Monday, May 15, 2006

Live, from New York, it's... live from New York?

Well, the NBC schedule is out, and you can read the full release, including descriptions of all the new shows, here. The fall schedule looks something like this (new shows in all-caps):

8-9 p.m. "Deal or No Deal"
9-10 p.m. "HEROES"
10-11 p.m. "Medium"
9-10 p.m. "KIDNAPPED"
10-11 p.m. "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
8-9 p.m. "The Biggest Loser"
9-9:30 p.m. "20 GOOD YEARS"
9:30-10 p.m. "30 ROCK"
10-11 p.m. "Law & Order"
8-8:30 p.m. "My Name Is Earl" (new time)
8:30-9 p.m. "The Office" (new time)
10-11 p.m. "ER"/("THE BLACK DONNELLYS" in January 2007)
8-9 p.m. "Deal or No Deal"
9-10 p.m. "Las Vegas"
10-11 p.m. "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (new day and time)
8-9 p.m. "Dateline Saturday"
9-11 p.m. Drama Series Encores

"Scrubs," "The Apprentice" and "Crossing Jordan" will be back at midseason (Kevin Reilly said he'd like to do the "Scrubs" double-runs again, and that the show started to lose steam after they stopped doing that), and new midseason shows include a Conan O'Brien-produced private eye sitcom starring Andy Richter, and a sitcom called "The Singles Table" about people who meet at a wedding, with John Cho.

Some quick thoughts before I get to writing the full column, which I'll link to tomorrow:
  • They went and they did it: they put both the Tina Fey "SNL" show and the Aaron Sorkin "SNL" show on the fall schedule. I'm guessing they know at least one of them won't work, and if one premiered first and flopped, it would pretty much doom the other.
  • Good move not putting "Friday Night Lights" on Monday or Friday, when football fans will be busy watching actual football. (In the early '90s, NBC had a high school football show called "Against the Grain" with a young Ben Affleck, and they killed it with a Friday at 8 timeslot.)
  • "The Office" will be hurt by going against the second half of "Survivor," which is always the higher-rated half-hour.
  • The idea behind "Heroes" appeals deeply to the comic book geek in me, but the creator is Tim Kring from "Crossing Jordan," who usually underwhelms me.
  • Bummed that I'll have to wait until January for "Black Donnellys," which looks like Haggis and Moresco's attempt to redo "EZ Streets" with a more supportive network, but you can't ask for a better timeslot on NBC.
More if I think of it.


Eric said...

Anyone know where I can find a copy of the Studio 60 script that's been floating around the Internet?

Mac said...

Good news, Tina, your show was picked up!
Bad news, you're going against "Lost" and your lead-in stars John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor as two old guys.

dark tyler said...

Words cannot express how much Studio 60 will rule. At last Sorkin returns. If one of the two SNL shows has to go, sadly it's going to be Tina Fey's, I agree with mac. Plus Sorkin's has this incredible all star cast. How can one not be interested in this show, right?

Tosy And Cosh said...

That the guy behind "Heroes" is also behind "Crossing Jordan" IS worrisome. I just keep telling myself that the man behind "Yes Dear" is also behind "My Name Is Earl."

Alan Sepinwall said...

One caveat, since I read the pilot script months ago: this is essentially Sorkin's version of one of those Mary Sue stories so often seen in fanfiction (usually about Star Trek) where a brand-new character (aka a surrogate for the author) comes into the world of their favorite show and saves the day. The premise of this show is that Lorne Michaels gets fired and Aaron and Tommy (as played by Perry and Whitford) are brought in to replace him. Several of the supporting and guest stars are based on Aaron's ex-girlfriends (Amanda Peet is playing Jamie Tarses, Sarah Paulson is Kristin Chenowith, and there's a Maureen Dowd character in there, too), and there is real potential for the whole thing to get icky, fast.

But I want to see the final version before I pass judgment.

highbrow said...

NBC's already running Studio 60 promos! It ran during The West Wing. (natch!)

BF said...

What's the advanced buzz on Raines? I really like Graham Yost's previous work, but Jeff Goldblum as Medium? I don't know...

Matt said...

The Mary Sue-ing is worrisome, to be sure, but it's extraordinarily well-written Mary Sue-ing. And wasn't TWW Mary Sue-ing (though obviously, without any one character having any obvious resemblance to Sorkin)?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I think there's a difference between "What if the government was run by effective, principled liberals?" and "What if me and my best friend got to take over our favorite TV show?"

Aaron's a genius, but he's not infallible (see most of seasons 3 and 4 of TWW). On the other hand, I'm less uncomfortable about having idealized versions of Aaron and Tommy as the heroes than I am about all the female characters being based on women Aaron has had sex with.

Anonymous said...

I've thought for a long time that Sorkin's next show after TWW would be critically acclaimed but not successful, because viewers won't find the style fresh and new, and the subject of the show won't be fresh and new. Even with all the praise I've heard for the script, I'm sticking with that. I just don't think working on a comedy show is as interesting a topic.

Now, in fairness, based only on things I've heard in the media, I also think Aaron Sorkin's an enormous jerk, and I'd certainly get some schadenfreude at his failure. But I'd also be happy with a show I really like, so I'm not rooting for it to fail - just expecting it.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, I'm less uncomfortable about having idealized versions of Aaron and Tommy as the heroes than I am about all the female characters being based on women Aaron has had sex with."

You just totally nailed my concern about this show. I read the pilot script and liked it, but Aaron has such a problem writing female characters sometimes that I wonder what will happen now since ALL of them are women from his past. As a female, mark me down as "concerned."

Anonymous said...

Drat, whatever sliver of hope I had for seeing SURFACE season 2 is now dashed.

Anonymous said...

Friday Night Lights is doomed. Tuesday at 8? Huh? Heroes is the surpriser - Studio 60 the crtically adored failure. More inside than Entourage - and that gets 2 mil people a week watching. No one in America cares about the tv biz. But god love Aaron Sorkin.

Todd said...

Having read the Studio 60 script as well, I actually worry more if Americans will even give a damn about the backstage machinations at a sketch comedy show.

I mean, I liked the script, but the political commentary felt completely tacked on.

Let's see Sorkin step out of his milieu. Buddy cops! In space!

D. said...

The Grey's Anatomy-v.-CSI-v.-Studio 60 showdown is going to be quite interesting to watch unfold.

I am also worried about how The Office will hold up to Survivor, but just think...when was the last time that NBC had a truly funny show in that Thursday 8:30 timeslot? FAMILY TIES?

Alan Sepinwall said...

It wasn't that long ago that Scrubs was on Thursdays at 8:30. Of course, NBC kept pre-empting it, but it was there at least half the time.

Anonymous said...

You know, thinking about it now, I'd probably be more excited if NBC actually DID get rid of Lorne Michaels and hire Aaron and Tommy to try and fix Saturday Night Live.

Unknown said...

Didn't Sorkin do Sports Night? That was a show about backstage in a studio, too. How similar will it be to Studio 60? Will the Perry-Whitford dynamic sound too much like Dan and Casey?

With the exception of Dana and Natalie, none of the women in the show were written particularly well... in fact, they sound like who I imagine Sorkin's ex-girlfriends to be. Remember Paula Marshall as the porn star date to Joshua Malina's character?

Sports Night was critically acclaimed, but it failed to garner enough viewers (no thanks to ABC's scheduling mishaps), so it was cancelled. Studio 60 could possibly suffer the same fate.

Anonymous said...

Sorkin can't write female characters? Claudia Jean Cregg was certainly a major force on the West Wing. 30 Rock may have an advantage, though, in being an actual comedy, and in having a cast whose members are well prepared actually perform the sketches discussed on the show.