Fox, NBC Announce Primetime Lineups

We’re late this afternoon, but we’ve now got two 2011-12 primetime schedules to dissect:

FOX

GONE: Running Wilde, Good Guys, Lone Star, Traffic Light, Chicago Code, Human Target, Breaking In, Lie to Me, America’s Most Wanted

BUBBLE SHOWS THAT MADE IT: Fringe, Bob’s Burgers

terra nova will likely be the most hyped tv premiere of the last decade. you've been warned.

terra nova will likely be the most hyped tv premiere of the last decade. you've been warned.

COMING IN: Dramas Terra Nova (8 p.m. Mondays), 2.5 hours of X Factor (Wednesday and Thursday); sitcoms New Girl (9 p.m. Tuesday),  I Hate My Teenage Daughter (9:30 p.m. Thursdays), Allen Gregory (8:30 p.m. Sundays), and midseason replacements of The Finder, Napoleon Dynamite, Alcatraz, Touch

TOP 5 NEW BUZZ SHOWS: 1. Terra Nova 2. Napoleon Dynamite 3. Alcatraz 4. Touch 5. I Hate My Teenage Daughter

VERDICT: Fox has easily the best list of canceled shows. Other than Chicago Code (didn’t watch), Running Wilde, Good Guys and Lie to Me were in my weekly rotation, Human Target was good, Lone Star definitely looked good, Traffic Light was at least moderately funny and Breaking In was OK. For whatever reason, those shows didn’t get an audience, so they gots to go. I’d like to be all nostalgic about America’s Most Wanted, but I honestly have never seen five minutes of it. Bringing Fringe back was a great step for the network to say, “We hear you want quality programming, and we’re listening.” It was a tip of the cap to the fans — or maybe it was a packaging promise to JJ Abrams to keep it so he would sell them Alcatraz. Your call. The problem with getting rid of all those good shows is that now they have to come up with better shows to replace them. If they don’t, it looks like they’re just making things up as they go along and not formulating a plan with at least 20 contingency plans. I’m still jazzed for Terra Nova, even though it almost seems like it’s destined to be one of the biggest busts in TV history. And how did no one know there was a Napoleon Dynamite show coming out? I’m tempted to say this is going to be my #1 most anticipated new series of the year, even though it’s not coming out til midseason. I’m already wondering how it’s going to get an audience though. Maybe it should have been sold to something a little more niche, maybe Comedy Central or FX. Either way, with all of the originals involved, how can it not be funny? Maybe you need a refresher:

GRADE: B+

NBC

GONE: Outlaw, Undercovers, Chase, The Paul Reiser Show, Law and Order LA, Outsourced, The Event, Perfect Couples, The Cape, Friday Night Lights.

BUBBLE SHOWS THAT MADE IT: Chuck, Harry’s Law

here's what i'm guessing the pitch was: "we're gonna put hot girls in playboy bunny outfits. the end."

here's what i'm guessing the pitch was: "we're gonna put hot girls in playboy bunny outfits. the end."

COMING IN: Dramas The Playboy Club (10 p.m. Mondays), Prime Suspect (10 p.m. Thursdays) and Grimm (9 p.m. Fridays); sitcoms Up All Night (8 p.m. Wednesdays), Free Agents (8:30 p.m. Wednesdays), Whitney (9:30 p.m. Thursdays); midseason replacements Smash, The Firm, Awake, Are You There Vodka It’s Me Chelsea, Best Friends Forever (can you guess how that title will be shortened?), Bent

TOP 5 NEW BUZZ SHOWS: 1. The Playboy Club 2. The Firm 3. Smash 4. Up All Night 5. Whitney

VERDICT: It’s safe to call NBC’s 2010-11 development season an utter failure. It debuted 10 new scripted shows this year — and canceled all of them except for Harry’s Law, a show that has the buzz factor of an Everybody Loves Raymond rerun. Its big premiere in the fall (The Event) sucked out loud, its big midseason show (The Cape) never gained any kind of traction and the controversial move of keeping one of the only buzz shows it had (Parks and Rec) off the schedule until January so it could premiere Outsourced turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. Bringing Chuck back for an abbreviated fifth and final season is probably a good idea, because there just doesn’t seem to be anything exciting here. The Playboy Club has a soapy sound to it, something NBC hasn’t had in a while. Smash seems to be the network’s answer to Glee and The Firm seems like it probably should be called Law and Order: The Firm. Don’t hold your breath fo a Tom Cruise cameo. The network has decided not to learn from history and this year keep 30 Rock off til midseason so it can debut the new sitcom Whitney, which doesn’t seem to make any sense. OK, it makes a little sense because Tina Fey is pregnant and needs the time for her family. That works. But wasn’t there anything they could do? Why not hold on to Whitney and use it to replace one of the new Wednesday night comedies if either of them falter and keep a full, all-year schedule of the best comedy lineup on TV on Thursday nights? Even more bizarre is trying to establish another comedy night on a night that ABC is now dominating with comedy. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to put those shows on Tuesday and move Biggest Loser to Wednesday? It doesn’t make any sense at all and is completely frustrating. New management team, same ol’ NBC. Actually, it’s not the same ol’ NBC, it’s just the same NBC that’s been around for the last five years or so. The best thing about NBC’s announcement is that it posts trailers for all of its new shows. GRADE: D

We’ll be getting annoucements on the other networks this week, but both ABC and CBS have been pre-Upfront busy:

the right choice.

the right choice.

There is still blood dripping out of the door cracks at ABC. It dumped seven shows over the weekend: Brothers and Sisters, V, Better with You, No Ordinary Family, Mr. Sunshine, Detroit 187 and Off the Map. Tough to argue with any of these. Word on Brothers and Sisters is that the network tried to cut costs by ordering a shorter season (with shorter paychecks) and the people involved with the show said, “Eh, that’s OK, just fire us.” Body of Proof and Happy Endings, however, will be back. Happy Endings is nowhere near a perfect show, but it’s just about the only bubble show I saw that made me think, “I’d like to see more next year.” If the choice came down to Happy Endings or Mr. Sunshine, ABC made the right choice. And it also made the right choice getting rid of V. What a great concept killed by horrible execution.

I should start by saying I don’t regularly watch one show on CBS. Not one. I’ll try and catch up with Good Wife OnDemand after the season is over, but I don’t like anything else on its schedule. I believe I tried out all of their shows at some point this year, and never made it to a second episode of anything. So it doesn’t bug me at all that CBS canceled Defenders, Mad Love and Poop My Dad Says. Mad Love would probably get my vote for most disappointing show of the year. It’s just not easy to screw up a show of comic talent like Sarah Chalke, Tyler Labine and Judy Greer, but CBS somehow managed to do it.

ABC is up tomorrow.

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