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Fall Previews and Predictions: NBC

15 Sep


(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  13+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  12- – the show is cancelled before 13)

NBC ties ABC with a high of six new shows, and outside of the early debut of The Mysteries of Laura, pushes more of its shows slightly later in the fall than the other major networks. There are three comedies and three dramas. A comedy from Happy Endings creator David Caspe, a dramedy starring Debra Messing, a Keither Heigl political thriller, a Kate Walsh legal comedy, a lesser known DC comics property, and a romantic comedy. To the shows we go.

The Mysteries of Laura – 9/17

The Mysteries of Laura

TV vet Debra Messing plays a cop who must apprehend perps while at the same time dealing with two unruly children as a single mom. I’m not sure if the mysteries refer to each case, or to how Messing manages to be such an expert detective while taking care of her kids. It smells like a dramady, light-hearted humor about how Messing does it all while also dealing with serious whodunnits that will be solved on a weekly basis.

Predictoin: 12- I may be underestimating the power of Messing who seems to be on TV just about every year, but it looks bad (which of course is not enough in and of itself to get a show cancelled usually) and I’m just not sure how it fits. It almost feels like it’d have been better sold as a USA show.

Bad Judge – 10/2

Bad Judge


Prviate Practice’s Kate Walsh plays a judge who doesn’t have her life together; she’s drinking, having sex in her office, and doing all sorts of silly behaviors we don’t normally associate with members of her profession. Apparently, shockingly enough though, deep down, she has a heart of gold; when a young boy whose parents she put in jail calls about her, she goes out of her way to help, dishing out the kind of unorthodox advice that makes her actually a better mentor than most grown ups. It does feature the always enjoyable Ryan Hansen of Veronica Mars fame, who also appeared in the short-lived Bad Teacher; make of that what you will.

Prediction: 12- It looks bad. NBC has cancelled comedies for less.

A to Z – 10/2

A to Z

Katey Segal is clearly narrating this trailer. I needed to get that out first. Ginsberg from Mad Men is a guy’s guy, and the Mother from How I Met Your Mother is a girl’s girl, and they’re destined to meet and make romance, etc, etc. Watch out for falling cliches everywhere. I’m not sure I got what the A to Z hook was from the trailer, unless that’s a pun on their last names. This seems more like a straight forward rom com than the other romantic comedy this fall, Manhattan Love Story, as there’s more romance than humor in the trailer..

Prediction: Renewal – NBC if it wants to keep airing comedies has tokeep some of them right? Maybe we’ll end up in a land with only NBC dramas; considering every single attempt at comedy by the network seems to generate no viewiers, but presumably they’re not ready to give up yet.

Marry Me – 10/14

Marry Me

Wait a second. A show that might actually really be good! Of course, I was biased in a positive way before even watching the trailer. Marry Me is created by Happy Endings creator David Caspe, and stars Happy Endings’ Casey Wilson and Party Down’s Ken Marino, I very much like all of these people, and the trailer gives me no reason not to the thing the show might actually be good. Marino and Wilson play a couple who have been together for a long time and finally become engaged, and the hilarity that ensues thereafter. It’s not really an uproarious trailer, but being a constant cynic is tring and I’m desperate to give a show the benefit of the chance and might as well to one whose people I all love.

Prediction: Renewal – I’m not sure this is a good prediction, but I’m supporting people I like, and since this may be the only time this year, I’ll take a chance. After all, Happy Endings got three seasons with no one watching, and NBC renewed Community and Parks & Recreation a surprising amoutn of times for shows no one watches, so maybe NBC will be patient if it’s good.

Constantine – 10/24


A highly successful long running Vertigo comic series, it’s already been adopted into a terrible Keanu Reeves movie, and I”d like to think that at the least this show has to be better than that film. Constantine is a mouthy British excorcist with his own share of figurative demons. I’ve read seperately that being on a network means that Constantine can’t, say, smoke, which is a fairly prominent feature of the comic book character, which just reminds me again of the stupid restrictions of network television, but I’ll try to hope the show can be decent because I like the character even though the alternative seems more likely.

Prediction: 12- I’m not sure this show makes sense for NBC, and I’m not sure they care a lot about the success of this show. I think Fox would make more sense as a home for Constantine, worked around maybe Sleepy Hollow or Gotham. It seems like a bad network fit regardless of the quality of the show.

State of Affairs – 11/17

State of Affairs

Katherine Heigl is a super duber CIA agent with, you’ll never guess, problems in her personal life that equal her professional successes. It’s hard not to imagine State of Affairs outside of its post-Homeland context; obviously the show is different by Heigl seems a Carrie analogue. Alfre Woodard plays the president who has a special relationship with Heigl; in additional to being the most brilliant CIA analyst out there, Heigl happened to be in a relationship with Woodard’s son, a humanitarian aid worker who died in shady circumstnaces. The most important thing I learned was that Heigl seems to be at least half a foot taller than Woodard.

Prediction: 13+ I think there’s too much invested in this to cut the cord quick unless it’s a total disaster; the trailer screams tentpole show, and as it seems to have connections to people behind The Blacklist, NBC’s biggest new scripted hit in ages, you know NBC’s going to want it to succeed. Still, there’s something about me that strikes me as not going to work. Maybe I’m wrong.