Taking the Wraps Off NBC’s Slate

May 4, 2009  •  Post A Comment

NBC is continuing its move toward the middle.
The network Monday greenlit a programming slate heavy on meat-and-potatoes fare, including two medical dramas (“Trauma” and “Mercy”), a broad family hour (“Parenthood”) and an old-fashioned multicamera half-hour from director James Burrows (“100 Questions”). Also on NBC’s slate: a single-camera comedy starring E! host Joel McHale and Chevy Chase (“Community”) and an ambitious “limited” series from “Heroes” alum Jesse Alexander (“Day One”) that will be heavily promoted during the Winter Olympics in advance of a March debut.

NBC ordered six new series Monday, with plans to roll out the shows throughout the season. The network’s fall needs will be limited, with the new Jay Leno 10 p.m. comedy show taking up a big percentage of its schedule.
As it began conversations with advertisers via a series of so-called “infront” presentations, NBC also announced renewals for midseason entries “Southland” and “Parks and Recreation.” The network also said it was bringing back six episodes of “‘Saturday Night Live’ Weekend Update Thursday,” the half-hour version of the “SNL” staple that made its debut last fall during the election season.
All of the new and returning series greenlit Monday are at least partially owned by Universal Media Studios, NBC’s in-house production unit. The only full-fledged outside studio garnering a pickup is Sony, which is co-producing “Community” with UMS.
There was no official word on renewals for “Law & Order,” “My Name Is Earl,” “Chuck” or “Medium,” all of which were on the bubble headed into Monday’s presentation.
Previously announced 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?”
For the complete rundown, as well as video clips from the new shows, click here.

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