Monday, November 21, 2011

Schedule Five-Spot, NBC Midseason


Here's the second of three Schedule Five-Spots this week, looking at all of NBC's midseason moves. I looked at ABC's midseason earlier.

New Comedy Flip - I give this one the "good news" color because moving Up All Night to the Thursday lineup and Whitney to Wednesday is shrewd. It still probably should've happened at the upfront. Even at its current below-2.0 level, Up All Night is arguably overachieving on Wednesday, and it's certainly Truly stronger than a Whitney getting similar demos in a much easier timeslot. Meanwhile, newbie Are You There, Chelsea? joins Whitney on Wednesday.

Old Comedy Flip - The move that got the most attention was NBC's benching of Community, though I have my doubts that will ultimately mean much aside from having to wait to see the Community episodes. I felt last year like Community and 30 Rock were about Truly equal, so I wouldn't expect huge improvement from Rock in the brutal timeslot (although Community has been a lot weaker this year, so it's possible). And Community will eventually be back.

Grimm Not Moved?! - It's tough to screw up a schedule when you have no real strong pieces, but NBC is trying. Their only three dramas doing anything at all are getting pretty raw deals. Parenthood ends early (February 28), Law and Order: SVU gets another full season of nothing lead-ins (Rock Center at midseason) and, most egregiously, the promising Grimm stays on Friday. NBC's rewarded its great-for-Friday numbers with a whooping two more scripts.

Rearranging the Deck Chairs - NBC has three shows on the weeknight sked getting pull-me-now numbers: Harry's Law, Rock Center and Prime Suspect. The only one out in the cold completely is Prime Suspect, while Rock Center is shifted over to the old Harry's timeslot (Wednesday 9/8c) while Harry's is slated to return on Sundays at 8/7c in early March. Don't expect either to improve much. Perhaps that huge 50+ audience actually is keeping Harry afloat for now?

A Firm Commitment - The new show getting the best news was certainly co-production drama The Firm, which will take over the Thursday 10/9c slot vacated by cancelled Prime Suspect. As Deadline notes, this is certainly the most generous scheduling yet for a low-cost acquired drama; those are usually Friday or summer options. This comes while high-profile but behind-the-scenes-challenged new drama Awake remains without a timeslot.

The Five-Spots are my recaps of what aired, what got renewed/cancelled and what rated well or poorly last week in TV. For more Five-Spots, see the Index.

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