3RD UPDATE: I’ve learned why announcements regarding the renewal fates of Chuck and My Name Is Earl have been delayed. And it involves more horsetrading than the Triple Crown. My sources tell me that NBC lowballed the Earl license fee, and the show’s owner, Twentieth Century Fox, came back with a proposal which NBC has been sitting on for a few days. As for Chuck, this gets complicated. Turns out NBC didn’t like David E Kelley’s Warner Bros pilot Legally Mad. Problem is, there’s a $2 million penalty that gets paid to WB if the network doesn’t pick up the show. So NBC is hoping to work a deal tying the renewal of Chuck, which is also a WB show, to a pass on paying that Legally Mad penalty.
2ND UPDATE: I’m told that Medium has been picked up for 13 episodes. So why wasn’t that announced today? Because star Patricia Arquette has a guarantee of 22 episodes, so NBC has to negotiate that down.
UPDATE: Meeting with reporters, Ben Silverman said that “NBC is engaging our advertisers with discussions of shows on the bubble” when asked about the fates of Chuck, Medium and Law & Order. But NBC has privately told agents that those shows are being renewed. And Marc Graboff hinted at that when he told journalist that Medium “was not officially picked up” yet. Sothis seems to be a question of semantics: what’s “official” and what’s “unofficial”. NBC confirmed today that Life is not coming back. But the network confirmed that Law & Order: SVU will be back, and Graboff said NBC is hoping the show’s twostars also will be back and that there’s an “offer on the table” for them. But Graboff made clear that, even if they don’t come back, the show will. The Biggest Loser will air Tuesdays either as a one-hour or two-hour show, NBC confirmed. And the network told journalists that its research shows that audiences will watch Jay Leno “2 to 3 times a week” so NBC is preparing to make the show for a “unique audience” every night. the new comedy pilot Community was well received at the infront. And NBC confirmed that the new drama pilot Day One will be shown as an “event” after the Winter Olympics.
NBC over the weekend invited Amy Poehler to appear at the Infront, since the broadcaster is picking up Parks & Recreation despite low ratings. She came onstage wearing a surgical mask and elbow bumped the network brass instead of shaking hands. Donald Trump was sitting in the audience when Ben Silverman brought him onstage. Trump made an ass of himself when he pretended this was a big surprise — until everyone else realized he was already miked.
9 AM: Ben Silverman is sporting a scraggly mustache and beard as NBC presents its “Infront” inside Studio 8H. That’s as inexplicable as the network privately telling insiders that Chuck, Medium and Law & Order are picked up — yet not announcing it today. Oh well. Here’s the first look at NBC’s schedule. Actually, the network’s development was considered better than expected this year, especially in comedy. More announcements by the network will be coming…
NBC ANNOUNCES AMBITIOUS LINEUP OF PROGRAMMING DOMINATED BY NEW SCRIPTED SERIES FOR 2009-2010 PRIMETIME SEASON THAT EXTENDS THE NETWORK’S QUALITY BRAND
New Series Include Four Dramas: “Trauma,” “Parenthood,” “Mercy” and the Event Series “Day One” as Well as Two Comedies: “Community” and “100 Questions”
Returning Series Pickups Include “Heroes,” “Southland,” “Parks and Recreation” and Six New Episodes of “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday”
NEW YORK CITY – May 4, 2009 – NBC unveiled today a strong lineup of broad and diverse quality programming for the 2009-2010 television season announcing the pickups of six new series featuring four new dramas including “Trauma,” “Parenthood,” “Mercy” and the event series “Day One,” as well as two new comedies including “Community” and “100 Questions.” Four returning series pickups were also announced today including “Heroes,” “Southland,” “Parks and Recreation” and the addition of six new episodes of “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday” skewering today’s top stories in live half-hour primetime shows.
The new and returning series will launch next season and the epic event series “Day One” is slated to premiere out of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
“The Jay Leno Show” will be broadcast Monday-Fridays, 10-11 p.m. ET beginning in the fall. Previously announced series pickups include “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Friday Night Lights,” and new alternative series “The Marriage Ref,” “Breakthrough With Tony Robbins” and “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Additional series pickups will be announced May 19, when NBC announces its 2009-2010 schedule.
NBC unveiled pickups for the upcoming broadcast season in the first of a series of presentations today and tomorrow to key advertisers from Studio 8H—the home of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”—at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Presentations will continue in Chicago on May 7 and Los Angeles on May 12.
“We are thrilled to be announcing such an awesome slate of new series that build on our existing quality brand and deliver emotional, human stories,” said Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. “NBC will strive to make viewers feel and our shows represent the full range of human emotion from laughter to tears. We can’t wait to share these concepts with our audience and our advertising partners.”
“These new series will showcase fresh talent and bold, original concepts that are extremely well executed,” said Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios. “We are grateful to the producers, casts and crews — and our team — who have delivered incredibly compelling and entertaining new series.”
In response to an evolving media marketplace and the changing needs of advertisers, NBC has created a more innovative, client-centric approach to its traditional Upfront with a series of one-on-one client presentations, which began today in New York City. These presentations are interactive and, unlike other networks’ Upfront presentations, will include a Q & A with advertisers and NBC sales and entertainment executives.
NBC will also host advertisers and affiliates at a “Night of Comedy” featuring appearances by some of its biggest comedy stars including Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Rainn Wilson and Tracy Morgan on Tuesday, May 19 in New York City.
Click through for 2009-2010 NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
From the executive producers of the box-office hit “Parenthood” — Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (Oscar winners for “A Beautiful Mind”), and writer/executive producer Jason Katims (“Friday Night Lights”) — this contemporary re-imagining of the blockbuster film depicts the colorful and imperfect Braverman family — four grown siblings sharing the headaches, heartaches and joy of being parents. The star-studded cast includes Peter Krause, Maura Tierney, Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard, Bonnie Bedelia, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen and Sarah Ramos. When Sarah Braverman (Tierney, “ER”), a financially strapped single mother, returns home to her parents and siblings in Berkeley, Calif. after packing up her Fresno apartment and uprooting her two inconvenienced kids, Amber (Mae Whitman, “In Treatment”) and Drew (Miles Heizer, “ER”), she is greeted by her opinionated father, Zeek (Nelson, “Family Stone,” “Coach”), and strong mother, Camille (Bedelia, “Heart Like a Wheel”), who are privately dealing with their own marital issues. As Sarah is reunited with her siblings — sister, Julia (Christensen, “Traffic”), and brothers Crosby (Shepard, “Baby Mama”) and Adam (Krause, “Six Feet Under”) — all struggling with issues of their own, it’s clear that the Braverman reunion is just what they need to face the everyday challenges of modern family life. “Parenthood” is a production from Imagine Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. Emmy winner Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”) directs the pilot.
Executive producer Peter Berg (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) delivers “Trauma,” the first high-octane medical drama series to live exclusively in the field where the real action is. Like an adrenaline shot to the heart, “Trauma” is an intense, action-packed look at one of the most dangerous medical professions in the world: first responder paramedics. When emergencies occur, the trauma team from San Francisco General is first on the scene, traveling by land, by sea or by air to reach their victims in time. From the heights of the city’s Transamerica Pyramid to the depths of the San Francisco Bay, these heroes must face the most extreme conditions to save lives — and give meaning to their own existence in the process. Starring in “Trauma” are Derek Luke (“Notorious”), Cliff Curtis (“10,000 B.C”), Anastasia Griffith (“Damages”), Aimee Garcia (“George Lopez”), Kevin Rankin (“Friday Night Lights”) and Jamey Sheridan (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”). “Trauma” is a production of Universal Media Studios and Film 44. Berg, Sarah Aubrey (“Bad Santa,” “Friday Night Lights”), Dario Scardapane and Jeffrey Reiner (“Friday Night Lights”) serve as executive producers. The pilot was written by Scardapane and directed by Reiner.
“Mercy,” a new medical drama with a unique point of view, portrays the lives of the staff at Mercy Hospital as seen through the eyes of those who know it best — its nurses. Nurse Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling, “Dark Matter”) returns to Mercy from a military tour in Iraq — and she knows more about medicine than all of the residents combined. Together with fellow nurses Sonia Jimenez (Jamie Lee Kirchner, “Rescue Me”) and Chloe Payne (Michelle Trachtenberg, “Gossip Girl”), Callahan navigates through the daily traumas and social landmines of life and love both inside the hospital and out in the real world. The cast also includes: James Tupper (“Men in Trees”) as Dr. Chris Sands, a new doctor at the hospital who complicates Veronica’s life; Diego Klattenhoff (“Supernatural”) as Mike Callahan, Veronica’s husband; and Guillermo Diaz (“Weeds”) as Nurse Angel Lopez. “Mercy” is a production from Universal Media Studios and Berman Braun. Joining writer/executive producers Liz Heldens (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) and Gretchen Berg & Aaron Harberts (“Pushing Daisies,” “Pepper Dennis”) are executive producers Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun. Emmy Award winner Adam Bernstein (NBC’s “30 Rock,” “Rescue Me”) is the director.
From executive producer/writer Jesse Alexander (“Heroes,” “Lost,” “Alias”) and director Alex Graves (“Fringe,” “Journeyman”), “Day One” tells the story of life on earth following a global catastrophe that has devastated the world’s infrastructures. Beginning with the immediate aftermath of the cataclysmic event, an eclectic band of survivors — played by Adam Campbell (“Date Movie”), Catherine Dent (“The Shield”), Julie Gonzalo (“Eli Stone”), David Lyons (“ER”), Derek Mio (“Greek”), Carly Pope (“24”), Thekla Reuten (“Sleeper Cell”) and Addison Timlin (“Cashmere Mafia”) — strives to rebuild society as they unravel the mysteries of what happened and face their uncertain future. The group, all residents of one apartment building in suburban Van Nuys, Calif., embarks on a quest for survival and discovers that hope is found in small victories — and heroes are born every day. “Day One” is a Universal Media Studios production.
100 QUESTIONS (fka “100 Questions for Charlotte Payne”)
Emmy winner James Burrows (“Will & Grace,” “Friends”) directs “100 Questions,” a new comedy series written and executive-produced by Christopher Moynihan (“For Your Consideration”) that provides hilarious answers to 100 questions about love. Charlotte Payne (Sophie Winkleman, “Peep Show”) is looking for love and has rejected multiple marriage proposals — but she has yet to meet Mr. Right. When she joins a popular online dating site, she gets a little help from her dating counselor Ravi (Amir Talai, “The Ex List”) – who requires her to take a 100-question compatibility test. The questions aren’t easy for Charlotte to answer, and each one requires her to recount a poignant and humorous time in her life with friends Leslie (Elizabeth Ho, “Women’s Murder Club”), Jill (Joy Suprano, NBC’s “Law & Order”), Mike (Christopher Moynihan “For Your Consideration”) and Wayne (David Walton “Quarterlife”). The test becomes a journey of self-discovery for Charlotte who begins to realize what she truly wants in a relationship. Ron West (“Psych”), Kelly Kulchak (“Psych”) and Michelle Nader (“King of Queens”) join Moynihan as executive producers. The series is produced by Universal Media Studios and Tagline.
From Emmy Award-winning directors Joe and Anthony Russo (“Arrested Development”) comes “Community,” a smart comedy series about higher education — and lower expectations. The student body at Greendale Community College is made up of high-school losers, newly divorced housewives, and old people who want to keep their minds active. Within these not-so-hallowed halls, “Community” focuses on a band of misfits, at the center of which is a fast-talkin’ lawyer whose degree has been revoked (Joel McHale, “The Soup”), who form a study group and end up learning a lot more about themselves than they do about their course work. In addition to McHale, the series also stars: Gillian Jacobs (“The Book of Daniel”); Yvette Nicole Brown (“Rules of Engagement”); Danny Pudi (“Greek”); Alison Brie (“Mad Men”); and comedy legend Chevy Chase (“Saturday Night Live”). “Community” is a Krasnoff Foster Entertainment, Harmonious Claptrap and Russo Brothers production in association with Sony Pictures Television and Universal Media Studios. Russ Krasnoff (“The Soloist”), Dan Harmon (“The Sarah Silverman Program”), Joe Russo (“Arrested Development”), Anthony Russo (“Arrested Development”) and Gary Foster (“The Soloist”) serve as executive producers. Joe and Anthony Russo directed the pilot that was written by Dan Harmon.