This morning at Radio City Music Hall, NBC unveiled their new fall lineup with the help of a lot (a lot) of singing. Those of us in attendance were treated to a performance by Voice winner Jermaine Paul, a full gospel choir and orchestra backing Smash stars Leslie Odom Jr. and Katherine McPhee on "Stand" to close the presentation and, to open things up, McPhee and Megan Hilty doing "Let Me Be Your Star," complete with a bit of The Voice judges (sans Blake Shelton) spinning their chairs for them. And then in a pre-packaged bit, Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon "found" footage of the returning shows infused with music (including The Office, Parks and Recreation, Law & Order: SVU, Meet the Press and, most amusingly, Grimm). Honestly, while NBC exec Bob Greenblatt joked that a Grimm musical episode was a long way from a reality, it might get me to start watching that show again. The network's execs promised that their fall lineup won't be all music, but there is a lot of it, and they are going really heavy on the comedies as well. In fact, they mentioned the word comedy about 1,000 times in the two hours, but given that they did see fit to renew both Community and Parks and Recreation (and I got to sit within 100 yards of Adam Scott, which probably violates my restraining order in some way), I am inclined to overlook that. However, I am not willing to overlook the fact that most of the comedies that they mentioned look mediocre and forgettable at first glance.
Shortly after announcing eleven new series yesterday, Bravo held their upfronts in New York City, where Bravolebrities (the most demeaning word to write) walked the blue carpet to discuss their series and skirt around actually saying anything of substance. To spare you mindless quotes that give, at best, vague details about what's going to happen next season on the various Real Housewives franchises, here are the most entertaining quotes of the evening:
It's been a busy week with all the networks announcing their fall lineups and the midseason programming they've got on tap. While some shows didn't get picked up (Samantha Who?, My Name Is Earl, According to Jim), others found new homes (like Medium, which is now smartly paired with Ghost Whisperer on CBS) and many others got bumped to new nights and times. It's a lot to take in, but here were the highlights of this fall preview week.
Turner has a winning formula: Use a lot of ampersands, play a ton of sports and, when in doubt, take creative teams, actors, plots and sometimes entire series (new episode or syndicated -- either will do!) from other networks and air that. It may feel cheap, but based on the number of completely original new shows that bombed from the 2012 development slate, it's not the worst idea in the world... that would be cancelling Southland. Anyway, my personal bitterness aside, some of the new series really do look great. Below are the ones the upfront audience actually got to see, in order of best to worst:
The network upfronts are upon us.
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.
This past week, each of the broadcast networks unveiled their fall and midseason lineups at their annual upfront presentations for advertisers and media. While a bunch of the new shows look like they could be dead on arrival, and none totally blew us away, there were a handful of programs that we're definitely already excited about. Here's our early picks for what might be worth watching this fall and next winter/spring.
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