NBC Unveils New Midseason Schedule; COMMUNITY Benched to Make Way for 30 ROCK Return

     November 14, 2011

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NBC has released their midseason schedule, and there’ve been quite a few shakeups. The much-derided Whitney moves to Wednesdays, Up All Night will settle in as part of the Thursday night comedy line-up, and gone is the Maria Bello-starred cop drama Prime Suspect. It appears that NBC has finally given up on the drama series, which has been struggling ratings-wise for quite a while. My biggest complaint, though, is the complete absence of Community. The show, which is one of the smartest and best shows on television right now, is nowhere to be seen on the schedule. While the series hasn’t exactly been a ratings juggernaut, it’s captured the hearts of critics and fans alike as one of the most innovative (and at times rather strange) comedies to grace our TV screens. Hit the jump for much more.

community-season-2-imageMichael Ausiello of TV Line says that Community is being benched to make way for 30 Rock’s return (the Tina Fey comedy was pushed back to midseason to account for the actress/showrunner’s pregnancy), but no one knows exactly how long the show will be off the air. I understand that the network wants to see how Up All Night fares on Thursdays, but I’d much rather see the tired and no-longer-funny The Office take the back seat. My fear is that if Up All Night does literally any better in the timeslot than Community, NBC will decide to keep it there and dump Community someplace where it’s destined to attract approximately zero more viewers. The loyal (and rabid) fanbase will follow the show anywhere, but if NBC wants a ratings hit then taking the show off the schedule will do nothing to fix that (take note NBC, you’re officially on my list).

As far as new series go, Smash will premiere on Mondays, Fashion Star will hit on Tuesdays, the Chelsea Handler-inspired Are You There, Chelsea? will air on Wednesdays, and The Firm sets up on Fridays. Conspicuously absent is the Jason Isaacs-starred Awake. Going into the fall, the series was one of my most anticipated, but here it’s nowhere to be found. The show took a four-week hiatus recently so the writers could reevaluate the series in order to could solidify their direction going forward, so that probably has something to do with it. It’s a fantastic concept, but I’m assuming it’s a bit difficult to navigate. Hopefully we’ll see the show sometime soon.

nbc_universal_logo_01Here’s the schedule:

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – November 14, 2011 – NBC today announced its new mid-season 2012 schedule which features the premieres of four new series in “Smash” (February 6), “The Firm” (two-hour premiere January 8, time slot premiere January 12), “Fashion Star” (March 13) and “Are You There, Chelsea?” (January 11). The new lineup also includes the return of “The Voice,” “30 Rock,” “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “Who Do You Think You Are?”

In addition, there are day and time period changes for “Whitney,” “Up All Night,” “Rock Center with Brian Williams” and “Harry’s Law.”

Following are night-by-night details:

Mondays:

Last spring’s hit vocal competition series “The Voice” returns even louder with an hour-long season debut following Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, February 5 (10-11 p.m. ET, time approximate) and then resumes in its regular day and time on Monday, February 6 (8-10 p.m. ET). Following “The Voice” is the much-anticipated musical drama “Smash” which premieres Monday, February 6 (10-11 p.m. ET).

Tuesdays:

“Fashion Star” – the new reality competition series hosted and executive-produced by Elle Macpherson – will premiere with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, March 13 (9-11 p.m. ET) and resume on Tuesday, March 20 (10-11 p.m. ET). “The Biggest Loser” will open a new edition on Tuesday, January 3 (8-10 p.m. ET) followed by “Parenthood” (10-11 p.m. ET) which continues through its season finale on February 28.

Wednesdays:

The freshman comedy “Whitney” (8-8:30 p.m. ET) moves into a new day and time beginning January 11 followed by the series debut of the new comedy “Are You There, Chelsea?” (8:30-9 p.m. ET) on January 11. “Rock Center with Brian Williams” (9-10 p.m. ET) also joins the Wednesday lineup starting February 8. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” remains at 10-11 p.m. (ET).

Thursdays:

The new drama “The Firm” moves into the Thursday lineup (10-11 p.m. ET) beginning January 12 following its two-hour premiere the previous Sunday (January 8) from 9-11 p.m. ET. The first-season comedy “Up All Night” will also move to Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. (ET) on January 12 which is also the night that multiple Emmy Award-winning “30 Rock” returns for its season debut (8-8:30 p.m. ET). “Parks and Recreation” (8:30-9 p.m. ET) and the Emmy-winning “The Office” (9-9:30 p.m. ET) remain in the same time periods.

Fridays:

The returning series “Who Do You Think You Are?” makes its season debut on February 3 (8-9 p.m. ET). “Chuck” will have its two-hour series finale on January 27th (8-10 p.m. ET). “Grimm” (9-10 p.m. ET) and “Dateline NBC” (10-11 p.m. ET) remain in the respective time periods.

Sundays:

“The Celebrity Apprentice” returns on Sunday, February 12 (9-11 p.m. ET). “Dateline NBC” begins on Sundays (7-9 p.m. ET), on January 8. “Harry’s Law” moves to the 8-9 p.m. (ET) time period on March 4 and “Dateline NBC” will return to 7-8 p.m. (ET) on March 4.

The premieres of the new January-March program schedule follow in a grid (all times ET); new series are capitalized.

MONDAYS

8-10 p.m. — “The Voice” (season premiere Sunday, February 5; series resumes February 6)

10-11 p.m. – “SMASH” (beginning February 6)

TUESDAYS

8-10 p.m. — “The Biggest Loser” (beginning January 3)

10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood” (through February 28)

10-11 p.m. – “FASHION STAR” (beginning Tuesday, March 13, 9-11 p.m. ET with two-hour premiere; one-hour broadcasts resume March 20)

WEDNESDAYS

8-8:30 p.m. – “Whitney” (beginning January 11)

8:30-9 p.m. – “ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA?” (beginning January 11)

9-10 p.m. – “Rock Center with Brian Williams” (beginning February 8)

10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

THURSDAYS

8-8:30 p.m. – “30 Rock” (beginning January 12)

8:30-9 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”

9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”

9:30-10 p.m. – “Up All Night” (beginning January 12)

10-11 p.m. – “THE FIRM” (two-hour premiere Sunday January 8; Thursday time period premiere January 12)

FRIDAYS

8-9 p.m. – “Who Do You Think You Are?” (beginning February 3)

9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”

10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”

SATURDAYS

8-9 p.m. – “Harry’s Law” (encore broadcasts)

9-10 — “THE FIRM” (encore broadcasts)

10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (encore broadcasts)

SUNDAYS

7-9 p.m. – “Dateline NBC” (beginning January 8)

8-9 p.m. – “Harry’s Law” (beginning March 4)

9-11 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice” (beginning February 12)

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