I shudder at the thought of a person in 2009 watching the Parks and Recreation or Community pilot dismissing the shows as 30 Rock or Office wannabes and making some snarky joke about NBC once again trying to find their next Friends or Seinfeld and once again falling short. (Which we actually didn't do with those shows, but we did hate on the Vampire Diaries premiere, perish the thought!) So whenever it's time to watch new comedy pilots, I try to get into a really good mood and give everybody a fair chance to really make me laugh. That being said, Free Agents makes my job extremely difficult.
Most of the time, we're up in arms about decisions that TV networks make (particularly when they cancel shows that we love) but this fall, there have been a surprising number good moves on their part -- not including the full-season pickup for the increasingly awful Whitney, of course. Here are the ones we respect the most:
When one show ends, another great show must begin.
So this network upfront actually broke some news, albeit unsurprising news that no one really cared about, but news nonetheless. Towards the end of the very lengthy two hour presentation, Donald Trump came out to announce that he was going to continue making money on The Celebrity Apprentice and not take a run at the presidency. He made it sound like he was doing us a favor, but I cover entertainment television, so having him stick around on reality TV isn't really helping me at all.
Aside from that, the rest of the presentation was fairly typical, and filled with all the NBC executives reminding us as frequently as possible that The Voice is a big success. I tried keeping count of how often they mentioned the show's name, but they worked it in so seamlessly to nearly every segment that it was almost impossible. And just when I thought they couldn't mention it one more time, they had Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo come out at the end of the presentation to sing. Fortunately, I was already heading out the door at that point.
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