November 14, 2011



NBC has unaccountably decided not to air a midseason schedule consisting of a test pattern and the words “For the love of God, bring back football…” scrolling at the bottom of the screen.  On the contrary, today they announced several notable premieres and moves:
Monday:  As expected, THE VOICE will return to run 8-10PM, followed by the new musical drama SMASH.
Tuesday:  BIGGEST LOSER continues 8-10PM, but starting Feb 28, it will be followed by the new reality show FASHION STAR, with PARENTHOOD, which as a serialized series repeats horribly, taking a break.  However, no word as yet on when or where on the schedule Parenthood will reappear.

Wednesday:  In a movie that makes sense, UP ALL NIGHT will be moving to Thursday with the other single-camera comedies, and the network will launch a multi-camera hour they hope will appeal to young women, with WHITNEY followed by the new ARE YOU THERE, VODKA?  IT’S ME, CHELSEA.  Then the newsmagazine ROCK CENTER, displaced by Smash on Mondays, takes the 9PM slot, followed by SVU.
Thursday:  30 ROCK returns to the schedule at 8PM, followed by PARKS & RECREATION, THE OFFICE and now UP ALL NIGHT.  No word on where this leaves COMMUNITY.  At 10PM, PRIME SUSPECT (not officially cancelled, but clearly on life support) is replaced by the new series version of THE FIRM.
Friday:  Once CHUCK is properly buried, the reality show WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE will be the lead-in to GRIMM, followed by DATELINE.
Saturday:  Reruns, reruns, reruns.
Sunday:  The unfillable hole where football used to be will be covered over with DATELINE, HARRY’S LAW and CELEBRITY APPRENTICE.  It’s fair to say there will be a ratings decline on this night.
So where does all this leave the Peacock?  Clearly Monday is set up as the big night of the week.  Tuesdays will likely stay more or less as is in the ratings, and although the Whitney/Chelsea hour is logical, it’s not likely to be high-rated.  Thursday should get an uptick with 30 Rock and Up All Night in the place of Community and Whitney, and The Firm very much a question mark.  On Fridays, 8PM will improve on Chuck because, well, anything would improve on Chuck.  And Sundays will see a huge, inevitable decline from the halcyon days of football.

We’re far from the end of NBC’s plans for the rest of the season:  apart from the returns of Parenthood and Community (and conceivably Prime Suspect), the network has yet to announce arrivals for the rest of their Spring shows, including Awake, Bent, and BFFs.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."