This week is the upfronts, in which the networks present their new schedules and preview the shows they’ve picked up for the fall and spring season. It’s a magical time for TV wonks. It’s like opening day, where all the teams get to start anew with fresh hope for the next season. Based on all the new shows that NBC has picked up for next year, however, it appears as though they are the Pittsburgh Pirates: They just don’t have the talent to compete, bless their hearts. Josh has already posted NBC’s new schedule for next year, and while we’re all grateful our favorite shows are returning (even if “Community” has been dumped into Friday nights), what about all those new shows on the schedule? How do they look?
Two or three look promising, but overall, I’d give NBC’s new slate a C-. Here, from best to worst, are the new shows we are looking at for next season with video previews.
Animal Practice stars Justin Kirk as the Gregory House of a vet clinic. I wasn’t sold on the idea, but I must have briefly forgotten how fantastic Justin Kirk is. Plus, a monkey! Who doesn’t love a monkey? The clips seems to undersell it, but there’s a lot of life in the premise, I think, if only in animal hi-jinx. If you’re a little skeptical of this clip representing the top new show on NBC, wait until you see the other clips.
This second clip, which features Tyler Labine (he’s great, but show poison) should seal the deal.
Revolution comes from J.J. Abrams, and the pilot is directed by Jon Favreau. The premise: There’s a black-out all over the entire Earth: There is no energy. Anywhere. Planes crash. Governments fall. Smart phones stop working. Citizens of the Earth have to make do in the new apocalypse. It looks half promising, half awful, like a mish-mash between some of the interesting elements of “Lost” and the horrible casting of “Terra Nova,” save for Giancarlo Esposito, who looks totally effing bad ass in this. Abrams is the reason why I’ll watch, Giancarlo Esposito is the reason I’ll continue watching even after I know it’s horrible.
Go On stars Matthew Perry as a sportscaster dealing with the death of his wife. He befriends a bunch of people in group therapy. It’s kind of like “Community,” only instead of a study group, it’s a therapy group, and only instead of being funny, it looks kind of weak. But, Matthew Perry and no laugh track! It’s at least worth a look, and NBC is pinning much of its fall hopes on this show so I hope, for their benefit, it’s better than it looks. The preview clip, however, is not particularly encouraging.
1600 Penn stars Jenna Elfman as a step-mother in the White House married to the President (Bill Pullman, bitches!) trying to win over the kids. The clip actually has a little bit of promise, and the show does come from a speech writer for Obama. So, maybe?
Next Caller is about an a**hole talk radio host (Dane Cook) trying to save his show, and while the clip doesn’t give us much to work with, I see a little promise despite Dane Cook (who I typically can’t stand) because Jeffrey Tambor is in this, and his facial hair is amazing.
Do No Harm stars Steven Pasquale (from “Rescue Me”) as a neurosurgeon with a kind of Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde syndrome, in which he turns into a sociopathic sex hound at night. The show would be more promising on Starz, where they could really take advantage of his nymphomania. On NBC, I’m not as sold.
The New Normal is like “Three’s Company” with two gay dudes, and Chrissy is a surrogate mother for them. Justin Bartha (The Hangover) is one of the gay dudes, and based on the clip alone, I give it 6 episodes before it’s canceled.
Save Me stars Anne Heche is some sort of reborn religious nut who thinks she’s a prophet. It has no laugh track, which is about all it has going for it.
Chicago Fire is the latest from Dick Wolf. It’s got chiseled guys with no shirts and treacly sentimental music.
Guys with Kids comes from Jimmy Fallon, and it’s about three 30-something Dads (including Anthony Anderson) trying to hang on to their youth while raising babies. I lost interest the second I heard the laugh track.
Tempestt Bledsoe (“The Cosby Show”) unfortunately does not help matters. At all.