May 3, 2009
Best Development Season...EVER!
NBC Finalizes Pickups as ABC Ponders a 'Ghost'
Lots of drama this weekend as NBC prepares to brief advertisers on its 2009-10 plans Monday.
There was buzz that CBS' "Ghost Whisperer" could be in play, possibly moving to ABC. That's still considered a longshot. Click here for a full report.
Over at NBC, as of late Saturday, odds seemed to heavily favor the network greenlighting the comedies "Community" and "100 Questions" (known in some parts as "100 Questions for Charolotte Payne"), as well as dramas "Parenthood" and "Trauma."
There are also many fans of David E. Kelley's "Legally Mad" inside NBC. Despite its quirky tone -- it features singing lawyers -- some inside the network believe the show represents a chance worth taking, particularly since Mr. Kelley's series traditionally do well among upscale audiences like those NBC is targeting.
The ambitious sci-fi-themed "Day One" is also a contender. If it moves forward, however, it will likely be positioned as a limited series (a k a miniseries).
While NBC isn't expected to confirm scheduling details this week, there's talk that "Heroes" will unfold as a single chapter, with around 18 episodes unspooling between the fall launch and the Feb. 12 start of the Winter Olympics.
"Day One" might then premiere in March, immediately after the games wrap up Feb. 28.
Another big question mark with "Heroes" is whether the show stays Mondays at 9 or shifts back an hour to 8 p.m., allowing NBC to launch a new show behind it.
In any event, insiders believe NBC wants to make as few changes as possible to its fall lineup, spreading its new series throughout the season in order to take advantage of the Winter Olympics as a marketing platform.
There are reports that the network is ready to bring back "Medium" for another season. Holding up an official renewal, however, is an agreement over just how many episodes NBC wants. The network has told CBS Paramount it would like a repeat of last year's deal, in which NBC greenlit 13 episodes but had an option to expand to 19.
While several people familiar with the matter said NBC's discussions with CBS Par indicated "Medium" was being renewed, one person close to the conversation insisted that no final decision had been made on a pickup. NBC wasn't commenting Sunday.
NBC is also weighing a return of "My Name is Earl." While the network and producer 20th Century Fox are talking license fee, there remains a contingent within NBC that would like to see the network roll the dice on a new series, likely "100 Questions."
Debate also continues over whether to greenlight a third season of "Chuck." Insiders at the network believe the show would lose any momentum if it were held for midseason, and that if room can't be found on the schedule in the fall, a renewal is less likely.
The network has already agreed to bring back the John Wells drama "Southland" for 13 episodes, possibly at midseason.