UPDATE 2PM PT: Shelving Parks & Recreation until midseason was NBC’s toughest scheduling decision for fall, the network’s primetime president Angela Bromstad said in a phone interview this afternoon.
“The Thursday night conversation and what to do with Parks & Recreation was the most challenging conversation,” she said, calling the push of the Amy Poehler comedy to midseason “the best business decision” the network could’ve made in the situation. There is no set return date for Parks & Rec yet and the comedy might land the 9:30 PM slot in midseason. NBC also may launch another new comedy on Thursday come midseason.
Bromstad said the cancellation of flagship Law & Order series too was “the right decision.” “It wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when. Our whole agenda is to reinvent and reinvigorate the Law & Order brand.” Discussings are under way with L&O creator Dick Wolf for a possible two-hour sendoff to the long-running series.
As for the axing of Heroes, the network and creator Tim King felt that “we have satisfied the viewers desire for the show,” Bromstad said. Questions about a possible two-hour Heroes movie will be held after the upfront.
All in all, NBC picked up an whooping 11 new scripted series for next season, 7 dramas and 4 comedies. Why that many? “We were pleasantly surprised that the development was as strong as it was,” Bromstad said. Added NBC Uni TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin, “We’ve made the mistake in the past of not having enough new shows, especially in midseason.”
Gaspin shed light on the rationale behind NBC’s fall scheduling decisions:
- On launching two new dramas, The Event and Chase, on Monday: “Those are two big shows that will use the strong promotional platform of Sunday Night Football the night before” (New drama The Cape could step in for The Event on Monday in midseason.)
- On keeping Tuesday night intact: “We kept the Tuesday lineup the same for some stability.”
- On new Wednesday lineup: “Udercovers is launching in a time period that is wide open with no strong incumbent, and I think having two hours of Law & Order back-to-back is the best way to launch a new Law & Order series.
- On going with all comedy series on Thursday: It gives the night “one simple message: comedy.”
- On launching new legal drama Outlaw on Friday 10 pm: “It’s a quite a compelling but also straight-forward law & order show, and viewers have shown that they are attracted to crime dramas on Friday night. We think that a show that stars Jimmy Smits and has an intriguing premise has the opportunity to attract viewers back to broadcast (on Friday).”
Here is NBC’s official press release announcing the new schedule:
(Embargo broken by other news outlets.)
NEW YORK CITY — May 16, 2010 – NBC announced today its 2010-11 primetime schedule that is highlighted by five new comedies, seven new drama series and one new alternative program, including shows from such innovative hit-makers as J.J. Abrams, Jerry Bruckheimer and David E. Kelley, among others.
The announcements were made by Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, and Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.
“This new schedule brings NBC back to basics with its commitment to quality scripted programming,” said Gaspin. “Our new shows are distinctive and feature a combination of the biggest talent, the brightest new stars and the strongest auspices in television. With this new schedule, we’re poised to take the next step toward our long-term goals with a lineup that has stabilized and has been building solid momentum through the second half of the season.”
“Our team has been working tirelessly to achieve our ambitious goals and we are so pleased to see that these new series demonstrate tremendous upside for NBC,” said Bromstad. “We feel that this development season introduces shows that will become part of the great programming legacy of our network.”
For detailed series descriptions and for photography, please log on to http://www.nbcumv.com.
To download the 2010-11 NBC NEW SHOW EPK, which features clips and interview material from each of the new shows, please visit: https://www.nbcumv.com/mv/ or http://nbc.epk.tv/view.aspx?request=show&show=2010-nbc-new-fall-shows-epkee the schedule, watch exclusive video, and explore NBC’s upcoming shows on NBC.com: http://www.nbc.com/upcoming-shows/