherine La Nasa (“Alfie”), Neil Jackson (“Quantum of Solace”) and Ella Rae Peck (“Gossip Girl”). “Infamous” comes from executive producer/writer Liz Heldens (“Friday Night Lights”) and director Peter Horton (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Dirty Sexy Money”). Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein are also executive producers. The series is from Universal Television and BermanBraun.
One of the most fascinating literary characters comes to life on television for the first time: psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In this new drama from Bryan Fuller (“Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”), based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ classic novels, we see where this incredible story began. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, “The Big C”) is a gifted criminal profiler who is on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI. Graham’s unique way of thinking gives him the astonishing ability to empathize with anyone – even psychopaths. He seems to know what makes them tick. But when the mind of the twisted killer he’s pursuing is too complicated for even Will to comprehend, he enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country. Armed with the uncanny expertise of the brilliant doctor, Will and Hannibal (known as a serial killer only to the audience) form a brilliant partnership and it seems there’s no villain they can’t catch. If Will only knew… Fuller is writer and executive producer. Martha De Laurentis (“Red Dragon,” “Hannibal”), Sara Colleton (“Dexter”), Jesse Alexander (“Lost”, “Heroes”), and Katie O’Connell also serve as executive producers. David Slade is the director/executive producer for the series pilot. “Hannibal” is produced by Gaumont International Television.