UPDATE: I hear speculation that NBC’s FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER is unlikely to go forward, which would open up a slot for another comedy pilot. The chances of the network’s freshman Whitney to return also appear slim.
PREVIOUS: Brace yourself: a wave of new series pickups and existing show renewals are coming our way this week. NBC, which is first off presenting its fall lineup next Monday morning, is expected to lead the way, followed closely by Fox, which is holding its upfront Monday afternoon.
NBC is expected to order about 6-8 new comedy series and 4-5 dramas. The network, which has been very secretive about its testings and screenings this year, gave an indication of some of its favorites when it allowed several pilots to start making staffing offers last week. The list includes five comedy pilots: the single-camera 1600 PENN, THE NEW NORMAL, SAVE ME and FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER (the latter is backed by by Greg Daniels’ veteran NBC series The Office, meaning that the writer-producers signed for FND would segue to The Office if the pilot doesn’t go) and the multi-camera GUYS WITH KIDS. With the Matthew Perry starrer GO ON already picked up, NBC has pretty much filled up its comedy quota. But in case one of two of those five don’t go or NBC opts to pick up more than 6 new comedy series, multi-camera comedy pilot DADDY’S GIRLS has been gaining momentum and has a real shot, with the single-camera ANIMAL KINGDOM also percolating. On the drama side, CHICAGO FIRE, medical dramas COUNTY and DO NO HARM, action drama REVOLUTION (which has been given permission to start making staffing offers), and mystery soap NOTORIOUS are picking up steam. A pickup of the Dick Wolf-produced Chicago Fire is expected to seal the renewal of Wolf’s veteran procedural Law & Order: SVU. Early forntrunner MIDNIGHT SUN, a thriller based on an Israeli format, prison drama BAD GIRLS and Western FRONTIER have gone quiet, but it is still possible for NBC to take a swing with an unusual concept.