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Tag: 2011 NBC Upfronts (1-10 of 20)

NBC announces fall premiere dates

NBC announced its fall premiere dates today, along with the series finale for America’s Got Talent, a September berth for The Sing-Off, and the return of football.

New shows are in bold:

Thursday, September 8
8-8:30 p.m.  NFL Kickoff Special 2011 (regular season)
8:30-11 p.m.  Sunday Night Football (regular season)

Sunday, September 11
7-8 p.m.  Football Night in America (regular season)
8-11:30 p.m.  Sunday Night Football READ FULL STORY

'The Playboy Club' finds new hutch in Utah

The bunnies will hippety-hop in Utah again. NBC’s new drama The Playboy Club will air on Salt Lake City’s MyNetwork TV affiliate KMYU after KSL-TV refused to air it earlier this month. 

The Playboy Club, which was slotted on Mondays at 10 p.m. this fall, is a Mad Men-style drama set in the 1960s at a Playboy-branded Chicago nightclub.

The show was first dumped because its parent company Bonneville International is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-Day Saints. “We want to be sure everyone is clear what the KSL brand stands for, which is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand,” the station’s president and CEO said in a statement.

No furball zone @EWLynette

Done deal: Josh Lucas will do 'The Firm' for NBC

NBC made it official today by announcing that Josh Lucas will star as Mitchell McDeere in its reboot of The Firm. Lucas (A Beautiful Mind) will take over the role originated by Tom Cruise in the film.

The series will pick up McDeere’s story about a decade after the events of the 1991 novel by John Grisham and film.

Grishman is on board as a non-writing executive producer, with former Law & Order producer Lukas Reiter as showrunner and eOne Television as the primary production company, which is also selling the show internationally.

The drama was picked up for NBC’s midseason lineup.

Josh Lucas near deal to star in NBC's 'The Firm'

It looks like NBC has found its Mitch McDeere. EW has confirmed that the peacock is in final talks with film star Josh Lucas (The Lincoln Lawyer) to star in the Peacock’s reboot of The Firm, John Grisham’s 1991 book that was made into a movie starring Tom Cruise.

Grishman is on board as a non-writing executive producer, with former Law & Order producer Lukas Reiter as showrunner and eOne Television as the primary production company, which is also selling the show internationally. The drama was picked up for NBC’s midseason lineup.

The Firm sold 7 million copies and helped launch the modern legal thriller novel genre. The original story follows an ambitious young attorney who’s unwittingly hired by a crime organization’s legal outfit, though the series is expected to pick up 10 years later.

Lucas, whose other film credits include Sweet Home Alabama and A Beautiful Mind, was one of the more sought after film stars this development season.

For more on NBC:

NBC’s 2011-12  fall schedule

The CW unveils 2011-12 fall schedule

And finally, we have The CW. Today, the fifth broadcast network unveiled a fall schedule that includes pairing Sarah Michelle Gellar’s new drama Ringer with the sudsy 90210 on Tuesdays (the same night Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired on during much of its run) and shoving Nikita to Fridays with Supernatural.

The lineup also introduces Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s new medical drama Hart of Dixie on Mondays, pairing the show with their other CW program Gossip Girl. Reality show H8R, where celebrities try to win over their harshest non-fans, is on Wednesdays. And supernatural series The Witch Diaries The Secret Circle airs on Thursdays. One Tree Hill returns midseason. What’s a strong trend in this schedule is that all the new scripted shows are getting supported time periods, with the veterans having to do the heavy lifting to launch the nights.

Here’s your schedule, below (and here’s the schedule for the other four broadcast networks). READ FULL STORY

'The Playboy Club' star Amber Heard: 'I don't think it's that racy'

Despite earlier reports claiming that the stars of The Playboy Club were required to sign nudity clauses, might NBC’s ’60s-era drama about Hugh Hefner’s empire lack the titillation factor some are expecting?

Yesterday, during NBC’s annual presentation to prospective advertisers, star Amber Heard said the finished product may surprise some viewers. “I think because this is character-based — it’s a group of friends who become family within this interesting, rich setting — I think the plot and stars can’t help but take center stage. The racy material, you’ll find, is not all that racy,” she said. READ FULL STORY

Debra Messing on 'Smash': Similar to 'Glee' because of singing, but that's it!

NBC knows what you’re all thinking: Smash is just a ripoff of Glee, right? Well, star Debra Messing has something to say about that. “I think Glee is extraordinary and original and fabulous,”  the Will & Grace actress told EW after NBC’s presentation to advertisers Monday. The drama will bow on the Peacock’s 2011-12 midseason schedule. “I think Smash is similar in that there is singing, but I think that’s where the similarities end. Glee is a comedy and ours is a drama. And Glee is in a fantastic sort of elevated world and Smash is completely naturalistic, a very real look at life in New York as an actor, producer, composer, lyricist, what have you.” READ FULL STORY

Watch trailers for NBC's new shows here

NBC announced its fall schedule this weekend and with it, a batch of trailers for the network’s new shows. Watch them below, along with additional clips, and vote in our poll to tell us what you think about these new kids on the NBC block.

Prime Suspect
Maria Bello, Kirk Acevedo, and Aidan Quinn star in this adaptation of the British miniseries. Wonder Woman didn’t make the cut, but at least this badass chick did. READ FULL STORY

Seth Meyers jokes about 'The Voice,' 'Wonder Woman, CBS

Seth Meyers opened up NBC’s fall presentation in New York today with a special edition of Weekend Update – and as usual, the jabs at his home network came fast and furious. The comedian had this to say about the net’s promising new hit The Voice: “Some critics say were ripping off American Idol, to which I say, if you have a better idea we’d love to hear it.”

And then he said added this about the network’s new musical drama Smash: “Gwyneth Paltrow, if you’re listening, they’ll call you.” As for the network’s new owner, “I have to say things are better already,” Meyers quipped, before adding. “I literally have to say that.”

He also joked about how NBC’s IT guys are now grouchy after entertainment topper Robert Greenblatt passed on Wonder Woman, and he took a swipe at the recent departures of Regis Philbin, Larry King and Jim Lehrer: “On the upside, CBS gains three more viewers.”

Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt came out to say “today is the start of our road to recovery” and “thank you God for The Voice.” NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert then promised “a little less reinvention of the wheel and more broadcast 101.” (Hmm, indirect swipe at former NBC-Universal suit Jeff Zucker?)

Some highlights for fall: Greenblatt said The Playboy Club is “tame compared to what you’d see on Jersey Shore.” (And yet the trailer for the drama didn’t play nearly as well as the one for Prime Suspect, the network’s reboot of the UK hit.) The latest edition of The Biggest Loser will feature a young versus old theme this fall, and a new trainer for the show will be announced in this season’s finale.

The suits also announced 4,000 hours of Olympic coverage across all of the NBC-Universal networks (yippee?) READ FULL STORY

NBC: If Donald Trump runs for office, we'll replace him on 'Celebrity Apprentice'

Though NBC picked up another edition of Celebrity Apprentice, the network is prepared for the possibility (however remote) that Donald Trump will follow through with his threats to run for president.

“If he decides to run and is unavailable to do the show, we will bring the show back and someone else will be sitting at the head of the board table,” NBC programming topper Robert Greenblatt told reporters Sunday.

NBC is not prepared for now, however, to say who would replace him. “We are still hoping to have Donald back.”

Does that mean that the Peacock hopes Trump won’t run? Greenblatt says he’s not interested in crushing anyone’s (crazy) dream. “I’ve said I don’t want him to be unavailable,” the exec said. “It’s the right and privilege of anyone to run for the highest office of the land. Nothing would make me happier than for someone to reach that.

“If we had to address the issue of who would be replacing him, we would have to feel confident that we have another galvanizing presence,” Greenblatt continued. “I’m hopeful we don’t have to go there. If we do, it’s too strong a franchise for us, not to consider [a replacement].”

For more:

NBC reveals fall 2011-12 lineup
Is the 2012 presidential campaign the best reality show on TV?

NBC: Why we didn't want 'Wonder Woman'

Photo credit: Justin Lubin/NBC

Though he picked up plenty of high-profile projects like Playboy, The Firm and Prime Suspect, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt knew he’d have to answer for the one project he didn’t greenlight: What the heck was wrong with Wonder Woman and why didn’t it make the schedule?
 
Not surprisingly, Greenblatt was diplomatic about the reboot from Warner Bros. TV and David E. Kelley (after all, the uber-producer is also the man behind Harry’s Law, which earned a second season pickup). “I hate to disappoint anybody. I know there are legions of fans of the original show,” Greenblatt told EW. “I don’t know if it’s cursed or what. I just have this one experience. They made a really fine pilot and Adrianne Palicki did a fantastic job. You look at what you have, what you need,  and it just didn’t seem to fit in with what we were doing.
 
“We did what was best for the schedule,” Greenblatt continued. “It does give one pause. You’re almost damned if you and damned if you don’t. It’s tricky.”
 
Did Warner Bros. TV make a mistake by releasing early pictures of Palicki in the costume? Greenblatt isn’t so sure. “I was surprised there was such an uproar. But that didn’t have anything to do with whether the show got picked up. I love that it got so much attention. All that engagment from people whether it was positive or negative was good. And she did ultimately have these little hot pants…”
 
Alas, we’ll never get to see them. Or will we? Greenblatt says Warner Bros. TV may shop the pilot elsewhere. So maybe Wonder Woman will live to fight another day on the small screen (assuming you want to see it). Are you holding out hope?
 
Superheroes wanted. Follow me @EWLynette
 
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NBC unveils 2011-12 fall schedule

NBC unveiled its 2011-12 primetime schedule today, which includes six new dramas and six new comedies from the likes of Steven Spielberg, Lorne Michaels, Brian Grazer, John Grisham and Peter Berg. Returning roster should please fans: Parenthood is back, as is Chuck and Community. And Mondays are for music: The Sing-Off will bow on the night this fall, followed by a second year of The Voice in the timeslot come winter.

The Peacock abandoned this season’s strategy of running six comedies on Thursday. Instead, it will air a reboot of the U.K. drama Prime Suspect at 10 p.m. (30 Rock, as usual, will be held back for a later premiere). And somewhere, The Donald is patting himself on the back for making a big stink about (possibly) running for president: His Celebrity Apprentice earned another pickup.

Headed to the trash heap? Law & Order: Los Angeles, Outsourced and The Event. Debut dates will be announced later this summer. Here’s the sked: READ FULL STORY

NBC cancels 'The Event' and 'Law & Order: L.A.'

I’ll tell you what The Event is not: A second season renewal.

NBC is passing on picking up its sci-fi action-drama for another round.

Though the series about aliens covertly living among us started strongly for the network, it faded gradually in the ratings and, after its winter hiatus, fell below the line. Event averaged 7.4 million viewers and a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating once you add in DVR use, which just wasn’t enough for a costly and serialized show. On the other hand, Chuck just got a pickup.

Meanwhile, Dick Wolf’s attempt to move his franchise to the City of Angels failed, too: NBC has dropped Law & Order: Los Angeles. The show was hastily reworked midseason but the ratings continued to fall. 

Also: India-set comedy Outsourced is getting the ax. The show has been trying to prop up NBC’s 10 p.m. hour on Thursday nights.

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