The Upfronts 2015: NBC

nbc network logoOuch, 11 cancellations at NBC, with renewals of only 7 series (well, 8 if you count the resurrection of Heroes. Their new offerings almost universally tanked, the only one picked up was Mysteries of Laura which isn’t exactly topping anyone’s “must-watch” list. I don’t have a great deal of enthusiasm for their upcoming things either and NBC, like Fox are putting a lot of hope in resurrecting old series.

What’s Finished or Cancelled
Woohoo – nothing I watch at NBC was cancelled.
Parks and Recreation has been on my to-watch list for a long time and I’m gradually making my way through season 1 having been promised it gets better. Parenthood was one I also wanted to see but never managed to catch it. Both series at least were aware that these would be their last seasons (7 and 6 respectively) so got to wrap up properly.
New series that were cancelled were Marry Me, One Big Happy, Allegiance, State of Affairs, Constantine, The Slap, A to Z and Bad Judge (after 5 episodes), so relatively speaking About a Boy was a big success given it got to season 2.

What’s Returning
blacklistThe Blacklist season 2 is currently backing up on my Sky Box, even the overwhelming charm of James Spader isn’t drawing me into the plodding conspiracy stories. Chicago Fire is renewed for a fourth season; season 1 was a guilty pleasure, but not pleasurable enough for me to bother with season 2, or the spin off Chicago PD, (renewed for season 3) and Chicago Med will add to the family (I guess next year we’ll get Chicago Coast Guard? Mountain Rescue?). I’m more likely to catch up on The Night Shift, which is a little more fun and gets renewed for season 3. Also renewed: Law and Order: SVU will be back for season 17, The Mysteries of Laura (2), Grimm (5). Undateable is renewed for an all live third season.
Hannibal season 3 starts in June, as does the Charles Manson drama Aquarias so they are out of sync with upfront announcements.

New this Autumn

Blindspot: a woman is found naked in Times Square, covered in tattoos and missing her memories. One of the tattoos names an FBI agent who is equally clueless about what’s going on. They investigate and I would imagine things continue to be complicated. Interesting idea, but I got a bit tired thinking about how it would play out with continual one-step-forward-cliffhanger-one-step-back regularity.


Heartbreaker: Based on the real life heart transplant surgeon Dr Kathy Maliato (Melissa George), she’s a fantastic doctor with a “racy” personal life. Good grief NBC who wrote this crap? Anyway, yet another attempt to make a new Grey’s Anatomy, but utterly lacking the talent of Shonda Rhimes.


The Player: A former military operative is a security expert drawn into a game where people gamble on whether he can stop crimes. He tries to fight them from the inside, and there’s also a dead wife to be avenged. The trailer is well put together and has some nicely shot action, but I didn’t get a great deal of personality coming through. I’ll give it a try.


People are Talking: two sets of couples, both neighbours and friends are a “wildly outspoken foursome”. Heaven help us all. The laugh track on the trailer alone is reason to never go near this.

Heroes: Reborn, like X-Files at Fox this isn’t exactly new and didn’t exactly go out on a critical high. Unlike X-Files it’s mostly a new cast, but nostalgia will likely drag me back for a bit.

New Midseason

Chicago Med: Chicago Fire and Chicago PD worked, so apply the same recipe to medicine and you’ve got a solid but utterly unremarkable procedural I’d imagine. Oh hang on, Oliver Platt is in it!

Coach: Coach was a sitcom that ran from 1989-1997 about a college football team, it’s now being resurrected, focussing on the original Coach’s son. Craig T. Nelson will return to his Emmy winning role and I guess if it worked then, it will probably work now.

Crowded: Having briefly emptying their nest, Mike and Martine are not thrilled when their two daughters and Mike’s parents all decide to move in with them. It stars Carrie Preston, who is hilarious in The Good Wife (Elspeth!), but sitcoms rarely work out well for either me or NBC as a whole.

Game of Silence: A successful attorney is suddenly confronted with secrets from his childhood he thought were buried. Sounds awful.

Hot and Bothered: Behind the scenes at a latino soap opera. Stars Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) but sounds awful.

Shades of Blue: Jennifer Lopez is a “sexy New York detective (and single mother)” who “fell in” with dirty cops, got caught by the FBI and now has to secretly work for them to catch the others. Really Mr NBC press release writer, we really had to know that she’s “sexy”, is that a core element of the plot. For pities sake.

Superstore: a family of employees at a super-sized megastore have hi-larious hijinks. Stars America Ferrara (Ugly Betty) who deserves better than this sounds.

You, Me and the End of the World: a one-hour comedy drama with a great cast It’s got a great sounding cast (Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer and Megan Mullally) but the blurb makes me want to root for the end of the world:
“The news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course with Earth sets in motion the most hilariously unexpected chain of events imaginable.. the story follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters around the world as their lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways. When we say eclectic, we mean a rebellious priest, an unhinged white supremacist, a mild-mannered bank manager, a germ-phobic cyber-terrorist and an American five-star general. Some of these misfits are destined to make it to a bunker deep beneath the English suburbs of Slough and, as a result, will become the hugely unlikely (and totally unsuitable) future of mankind. Wouldn’t that be a disaster!”.
Still, not every day you see Slough referenced in an American television series.

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