Now that I've had a while to think through NBC's announcement of its fall schedule this morning, I have some thoughts on which news is good, which is bad and which is still a little baffling. Take a spin through my list, then let me know what you think.
- Airing "Friday Night Lights" at 10 p.m. on Friday? Coffin, meet the nail. This strikes me as a very bad idea, and not just because it will conflict with actual high school football games. Sure, the ratings bar is lower on Fridays, but that's because nobody watches TV then — as big a fan as I am of this show, even I'll be TiVo-ing it most weeks rather than staying in to catch it live. I already had reasons to be worried about a second season, and this isn't making me feel better.
- Speaking of bad ideas, I don't like "The Office" being on at 9 p.m to take on "Grey's Anatomy." It might be NBC's most popular comedy, but it's not a ratings powerhouse — and I'm sure a lot of "Office" fans already watch something at that time. I am glad they backed away from making every episode an hour, though.
- I have no idea how NBC kept the "Heroes" spinoff a secret, and maybe that explains why we don't know a whole lot about it yet. Here's what we do know: The six stand-alone episodes will air when "Heroes" is on hiatus, they'll involve characters we haven't seen before, and at the end we'll be able to vote for one character who will make the leap over to "Heroes" in the next season. I like that we'll have something to keep us occupied when "Heroes" is taking a break — though exactly when "Origins" will air still isn't known. I just hope the quality stays high so it doesn't detract from original "Heroes."
More thoughts if you read more
- There's not a single new comedy on NBC's fall schedule ("The IT Crowd" has been picked up, but it doesn't have a time slot yet). That's a pretty dramatic shift for a network that was known for its comedies for years. I am pretty psyched about "The IT Crowd," though, whenever it premieres; you can read more of my take and see some clips from the original British show over here.
- Of the new shows, I'm probably most excited for "Lipstick Jungle" and "Chuck," and I'm surprised NBC isn't pairing "Bionic Woman" with "Heroes" — though "Journeyman" sounds like it has enough supernatural elements to make it a good fit too.
- NBC execs said a while back that they'd be producing more cheap reality programs, and it's true: Most nights of the week have a reality or game show in the 8 p.m. hour.
- Assorted once-buzzworthy pilots that didn't get picked up: Cop show "Fort Pit" (read its baffling description here), "Area 57" with Paul Reubens as an alien, and the Spike Lee-directed "M.O.N.Y."