NBC has introduced its 2011-12 primetime schedule, showcasing six new dramas and six new comedies from a roster of renowned hit-makers that includes Steven Spielberg, Lorne Michaels, Brian Grazer, Tom Werner, John Grisham and NYPD Blue, among many others.
The season's new dramas are Smash, Prime Suspect, The Playboy Club, Awake, Grimm and The Firm; and the new comedies are Up All Night, Whitney, Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, Free Agents, Best Friends Forever and Bent.
Returning shows include Parenthood, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Harry's Law, Chuck (for its fifth and final season of 13 episodes), Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, 30 Rock and Dateline NBC Among next season's returning alternative series are The Voice, The Sing-Off, Celebrity Apprentice, and The Biggest Loser, each in two-hour formats.
The new lineup combines schedule stability with strategic changes that position the network for future growth. Key facets of the schedule include a new hour of comedy with the Wednesday debuts of Up All Night (8-8:30 p.m. ET) and Free Agents (8:30-9 p.m. ET) and an update to NBC's critically acclaimed Thursday lineup with the premieres this fall of the new comedy Whitney (9:30-10 p.m. ET) and the first-year drama Prime Suspect (10-11 p.m. ET). In addition, NBC has made a strong commitment to original scripted programming on Friday nights with the pairing of Chuck (8-9 p.m. ET) in its climactic season with the new drama Grimm (9-10 p.m. ET).
The #1 new series of the current season, The Voice, returns at mid-season on Monday nights (8-10 p.m. ET) and will serve as the lead-in to the new musical drama Smash (10-11 p.m. ET). In the fall on Mondays from 8-10 p.m. ET will be another growing NBC reality success, The Sing-Off, now in a weekly format following its strong December showings of the past two years.
Additional details unveiled in today's announcement include a run of uninterrupted originals for 30 Rock starting at mid-season and a post-football Sunday lineup of Dateline NBC (7-8 p.m. ET), Celebrity Apprentice (8-10 p.m. ET) and the new drama The Firm (10-11 p.m. ET). Additional new series ready for mid-season include the drama Awake and the comedies Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, Best Friends Forever and Bent.
The announcements were made by Bob Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment.
"Next season begins the rebuilding of the NBC primetime schedule, and our goal is to reinvigorate our audience with a line-up of appointment television that includes our best returning shows and a variety of innovative and attention-getting new series. We'll be placing a great deal of emphasis on how we launch each one of our programs and on maximizing the network's strengths throughout the fall and well into mid-season," said Greenblatt. "Considering it's only been three months since new management took over, I'm very pleased with what has resulted from a very strong pilot season. And with a powerful new asset like 'The Voice' already in hand, we go into the 2011-12 season with cautious but incredible optimism."
NBC Fall 2011-2012 Schedule
(*All times ET)
- 8-10 p.m. - The Biggest Loser
- 10-11 p.m. - Parenthood
- 8-8:30 p.m. - Up All Night
- 8:30-9 p.m. - Free Agents
- 9-10 p.m. - Harry's Law
- 10-11 p.m. - Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
- 8-8:30 p.m. - Community
- 8:30-9 p.m. - Parks and Recreation
- 9-9:30 p.m. - The Office
- 9:30-10 p.m. - Whitney
- 10-11 p.m. - Prime Suspect
- Encore programming
- 7- 8:15 p.m. -- Football Night in America
- 8:15-11:30 p.m. -- NBC Sunday Night Football
NBC 2011-2012 Midseason Highlights
(*All times ET)
- 7-8 p.m. - Dateline NBC
- 8-10 p.m. - Celebrity Apprentice
- 10-11 p.m. - The Firm
2011-12 New Series Descriptions
Prime Suspect -- Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, Prime Suspect has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives, NYPD Blue), director Peter Berg (NBC's Friday Night Lights) -- and stars Maria Bello (A History of Violence) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She's an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys' club. Timoney has her own vices too -- with a questionable past -- and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she's also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect. Also starring are Aidan Quinn (Unknown), Brian F. O'Byrne (FlashForward), Tim Griffin (Star Trek), Kirk Acevedo (Fringe), Joe Nieves (How I Met Your Mother), Damon Gupton (The Last Airbender) and Peter Gerety (Blue Bloods). Prime Suspect is produced by Universal Media Studios, ITV and Film 44. Cunningham is the executive producer/writer along with executive producer/director Berg and executive producers Sarah Aubrey, Julie Meldal-Johnsen, Paul Buccieri and Lynda LaPlante.
For embeddable clips and more information on Prime Suspect, please visit the official show site: NBC.com/Prime-Suspect. Please follow Prime Suspect at Facebook.com/NBCPrimeSuspect, at Twitter.com/NBCPrimeSuspect and #PrimeSuspect.
The Playboy Club -- From Academy Award-winning executive producer Brian Grazer, The Playboy Club is a provocative new drama about a time and place that challenged the social mores, where a visionary entrepreneur created an empire and an icon changed American culture. It's the early '60s, and the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago is the door to all of your fantasies -- and the key is the most sought-after status symbol of its kind. Inside the seductive world of the bunny, the epitome of beauty and service, the clientele rubs shoulders with the decade's biggest mobsters, politicos and entertainers. Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian, CSI: Miami) is one of the city's top attorneys and the ultimate playboy, rubbing elbows with everyone in the city's power structure. With mysterious ties to the mob, Nick comes to the aid of Maureen (Amber Heard, Zombieland), the stunning and innocent new bunny who accidentally kills the leader of the Bianchi crime family. Dating Nick is Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti, Take the Lead), a bombshell and established star at the club who knows her days as a bunny are numbered and finds herself continually at odds with Billy (David Krumholtz, Numb3rs), the club's general manager. Adding to the charm of the Playboy club is Janie (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, American Virgin), the carefree life of the party who is dating Max (Wes Ramsey, CSI: Miami), an overly protective bartender. Also starring are Naturi Naughton (Fame) and Leah Renee (True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet). In addition to Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster), the executive producers on The Playboy Club include Chad Hodge (Tru Calling), Francie Calfo (Scoundrels), Jason Burns (The House Bunny) and Richard Rosenzweig (Kendra). Hodge also wrote the pilot, which was directed by Alan Taylor (Mad Men, The Sopranos). The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television.
For embeddable clips and more information on The Playboy Club please visit the official show site: NBC.com/The-Playboy-Club. Please follow The Playboy Club at Facebook.com/NBCThePlayboyClub, at Twitter.com/NBCPlayboyClub and #PlayboyClub.
Smash -- Smash is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire -- to be a Smash. The series centers on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe -- written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle, "Legally Blonde: The Musical") and Julia (Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, "Will & Grace"). Julia recently began the process of adopting a child with her husband of many years, but her focus is torn when she has the opportunity to write another Broadway hit. A rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty (Katharine McPhee, American Idol) -- who is trying to find fame in the big city against all odds -- and stage veteran (Megan Hilty, "9 to 5: The Musical"), who's determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. A tenacious producer Eileen (Oscar winner, Anjelica Huston, Prizzi's Honor) discovers the "Marilyn" project and jumps on board with a brilliant director (Jack Davenport, Pirates of the Caribbean films) -- whose talent is matched by his cunning and egocentric amorality. The series stemmed from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (ER, Schindler's List). The pilot was written by acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck ("Mauritius," NYPD Blue). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning Chicago, Hairspray) and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (United States of Tara, The Borgias) will also serve as executive producers. Original songs are written by Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can), who also serve as executive producers. Smash is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with DreamWorks. The pilot was directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer ("Spring Awakening," "American Idiot").
Grimm -- Grimm is a new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm's Fairy Tales. Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Those weren't stories -- they were warnings. Nick Burkhardt (David GuintoliTurn The Beat Around) thought he prepared himself for the realities of working as a homicide detective until he started seeing things he couldn't quite explain. When his ailing Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton, Grey's Anatomy) arrives, Nick's life turns upside down when she reveals they are descendants of an elite group of hunters, also known as "Grimms," who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. As Nick digs deeper into her past, he realizes that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of his ancestors -- and contend with a larger-than-life mythology of the Brothers Grimm that is now all too real. Russell Hornsby (Lincoln Heights), Bitsie Tulloch (Quarterlife), Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break), Reggie Lee (Persons Unknown) and Sasha Roiz (Caprica) also star. Grimm is a production of Universal Media Studios and Hazy Mills Productions. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (Hot in Cleveland) serve as executive producers, Jim Kouf (National Treasure, Angel) and David Greenwalt (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) are the creators/executive producers and Marc Buckland (My Name Is Earl) is the director.
Awake -- Awake is an intriguing drama about a detective (Jason Isaacs, Harry Potter, Brotherhood) who finds he is leading an arduous double life that defies reality. When Detective Michael Britten (Isaacs) regains consciousness following his family's car accident, he is told that his wife Hannah (Laura Allen, Terriers) perished but that his teen son, Rex (Dylan Minnette, Saving Grace), has survived. As he tries to put the pieces of his life back together, he awakens again in a parallel reality in which his wife is very much alive -- but his son Rex died in the accident. In order to keep both of his loved ones alive at one time, he begins living two dueling realities in parallel worlds, which churns up confusion -- in one moment, Michael and his wife debate about having another child to replace their son, while in the other reality, he is attracted to his son's tennis coach, Tara (Michaela McManus, The Vampire Diaries), to fill the void from the loss of his wife. Trying to regain some normalcy, Michael returns to police work and solves crimes in both worlds with the help of two different partners -- Detective Isaiah "Bird" Freeman (Steve Harris, The Practice) and Detective Efrem Vega (Wilmer Valderrama, That '70s Show). Also starring are Emmy Award winner Cherry Jones (24) and B.D. Wong (NBC's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit) as therapists in each respective world. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Kyle Killen (Lone Star) and Howard Gordon (24) are executive producers. David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 30 Days of Night) also serves as executive producer and directed the pilot written by Killen.
The Firm -- Based on the blockbuster feature film and best-selling novel by world-renowned author John Grisham (The Pelican Brief, The Client), The Firm continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel. As a young associate, McDeere brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob -- and his life was never the same. After a difficult decade, which included a stay in the Federal Witness Protection program, Mitch and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future -- only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere. "The Firm" is produced by Entertainment One in association with Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Pictures. The executive producers are Grisham, Lukas Reiter (Law & Order, Boston Legal), John Morayniss (Haven, Hung), Michael Rosenberg (Hung, Skins) and Noreen Halpern (Rookie Blue, Hung).
For embeddable clips and more information on The Firm, please visit the official show site: NBC.com/The-Firm. Please follow The Firm at Facebook.com/NBCTheFirm, at Twitter.com/NBCTheFirm and #TheFirm.
Whitney -- A hilarious look at modern love, Whitney is a new multi-camera comedy series about Whitney (Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Lately) and Alex (Chris D'Elia, Glory Daze), a happily unmarried couple. Together for five years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched. However, after attending yet another one of their friends' weddings, Whitney realizes that she and Alex are dangerously close to relationship boredom. Determined not to let that happen, Whitney consults her close circle of opinionated girlfriends -- including Lily (Zoe Lister Jones, The Other Guys) and Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, The Starter Wife) -- and then snaps into action. A few awkward sexy costumes and one botched seductive evening later, the couple ends up in the emergency room. Even so, Whitney and Alex realize that while their relationship might not be perfect on paper, they really do love each other -- and that works for them. Also starring are Maulik Pancholy (NBC's 30 Rock) as Lily's perfect boyfriend, and Daniel G. O'Brien (How I Met Your Mother) as an eternal bachelor. Whitney is produced by Universal Media Studios and Scott Stuber Productions. Stuber (The Break-Up), Quan Phung, Betsy Thomas (My Boys) and Barry Katz (Last Comic Standing) are executive producers. Cummings also serves as executive producer/writer. Andy Ackerman (Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine) is an executive producer and directed the pilot.
Up All Night -- From Emily Spivey (NBC's Parks and Recreation, NBC's Saturday Night Live) and legendary Emmy Award-winning producer Lorne Michaels, comes Up All Night, a modern take on parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) plays Chris, Reagan's supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents - a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults -- for the most part. Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids) stars as Ava, Reagan's outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan's former carefree life. James Pumphrey (High Road) portrays Brian, Reagan's socially awkward hipster assistant. Up All Night is a production of Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video. Spivey is the creator and serves as executive producer along with Lorne Michaels and Jon Pollack (NBC's 30 Rock).
For embeddable clips and more information on Up All Night, please visit the official show site: NBC.com/Up-All-Night. Please follow Up All Night at Facebook.com/NBCUpAllNight, at Twitter.com/NBCUpAllNight and #UpAllNight.
Free Agents - Free Agents is a crooked workplace/romantic new comedy from creator John Enbom (Party Down) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle) based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound. Alex (Hank Azaria, The Simpsons Huff) is newly divorced and can barely keep himself together while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, Hung) thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex's co-workers, Dan (Mo Mandel, Love Bites, Modern Family) and Gregg (Al Madrigal, Wizards of Waverly Place, Gary Unmarried), and Stephen (Anthony Head, Merlin, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started -- in a casual, intimate and beautifully awkward relationship. Also starring is Joe Lo Truglio (Backwash, Mad Love) and Natasha Leggero (Ugly Americans, 'Til Death). Free Agents is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Dark Toy and Big Talk Productions. Enbom is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Todd Holland. Karey Burke (Miss/Guided) executive-produces, along with Big Talk Productions' Kenton Allen (Free Agents, BBC Network) and Nira Park, as well as Chris Niel.
For embeddable clips and more information on Free Agents, please visit the official show site: NBC.com/Free-Agents. Please follow Free Agents at Facebook.com/NBCFreeAgents at Twitter.com/NBCFreeAgents and #FreeAgents.
Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea -- Inspired by the best-selling book from comedienne/talk show host Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Lately), the new comedy Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, follows the exploits of twentysomething bartender Chelsea (Laura Prepon, That '70s Show) a strong-willed force of nature who is determined to live life to the fullest and make no apologies. Her friends are along for the ride but they all know it is Chelsea's way or the highway. Mark (Jo Koy, Chelsea Lately) is a charming bartender whose wit makes him the perfect foil for Chelsea while Shoniqua (Angel Laketa Moore, ER) is a smart and sassy fellow waitress who looks out for Chelsea's best interests. Close friend and fellow bartender Todd (Mark Povinelli, Water for Elephants) has a wry sense of humor that keeps her in check. Also starring are Natalie Morales (NBC's Parks and Recreation) as Ivory, Chelsea's feisty best friend; Lauren Lapkus (The Middle) as Dee Dee, Chelsea's sheltered, shy roommate, and Lenny Clarke (Rescue Me) as Chelsea's dad, Melvin. Handler has a recurring role as Chelsea's sister Sloan, a happily married new mom who has little in common with her carefree sister. Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea is a production of Warner Bros. Television in association with Werner Entertainment and Borderline Amazing Productions. Dottie Dartland (Dharma & Greg) and Julie Ann Larson (The Drew Carey Show) are creators and executive producers. Handler serves as executive producer along with Tom Werner (That '70s Show), Mike Clements (The Life and Times of Tim) and Tom Brunelle (Chelsea Lately).
For embeddable clips and more information on Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, please visit the official show site: NBC.com/Are-You-There-Vodka-Its-Me-Chelsea. Please follow Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea at Facebook.com/NBCChelsea at Twitter.com/NBCAreYouThere and #ItsMeChelsea.
Best Friends Forever -- Best Friends Forever is a single-camera comedy that takes a look at what happens when best friends promise to support each other -- no matter what the cost or circumstances. When Jessica's (Jessica St. Clair, In the Motherhood) husband files for divorce, she immediately seeks comfort and flies across the country to move back in with her best friend, Lennon (Lennon Parham, Accidentally on Purpose). Unfortunately, Lennon's boyfriend, Joe (Adam Pally, Happy Endings), has just moved into the apartment and has turned Jessica's old room into his perfect home office. As Lennon and Jessica fall into their old routines -- beloved traditions, Steel Magnolia marathons and epic girl-talk sessions -- Joe begins to feel as if he's the odd man out. While Lennon struggles to find balance between her previous life with Jessica and her new life with Joe, Jessica's reentry to single life is complicated by the unresolved feelings that an old friend, Rav (Stephen Schneider, The Funniest Movie Ever...Just Kidding), has for her and the fact that pleated khakis aren't the most flattering single girl look. Best Friends Forever is produced by Universal Media Studios and American Work. St. Clair, Parham, Scot Armstrong (Old School, The Hangover Part II) and Ravi Nandan (Off Duty) are the executive producers. Fred Savage (Party Down) directed the pilot.
For embeddable clips and more information on Best Friends Forever, please visit the official show site: NBC.com/Best-Friends-Forever. Please follow Best Friends Forever at Facebook.com/NBCBestFriendsForever, at Twitter.com/NBCBFF and #NBCBFF.
Bent -- Bent is a new romantic comedy about two people who suddenly find themselves attracted to the qualities that typically repel them. On the surface, Alex (Amanda Peet, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) and Pete (David Walton, Perfect Couples) could not be more different. The recently divorced Alex is a resilient and tough lawyer who now is raising her eight-year-old daughter, Charlie (Joey King, Ramona and Beezus), as a single mom. Unwilling to let anything get in her way, she downsizes into a smaller house, and she hires Pete, a recovering gambling addict and unapologetic womanizer, as the contractor to re-do her kitchen. The remodeling job is Pete's last chance to prove that he is no longer a screw-up -- but he doesn't know what's about to hit him when he encounters the force of nature that is Alex -- nor does she realize that she's met her match in Pete, a man unafraid to call out her flaws. Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) also stars as Pete's father, Walt, an out-of-work actor, while Margo Harshman (Sorority Row) stars as Alex's wild younger sister Screwsie. This romantic comedy from writer and executive producer Tad Quill (Scrubs, Spin City) and director Craig Zisk (Nurse Jackie, Weeds) will prove that these resilient characters are "bent, not broken." The series is produced by Universal Media Studios.