Armchair Scheduling: NBC Fall 2011

My goal was to get all of my armchair scheduling pieces up by this past Monday, but that clearly did not happen. Still, I wanted to weigh in on some of the decisions that new NBC President Bob Greenblatt has made over the last few days. As @BigTVFan astutely pointed out earlier this week, it seems as though Greenblatt is shifting the network’s focus towards women, which I personally think is a mistake.

NBC’s comedies may not set the world on fire with their ratings, but they are the best on TV. When you have a core competency (ie. Must See TV Thursday) that skews towards young males, I’d reason that’s the audience you should be targeting. Never mind the fact that ABC already targets middle-aged women and The CW targets younger women, while no broadcast network actively courts young men.

NBC had several pilots in development this year on the comedy side that I was excited about, none more so than Peter Tolan’s Brave New World and Dan Goor’s Family Practice. And, had I written this piece last week, they would have been included in my mock schedule below. Alas, the peacock passed on both shows yesterday, presumably because they were too much like the “niche” comedies they already have. I put niche is quotations, because I don’t buy into the notion that Community’s audience is its audience or that Parks and Recreation can’t cultivate a bigger following; I just think they need a hefty promotional push.

On the drama side, NBC picked up pretty much what I expected them to. They passed on high profile pilots Wonder Woman and 17th Precinct, but both had tested poorly so that wasn’t much of a shock. The one surprise, to my mind, was their decision to order Grimm over Metro or A Man’s World. Grimm has drawn mixed reviews from both brass and critics and doesn’t have the pedigree of either Metro or A Man’s World. Apparently, Greenblatt thought Metro was too high concept for broadcast, which I can see, but A Man’s World would have paired nicely with Harry’s Law.

Lately, there has been talk that NBC will bring their new reality hit The Voice back as early as September. If they do that, they stand the risk of potentially killing a viable franchise before it has time to sprout legs. Far more likely would be a decision to move The Sing Off to fall, though that would conflict with judge Nicole Scherzinger’s new gig as the host of X-Factor. All that being said, my predictions are below. Read more of this post