Today NBC kicked off the 2012 Upfronts, an annual event where the big four networks present their upcoming slate of new programming to advertisers and the press. The Peacock unveiled 12 new series coming to the network next season; seven comedies and five dramas. Half will premiere this fall, and the others will wait for midseason. Jump after the break to get more information about all of the new shows including synopses, cast and creator/executive producer listings, and clips.
Also posted after the break is NBC’s 2012-13 programming schedule. The three most significant changes to the schedule include Whitney and Community moving to Friday nights paired with Grimm and Dateline NBC; The Voice gets a second cycle in the fall; and Smash is being held again for midseason.
NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt explained Community‘s move to Friday: “I know that most people in our industry think Friday is a graveyard but we don’t really believe that. If you don’t build it they won’t come. We got some traction with Grimm, it’s the No. 1 18-49 on Fridays. We thought if we have a base there, let’s see if we can give Grimm a lead-in with these shows that actually have fan bases–including Whitney.” … He added, “[Community] has its faithful audience and they will follow it to the ends of the Earth. And I really wanted to do something to invigorate Friday because we love Grimm. So I thought, let’s move a show where the audience will move with it. I actually look at the positive side of it, although no good deed goes unpunished.”
While The Office and Parks and Recreation were picked up and given full 22-episode full season orders, other comedies like 30 Rock, Community, and Up All Night were handed smaller 13-episode orders; and this has led to speculation about whether or not NBC plans to phase these shows out sooner rather than later. Greenblatt addressed this: “[The Thursday night comedies] have a really strong following [but] they don’t have a large enough audience. They’re still shows that mean something to this network…I think on the Thursday night shows, ‘broad’ is synonymous with ratings…we’re always trying to be broader.” … He added, “a 13-episode order does not mean a death knell to the show.” So fret not, my friends. (5/14 update: It has been confirmed that the upcoming seventh season of 30 Rock will be its last.)
On why the network is saving Smash for midseason, Greenblatt wants the second season to air uninterrupted with not a single hiatus, like FOX started doing with 24 by premiering it in January instead of September. The plan is for the musical drama to produce 15-18 episodes every season as opposed to the standard 22. Also, the network wants accomodate new showrunner Josh Safran (Gossip Girl). Explains NBC’s Jennifer Salke: “New showrunner Josh Safran is coming in–he’s awesome. And we wanted him to get a chance to own [it] and get in there and have an ownership stake in the show — not just put a gun to his head and [tell him], ‘You gotta get going!’ So we wanted him to be able to stand back and have a real creative discussion about what he wants the season to be and be a big part of that.” (Click here for more…)