April 20, 2012

THE SKED: NBC Picks Up An Old “Friend”

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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NBC has jumped the gun on this year’s Upfront season, and ordered 13 episodes of the Matthew Perry single-camera comedy Go On for its 2012/13 primetime schedule.  In addition to starring Perry, the show is written by Scott Silveri, a veteran Friends writer/producer. (The pilot is directed by Todd Holland.)  In what sounds like a fairly Dear John-ish premise, Perry plays a sportscaster who copes with his grief through a support group, with a supporting cast that features Tony Award winners Julie White (brilliant in the play The Little Dog Laughed, but probably best known as Shia LeBoeuf’s mother in the Transformers movies) and Laura Benanti (the best part of the otherwise doomed The Playboy Club).

This probably isn’t going to start a flood of early 2012/13 orders.  NBC has an incentive to get some of its shows into accelerated production, because speculation has it that the network will launch some of its Fall schedule in August, trying to capitalize on its coverage of the Summer Olympics, with all the eyeballs they bring.  (This may also explain the fast renewals for Grimm and Smash.)  Of course, the downside of this strategy is that unless the network orders more than the 22-episode standard, it’s going to run out of original programming before any of the other networks next season.  But at NBC, “long-term” is about a week in advance, and the most important thing is to get viewers to stay put when the Olympics are done, so they’ll worry about that problem when it hits.

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."