After the steady stream of new series pickups and renewals over the past five days, NBC cleaned house, canceling the bubble series that had not been renewed yet and passing on the pilots that had not been picked up to series yet. The series getting axed officially include comedies Are You There, Chelsea, BFF and Bent as well as drama Awake, which showed some spunk with a ratings increase last night. It proved to be a case of too little too late.
NBC Brings Back ‘Community’, Schedules ‘Bent’, ‘BFF’ And ‘Off Their Rockers’, Shuffles Wednesday & Thursday
NBC will make more changes to its Wednesday and Thursday lineups in the spring, when it will bring back cult favorite Community and introduce the remaining three unscheduled midseason series — comedies Bent and Best Friends Forever and the unscripted Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, which received solid sampling after the network’s Betty White birthday special last month. The addition of the three new series will result in a lot of time-slot sharing and no repeats, with NBC touting its spring schedule as featuring the highest percentage of original programs in the network’s history with only with only 13 total hours of repeat programming from Sunday to Friday through mid-May.
Community will return to its Thursday 8 PM slot March 15, ending the experiment with 30 Rock in the half-hour. 30 Rock will slide to the more-suitable 8:30-9 PM slot, bumping Parks And Recreation, which will take a break, returning to wrap its season April 19 in the post-Office 9:30 PM slot after Up All Night finishes its 24-episode original first-season run.
Exactly 20 years ago, German rock band Scorpions released Wind of Change, which became an anthem for our generation of young Eastern Europeans going through a dramatic political change: the fall of communism. Coming back from the broadcast upfront presentations in New York last week, I’ve been having a hard time getting the catchy tune out of my head. While less far-reaching and profound, there is a clear sense of changing of the guard and a new direction for the broadcast networks this year. I can’t remember a time where the majority of the networks had new heads at their upfront presentations. Paul Lee took over for Steve McPherson at ABC, Bob Greenblatt for Jeff Gaspin and Angela Bromstad at NBC, and Mark Pedowitz is succeeding Dawn Ostroff at the CW. There is a similar changing of the guard among the top TV producers this year. Upstart Chernin Entertainment and DreamWorks TV, which is re-entering the broadcast arena, topped the pods with the most new series, three each, with another recently launched company, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, scoring two new shows. And in its first season, Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods.got one pilot, Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, picked up to pilot, with another, Fox’s Family Album, in serious contention. Meanwhile, such longtime upfront fixtures as Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Mark Gordon Co. and Wonderland didn’t land any new series for next season.