NBC Picks Up 5 New Series, Including The Network Return Of Jason Bateman And Gillian Anderson

Though they have not yet announced renewals (which means that Community, Parks and Recreation, and Hannibal are still in limbo), NBC has begun picking up shows for the fall, finding replacements — at least — for the loss of The Office and 30 Rock in a new Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) sitcom, as well as The Family Guide, which is the rare sitcom premise that actually sounds FANTASTIC, and even better, features the return of Jason Bateman to television, at least in voice form. Get a whiff of this logline from EW:

It’s not every family that’s brought closer together by divorce, but then again, the Fishers aren’t exactly typical. Take Mel Fisher (J.K. Simmons), for example. Whether it’s chopping down trees, showing his daughter how to drive or playing football with his son, he’s never let the fact that he’s blind slow him down. Then there’s Joyce Fisher (Parker Posey), possibly the only mom in Pasadena to smoke a pipe. For her, divorce is like a second coming of age, a chance to be the teen she never was. Just ask’80s-obsessed teenage daughter Katie (Ava Deluca-Verley), whose clothes Joyce is always borrowing (that is, when she’s not tagging along with Katie to the mall). At the center of all this is Henry (Eli Baker), the Fisher’s 11-year old son. Having always been his dad’s eyes, ears and wingman, Henry’s less than thrilled when Mel shows up with Elvis, a guide dog … which is also how Henry learns about the pending divorce. Awkward. While reluctant to the changes this “big ball of fur” would bring, it’s through the adult Henry’s voice-over (Jason Bateman) that we find out his parent’s split would “allow all of us to finally discover…who we needed to be.”

Honestly, it sounds a bit like The Wonder Years meets Arrested Development meets Modern Family. We will probably love it. It will probably be cancelled after three episodes (the casting of J.K. Simmons, I guess, also means that his ABC sitcom, Family Tools is dead).

The show likely to stay on for decades, however, is Sean Saves the World, a comedy starring Sean Hayes as “a guy who must figure out how to parent his 14-year-old daughter, who just moved in, while navigating a temperamental new boss at work.” Could that possibly sound more generic?

NBC also picked up three dramas today, including Jason Katims’ (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) adaptation of About a Boy starring David Walton (New Girl) and Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting). Thanks to Jason Katims, I have very high hopes for it. Likewise, Gillian Anderson’s inclusion in Crisis is cause for celebration. She will return in a D.C. thriller with Dermot Mulroney. Here’s that logline:

Washington’s most powerful players are pulled into an international conspiracy, an unlikely puppeteer will bring everyone from CEOs to The President of the United States to their knees by threatening the things they hold most dear. Forced together by dire circumstances these power brokers, the FBI and a rookie secret service agent must unravel the mystery to take back control of their lives.

Could be decent?

The other drama is another JJ Abrams series (Fox picked up his android cop sci-fi drama last night). Believe is “about an unlikely relationship develops between a young girl with a gift and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power.” Delroy Lindo stars in that one. Meh.

Still, I’m excited about The Family Guide and About a Boy, and with Michael J. Fox’s new sitcom coming to NBC next year, it could mean a comeback, at least a comeback by new network standards.

Here’s some pictures from THR (I hope they are better than the pictures look).

The Family Guide

Sean Saves the World



About a Boy

(Source: EW)