Armchair Scheduling: NBC Spring 2011

Comcast has made it clear that they plan to unveil NBC’s new management team before Thanksgiving. And, with November 25th right around the corner, folks have started to whisper about what the network’s winter schedule might look like. Below are my thoughts on what the peacock’s schedule should look like, when its revealed.

Sunday Night

8pm: Parenthood

9pm: Love Bites

10pm: Harry’s Law

Parenthood has never been a 10pm show, and recently its ratings have begun to erode. By moving it to Sunday, NBC could give themselves a leadoff hitter, with whom viewers are already familiar with. Parenthood’s mix of comedy and drama make is a viable lead-in for the network’s new dramedy Love Bites. While I realize this pits Bites against ABC’s Desperate Housewives, I think there’s enough room on Sunday for NBC to carve out their own piece of the audience. Finally, rounding out the night with Harry’s Law is good counter-programming.

Monday Night

8pm: Chuck

9pm: The Cape

10pm: The Event

Chuck has become the stalwart of NBC’s broken line-up, for which its been given a 24 episode order. Thus, moving Chuck from its current timeslot would make no sense. The Cape shares a number of Chuck’s sensibilities, insomuch as, it mixes lighter action fair with heart. The night would then get progressively more Sci-Fi by slotting The Event at 10. Currently airing behind Chuck, The Event has struggled to maintain its audience. But, if it could pull its current numbers at 10, NBC would be happy.

Tuesday Night

8pm: The Biggest Loser

10pm: Law & Order: SVU

Not much to see here. The Biggest Loser has maintained its audience this fall, making NBC a contender on the night. Slotting SVU back on Tuesdays at 10 is good business. The show once thrived in this timeslot and, its return would appease the network’s affiliates.

Wednesday Night

8pm: Minute to Win It

9pm: Chase

10pm: Law & Order: Los Angeles

Minute to Win It is a cheap place holder for NBC that manages to pull decent ratings. Given the underwhelming results they had with launching Undercovers this fall, placing Minute to Win It on Wednesday is a cost effective move. Together Chase and LOLA could continue doing with SVU and LOLA are doing now. The change of scenery would hopefully jolt Chase’s lackluster demo numbers as well.

Thursday Night

8pm: Community

8:30: Perfect Couples

9pm: The Office

9:30pm: Parks & Recreation

10pm: 30 Rock

10:30: Friends with Benefits

Scheduling 6 comedies in a row is a gusty move, but its probably the right one for NBC. If it were up to me, the network’s current Thursday night line-up would remain intact up until 9:30, where I would slot in Parks & Rec for Outsourced. But, NBC is leery of launching two new comedies back to back at 10pm, so this may be the better option.

Friday Night

8pm Celebrity Apprentice

10pm Dateline NBC

Scripted fair hasn’t really panned out for NBC on Friday nights, so Celebrity Apprentice makes a great deal of sense. The show pulled decent numbers on Sunday night last spring, but those numbers would look a lot better on Friday night.

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