Saturday, September 1, 2012

Will new shows "fix" NBC?

Poor NBC.

The network that was once the home of ‘ER’ and ‘Friends’ really is a shadow of its former self.

Some people blame the Jay Leno experiment – and that was a contributing factor – but it’s so much more than that.

The truth is, NBC just hasn’t selected quality entertainment for its lineup in years.

Think about it. Besides ‘Heroes’ and ‘Parenthood,’ what quality shows have found their home on NBC in the past five years? And ‘Heroes’ was only good for a season.

Still, perusing NBC’s upcoming lineup – I have hope.

Sure, it’s a small glimmer of hope, but at least there is hope.

The New Normal – Gay couple Bryan and David have everything they want – except a child. They decide that Goldie may be the perfect surrogate for them.

Why it will work: The show is already garnering controversy – including a network in Utah that won’t show the program. Censorship never works – which will compel people to dig in behind the show whether it’s good or not. The numbers will probably be pretty good for the show.

Why it will fail: The only name associated with it is Ellen Barkin. I can’t help but think the show would have had a better chance of sticking around if they had cast some recognizable actors.
‘The New Normal’ debuts at 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 11.

Guys With Kids – Starring Anthony Anderson, Jesse Bradford, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Tempestt Bledsoe, the show revolves around three 30-something men who must raise infants in absence of their wives. For some reason, this kind of reminds me of Anderson’s character in that Jennifer Lopez debacle a few years ago.

Why it will work: Despite the premise, Anderson is always likeable and people might tune in out of a curiosity factor for former Cosby kid Bledsoe. Bradford is one of those actors I always thought would go someplace – but never did.

Why it will fail – Bodily function jokes are never funny (okay, I concede it was funny in 'Bridesmaids') and this sitcom screams bodily function jokes. You just know it’s going to be a series of diaper changing one-liners.

‘Guys With Kids’ debuts at 10 p.m. on Sept. 12.

Revolution – Produced by J.J. Abrams, this looks to be NBC’s best shot for not only a quality show – but a ratings hit. The science fiction program takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where people are living 15 years after something destroyed all the advanced technology on Earth. The series focuses on the Matheson family, and stars Billy Burke, Elizabeth Mitchell and Giancarlo Esposito.

Why it will work: Abrams is a genius – and this sounds just fun enough to inspire audiences to use their imaginations. Burke and Mitchell are always solid.

Why it will fail: It’s probably expensive to produce – and NBC is liable to cut tail and run if it doesn’t get immediate ratings numbers.

‘Revolution’ debuts at 10 p.m. Sept. 17.

Animal Practice – Think ‘Scrubs’ – just at a veterinary clinic where more focus will be given to the relationship of the workers than actual animal care. It stars Justin Kirk and Bobby Lee.

Why it will work: I can’t see it working – despite the fact that Lee is hilarious. It just looks boring.

Why it will fail: The whole premise of the show is pretty ridiculous – and boring.

‘Animal Practice’ debuts at 8 p.m. Sept. 26.

Chicago Fire – Produced by Dick Wolf, the show follows the lives of the firefighters and paramedics working at the Chicago Fire Department. It’s stars Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Laura German, Eamonn Walker and David Eigenberg.

Why it will work: The premise is simple. It’s basically ‘ER’ in a fire station. Spencer and Walker are solid and charismatic actors.

Why it will fail: I actually can’t see this one failing. The only way I see it not working is if the writing is so bad viewers tune out. Still, ‘Grimm’ is still on the air and the writing on that show couldn’t get any worse – so I have a feeling this show will succeed.

‘Chicago Fire’ debuts at 10 p.m. Oct. 10.

What do you think? What will you watch on NBC this year?


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