Network Upfronts Extravaganza: Monday Update

The 2007 Network Upfronts are officially upon us, and it’s NBC that’s first out of the gate.

Cultural Learnings’ Network Upfronts Extravaganza 2007 – ‘NBC’ Preview

However, while NBC presents at 3pm EST today, that doesn’t mean that other networks aren’t making moves and locking down pilot commitments. I spent some time last night updating various of the preview posts, but I figure that I should document some of that news here as a way of keeping everyone informed.

NBC

Exit Laughing: NBC Retreats from Comedy – The Hollywood Reporter

NBC, meanwhile, has made it official: there will be no new comedies on their fall schedule for the first time, well, ever. However, in a move which is sure to make things very interesting for The Office and My Name is Earl, the two shows will be pulling some overtime: a lot of it. The Office will have its normal 24 30-minute episodes during the season…plus six hour-long specials. That’s a total of 30 episodes, while My Name is Earl is getting 28 1/2 hour episodes. This means that NBC is erring on the side of ensuring new episodes of its hit shows. Also, the lineup for Comedy Night Done Right will shift: Earl and 30 Rock will hold down the 8pm fort, while The Office and Scrubs form a solid block at 9pm.

Also, Law & Order WILL be on the schedule, but Criminal Intent is moving to USA Network. Meanwhile, Friday Night Lights might find a home on Friday, and Lipstick Jungle will be held along with The IT Crowd until midseason. This changes my projected schedule, which has been updated. I literally have run out of shows, so they have to either pick up another pilot or…air something? I don’t even know.

The CW

[Cultural Learnings’ Preview]

The CW has nailed down its third drama pilot, an untitled project which features Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, Batman Begins) as the owner of a wildlife refuge in South Africa and his son-in-law who moves there. Considering how tight my existing CW schedule is, chances are that this show would bump the Veronica Mars revamp (Yes, I’m sad too). However, I have to wonder whether The CW audience is really in tune with the South African wildlife refuge drama. The concept doesn’t sound terrible, but I fail to see where it fits into its image amongst young females especially, at least compared to a female-led FBI program.

ABC

[Cultural Learnings’Preview]

ABC’s lineup remains pretty locked up, although there’s word that According to Jim is still in contention. Dear ABC: do you really hate me that much? They could also be picking up another pilot, Miss/Guided, which the press release describes as:

“Miss/Guided” is a single-camera half-hour about a former ugly duckling (Judy Greer) who becomes a guidance counselor at her old high school.

Sounds decent enough, although only time will tell.

CBS

[Cultural Learnings’ Preview]

Meanwhile, CBS is making the bold move of picking up Swingtown and the Jimmy Smits drama, although no other pilot information is being made available. As a result, the fate of Jericho is still unknown and the status of other pilots (They need other pilots) is not yet known. I’ve added Swingtown to the schedule, and bumped Cold Case in the process…but chances are that it will bump the two extra comedies I placed on the schedule. But I think they need more comedies, so I’m keeping them there.

FOX

[Cultural Learnings’ Preview]

FOX has officially added the Juliana Marguiles-star vehicle Canterbury’s Law to their schedule. Because we needed another lawyer show. Really. Thanks FOX.

I’ll be checking in with the final NBC information later this afternoon with the final news of the schedule, and will probably offer some analysis later.

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Filed under 30 Rock, ABC, FOX, Friday Night Lights, Law & Order, NBC, Scrubs, Television, The CW, The Office, Upfronts

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