NBC fall schedule: Possible farewell movies for 'Law & Order' and 'Heroes'

nbc-showsImage Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC; Will Hart/NBC; Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; Dean Hendler/NBCEncouraging news (somewhat) for disappointed fans of the canceled Law & Order and Heroes: NBC will talk to the creators about producing either a two-hour movie or some kind of event to give the shows closure next season (unfortunately, there are no air dates yet). And though Parks & Recreation didn’t make the cut on Thursdays this fall – NBC chose instead to launch the new half-hour Outsourced at 9:30 to lead into the hour-long comedy Love Bites – NBC promised that Amy Poehler’s laugher will not only return by midseason but possibly earn the 9:30 p.m. berth behind The Office.

“It was our toughest decision to make,” NBC/Universal TV Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin told reporters Sunday in anticipation of the network’s upfront presentation Monday in New York. “But to get new comedies on our schedule, Thursday is still the best place to launch. We expect Parks and Recreation to be back on the schedule Thursday and it’s not any way an indication that we don’t think it’s as good as any other comedy. We’ve learned from cable that you can wait as long as a year, create more anticipation and not lose any momentum.”

NBC will unveil five new comedies, seven new drama series and one new reality program for the 2010-11 season to advertisers on Monday. The network hopes to convey a message of consistency – at least when it comes to the common theme of its shows. “I think there is a realism that is consistent throughout all of our dramas,” explains Angela Bromstad, NBC’s primetime entertainment president. “If you are going to do a law franchise, you have to find a way to make it different. With Kathy Bates and David E. Kelley’s dialogue (in Harry’s Law), we’ll have a distinct provocative character like Hugh Laurie as House. It will be the same with Outlaw with Jimmy Smits. Chase is very much a straight ahead procedural but with an adrenaline rush. We tried to be as broad as possible but at same time a little more distinctive.”

Bromstad didn’t reveal too much about the back and forth discussions she had with uber-producer Dick Wolf about airing another season of Law & Order, other than to say everyone “knew the mother ship was coming to an end at some point. Ultimately it was our decision. We felt it was time to move forward and reinvent the brand.” As for launching a Los Angeles version this fall, Bromstad stressed the importance of keeping the brand name in the title – however unoriginal it may sound to critics. “It’s the most successful franchise in the history of TV,” she insisted. “In this cluttered environment, it’s to our advantage to keep.”

As for picking up another season of the low-rated Chuck, Bromstad explained that “it came as a wild card. It performed solidly for us. We can’t change every hour of the schedule at once, so we were looking for stability and it was a good companion for The Event.”

Finally, Bromstad said the network’s much-ballyhooed remake of The Rockford Files will go back to the drawing board for a possible debut later this year or in fall 2011. But Beach Lane, the Matthew Broderick starrer about a millionaire (Patton Oswalt) who hires a celebrity author (Broderick) to help his struggling newspaper in the Hamptons, didn’t make the cut for fall. And remember Day One – the apocalyptic drama developed by Heroes’ Jesse Alexander? Yeah, it’ll never see the light of day. There was talk of burning it off as a movie but even that plan is dead now. Here’s the official fall schedule:

8-9 p.m.  Chuck                     
9-10 p.m. The Event       
10-11 p.m. Chase       

8-10 p.m.  The Biggest Loser
10-11 p.m. Parenthood 

8-9 p.m.  Undercovers
9-10 p.m.  Law & Order: Special Victims Unit               
10-11 p.m. L&O:  Los Angeles 

8- 8:30 p.m. Community              
8:30-9 p.m. 30 Rock
9-9:30 p.m. The Office    
9:30-10 p.m. Outsourced   
10-11 p.m.  Love Bites    

8-9 p.m.  Who Do You Think You Are?/School Pride     
9-10 p.m.  Dateline NBC            
10-11 p.m. Outlaw 


7- 8:15 p.m. Football Night in America      
8:15-11:30 p.m. NBC Sunday Night Football

SUNDAY (beginning March 2011)
7-8 p.m. Dateline NBC
8-9 p.m. Minute to Win It
9-11 p.m. The Celebrity Apprentice

The new series The Cape, Friends With Benefits, Perfect Couples, Harry’s Law and The Paul Reiser Show will premiere later in the season along with a new version of  The Apprentice, The Marriage Ref and the new series America’s Next Great Restaurant starring celebrity chef/restaurateur Bobby Flay.

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Comments (88 total) Add your comment
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  • craig

    what happened to the Matthew Broderick sitcom?

    • Brainlock

      it got canned without anything shot, unlike the new comedy, The Strip, from REno911’s Lennon & Garant (& Holmes & Yarbrough), which shot eight eps, only to find themselves without any support.

      and WHY do I have a bad feeling about these “Special Events” are going to be less of a ‘movie’ and more of a cast Q&A/reminisce? I’ve caught maybe half a dozen L&O ever, but was a diehard “The CLAIRE! Show…and friends”, um, I mean HEROES fan until Feb 8th finale (seriously, Kring, WTF were you smoking/shooting up?).

      I think NBC would have been better selling off the series (koffTNTkoff) and the ONLY requirement the new station picking it up would ask is: NO MORE KRING! Fire him and that dimwit blond.

    • JJ

      Broderick’s pilot wasn’t bad, I saw it. It must not have tested as well as some of the shows that made the schedule. I thought they would have reworked it and added it for a mid-season replacement, but I guess not.

  • c

    Didn’t the Parks & Rec decision have anything to do with Poehler’s pregnancy?

    • Jaymii

      Nah, they rushed S3 into production even with Amy pregant. There’ll be a noticeable difference from one week to the other it’s a bit stupid. :/

  • Sienna

    Ooh, I really hope those wrap-up movies happen. As disappointed as I’ve been with Heroes, I’d still like to see it get a proper conclusion.

    • John

      I disagree. I think the last season finale worked well as a series finale as well. You had the nice “bookend” scene of Claire throwing herself off the Ferris wheel, Sylar’s comment about it being a brave new world. I think it’s fine to just let sleeping dogs lie in this case.

      Same with Law & Order. What’s there to wrap up? It’s not like crime or trials will simply disappear in NYC. There are no over-arching plotlines that need to be tied up. Unless Jack McCoy is going to run for president or something.

      • Deucalion

        I have a feeling that will be the end of the TV series and such but much like many other good shows axed/finished before their time a comic book will appear… Buffy, Angel, Farscape and Heroes lends itself almost too well to the comic book genre (and they have other Heroes comics already)

    • ash.

      I agree with John that the season finale was actually sufficient enough to cap off the series.

  • GoMe!

    I think NBC has made the right decision. NBC (from Friends to Will and Grace to Scrubs to The Office to 30 Rock to Community and Parks) has created some of the greatest comedies ever, and I look forward to the more they will make in the future. If them being able to make new comedies means they have to TEMPORARILY postpone Parks until January…then so be it. It sux, but I’ll survive because at least the other 3 Thursday comedies are there. I look forward to watching Outsourced. I think it’l be great (although I cant be COMPLETELY confident when it comes to NBC’s pick ups…anyone remember Kath and Kim…?)

    • Pennyforyourthoughts

      I do remember Kath and Kim, I was actually a viewer that liked it. :) Still sad to see it go, hopefully for Parks this is a temporary move that allows the fan base to grow and for the 2011-2012 season parks will start in the fall on thursdays where it belongs.

  • Yes

    I have no desire to see L&O in LA. There have been a ton of cop shows in LA – like…SOUTHLAND. NBC passes on that and a year later just moves L&O there. Having the show filmed in NY made it different.
    NBC will have to have amazing shows to get me back for anything besides Chuck and the Thursday comedies. And frankly out of the 3 that are back in the fall, only Community had a good year. Both the Office and 30 Rock had uneven seasons. Parks & Rec will definitely be back because it is hilarious! I think Amy’s pregnancy is the only reason for this push back really. And I think they’re hoping that if they get some other comedies some exposure, they can have comedies again on other nights.

  • April

    I guess this is good news…

  • Flyer

    Did they shoot anything for “Day One,” and if so, is there any chance it would be released on DVD? I thought the premise sounded very interesting, and will be very disappointed if we never get to see ANY of it!

    • Claire

      Yes, they shot the entire 2 hr pilot for Day One. I worked on it. Would be great to see it get snagged by a channel that is willing to give it a shot (and one that deserves it… trust me, it’s GOOD!)

  • Paul A Rose Jr

    They can’t even run Day One on SyFy in place of one of those sh***y $100K monster Movie of the Weeks? C’mon!

  • LisaH

    Only night I’ll be DVRing NBC is Thursday.

  • jfms777

    Putting L&O: SVU at a time other than 10pm never seems to work. Why they decided to do it again is beyond me. Maybe they figure it will be its final year.

    • chattypatra

      I agree with you. The show’s subject matter is not appropriate for that hour, that is why they lost viewership before. I know they want to have a strong lead-in for the new show, but I will be surprised if SVU pulls in the same numbers. It’s not fair to the most popular show of the franchise.

      • Angie

        Criminal Minds is on CBS at the same 8pm centeral 9pm Eastern time on WED and that show is appropriate?? Yet Criminal Minds gets over 13 million viewers at that same time and the stories are far worse than SVUs. Just saying…

    • T.

      Who is Mariska gonna blame for SVUs poor ratings this time. Her boss NBC??? She can not blame Leno this time.

  • Dave

    I understand their reasons for wanting to launch new comedies on Thursdays. But to hold back Parks and Rec until midseason to do it is stupid. P&R is the lowest rated show in the lineup, and it (more than the other 3 Thursday night comedies) needs to be delivered consistently if they want the audience to grow. And moving 30 Rick up to 8:30pm doesn’t sound good to me. The Office and 30 Rock are the two veteran comedies here, and they need to be contained in an hourlong block (i.e. 8-9 or 9-10). Plus, The Office leading into 30 Rock has always flowed really well. I don’t think it should be the other way around. Look for 30 Rock’s ratings to dip a little bit this fall.

    • LOL

      Yup. Parks and Rec might just be their best show. To slow its momentum with a delay seems ill advised.

    • but it’s been behind the office for so long. nbc needs to take advantage of the office’s ratings power while they still have it instead of propping up a show to avoid messing up their relationship with tina fey.

  • Sharlin

    We’ve learned from cable that you can wait as long as a year, create more anticipation and not lose any momentum.”

    ……. Ummm. We learned from the writer’s strike that it doesn’t work with broadcast networks.

    • LOL

      NBC F’s up almost everything.


    I fell asleep in the middle of that schedule it was soooo boring.
    what a snorefest!

  • Franky

    I didn’t even know there was going to be a sitcom with Patton Oswalt! Now I’m really depressed. It was better not to have known.

  • Kyle

    Is Harry’s Law the same as Kindreds? I keep seeing Harry’s Law posted and not one article has mentioned whether or not the name was changed.

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