Sunday, May 13, 2012

Analysis: NBC Announces their 2012-2013 Schedule

It's that time of year again, folks.

From today until Thursday all four of the major broadcast networks will be announcing their schedules for next season. I will be here to share my thoughts on the schedules for all five broadcast networks.

NBC started things off today. (*) My thoughts on their schedule are after the jump.

(*) Because NBC shares tomorrow with FOX, they reveal their schedule a day earlier.

8-10PM: The Voice
10PM: Revolution*

Thoughts: In my opinion, NBC is making a mistake running two cycles of the Voice per season. Sure, most major reality series run twice a year, but their ratings tend to decline much faster than series that run one cycle per season. However, even if it airs two cycles, it should remain a viable hit for at least the next season. It's good that NBC is giving Smash time to retool, and it's using the Voice as a launching pad for a new series. The only issue I see is that Revolution does not appear to be compatible with the Voice. Its success will completely depend on the marketing campaign.

8PM: The Voice
9PM: Go On*
9:30PM: The New Normal*
10PM: Parenthood

Thoughts: First off, it's great to have Parenthood back. It's a fantastic series, and it should benefit from having a compatible lead-in for the first time. NBC seems to think that comedy is the way to build a network. Out of all of the comedy nights, this one has the best chance of succeeding. With a new Matthew Perry series and a Ryan Murphy/Ali Adler series that will certainly get massive promotion during the Olympics, this night should succeed. Bob Greenblatt said that this night was a particular focus of the network, and that clearly shows with this lineup.

8PM: Animal Practice*
8:30PM: Guys with Kids*
9PM: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
10PM: Chicago Fire*

Thoughts: How many times is NBC going to try to put SVU at 9PM before they realize that it just doesn't work? The series has never done as well at 9 as it has at 10. Creatively, Chicago Fire sounds compatible with SVU. However, I would have put Fire at 9 and SVU at 10 because, as it is, this block of television probably won't work. As for the second comedy hour of the week, they're success isn't based on how well NBC can launch them; it's based on whether they can hold onto that initial audience. That remains to be seen.

8PM: 30 Rock
8:30PM: Up All Night
9PM: The Office
9:30PM: Parks and Recreation
10PM: Rock Center with Brian Williams

Thoughts: This night is clearly NBC saying that they have other holes to fill and they can't focus on everything at once. They need to rebuild their schedule a night or two at a time. This is going to be a VERY low rated night of (hopefully) high quality comedy. I doubt NBC has high expectations for this night because of the series that the lineup contains. This is NBC playing it safe and trying to solidify other nights before tampering with this lineup.

8PM: Whitney
8:30PM: Community
9PM: Grimm
10PM: Dateline NBC

Thoughts: There is one reason why Community is in the Friday night lineup: to give Grimm a male skewing lead-in. NBC found itself a hit in Grimm and if it can grow that would be a big win for the network. Community's audience is its audience. It's never going to gain any new viewers at this point in its run. NBC is clearly hoping that most of its audience will follow it onto Friday. If it can maintain a number greater than a 1.0, the move will be considered successful. The only reason why I'm concerned about that not happening is its lead-in is Whitney. NBC is having one of its most critically savaged comedies lead into one of its most critically praised. Usually, single-camera comedies don't do well when paired with multi-camera comedies. I doubt this comedy block will work, but because it contains Community I hope it does.


Sunday Night Football

7PM: Dateline NBC
8PM: Fashion Star
9PM: The Celebrity Apprentice
10PM: Do No Harm*

Thoughts: The only risk NBC is taking on this night is premiering the new medical drama Do No Harm after the Celebrity Apprentice. That's going to have to be a self starter, because I can't imagine the Celebrity Apprentice being a good lead-in for the show.

Midseason: 1600 Penn*, Betty White's Off Their Rockers, The Biggest LoserThe Celebrity Apprentice, Do No Harm*, Fashion Star, Hannibal*, Howie Mandel's White Elephant*, Infamous*, Next Caller*, Ready for Love*, Save Me*, Smash, Stars Earn Stripes*, Surprise with Jenny McCarthy*,

*New series are marked with an asterisk

What do you all think of the schedule? Do you think this schedule can launch a few needed hits for NBC?

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