The peacock network has announced some mid-season schedule changes that include the return of Community and Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, as well as the debuts of new comedies Bent and Best Friends Forever.
Community returns on Thursday, March 15th at 8pm with the first of 12 new episodes. Creator Dan Harmon tweeted, “What you call 8:00, we call home.” It’ll be followed by 30 Rock, The Office, and Up All Night. Once the latter has finished its 24 episode season (presumably on April 12th), Parks and Recreation will return on April 19th to finish its fourth year on the air.
Bent premieres on March 21st with a pair of episodes from 9-10pm. The series will continue to run in hour blocks on March 28th and April 4th. NBC only ordered six episodes so they’ll be all used up by the 4th. Rock Center with Brian Williams will take over the timeslot after that, leading the way for the 10pm return of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on April 11th.
Once Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea? have completed their first seasons, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers returns to the schedule on Wednesday, April 4th. The reality series got a well-received preview in January. It’ll be followed by new comedy Best Friends Forever.
For additional details and descriptions of the new shows, check out the press release below:
NBC ANNOUNCES PREMIERES OF NEW COMEDIES “BENT,” “BEST FRIENDS FOREVER” AND “BETTY WHITE’S OFF THEIR ROCKERS”
“Community” Returns to Thursday Lineup on March 15
NBC’s Spring Schedule Features Highest Percentage of Original Programs in Network’s History – Only 13 Total Hours of Repeat Programming Sunday to Friday through Mid-May
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – February 21, 2012 – NBC announced the premieres of the new comedies “Bent” (March 21) and “Best Friends Forever” (April 4), as well as the comedic hidden-camera series “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (April 4) to its spring lineup. “Community” also will return to the Thursday schedule starting March 15.
NBC’s spring schedule features the highest percentage of original programs in the network’s history with only 13 total hours of repeat programming from Sunday to Friday through mid-May.
The announcements were made today by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment.
“We are happy to have an unprecedented amount of original content on NBC this spring,” said Greenblatt. “‘Bent,’ ‘Best Friends Forever’ and ‘Betty White’s Off Their Rockers’ are welcome additions to the Wednesday schedule, and we know that the loyal fans of ‘Community’ will be pleased with its return to its home on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m.”
“Bent” will premiere on Wednesday, March 21 (9-9:30 p.m. ET) followed by a second episode (9:30-10 p.m. ET). The series will continue with original back-to-back one-hour blocks on Wednesday, March 28 and April 4 (9-9:30 p.m. ET and 9:30-10 p.m. ET both nights). Following the season finales of “Whitney” and “Are You There, Chelsea,” “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” premieres on Wednesday, April 4 (8-8:30 p.m. ET) followed by “Best Friends Forever” which also debuts on Wednesday, April 4 (8:30-9 p.m. ET).
“Community” returns on Thursday, March 15 (8-8:30 p.m. ET) as NBC re-sets the night with “30 Rock” shifting to 8:30-9 p.m. (ET) followed by “The Office” (9-9:30 p.m. ET) and “Up All Night” (9:30-10 p.m. ET). “Parks and Recreation” comes back on Thursday, April 19 (9:30-10 p.m. ET) to finish its season after “Up All Night” has ended its 24-episode original season run in the time period.
“Rock Center with Brian Williams” will also move one hour later on Wednesdays (to 10-11 p.m. ET) starting March 7 for five weeks and then return to 9-10 p.m. (ET) on April 11. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” returns with original episodes on Wednesday, April 11 (10-11 p.m. ET) leading to its season finale on May 23rd.
“Bent” is a romantic comedy about a womanizing, surfer dude contractor and his beautiful, no-nonsense, type-A client, who work together to remodel each other’s lives as they renovate her Venice, California home. The recently divorced Alex (Amanda Peet, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) is a high-strung lawyer who is raising her young daughter, Charlie (Joey King, “Ramona and Beezus”) as a single mom. She downsizes into a smaller house and hires charismatic Pete (David Walton, “Perfect Couples”), a free-spirited ladies’ man and recovering gambling addict who desperately needs this gig with Alex to jumpstart his life — and prove that he is no longer a screw-up.
Also starring are Margo Harshman (“Sorority Row”) and Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”). The single-camera comedy is from writer and executive producer Tad Quill (“Scrubs,” “Spin City”) and director Craig Zisk (“Nurse Jackie,” “Weeds”). The series is produced by Universal Television and Rosalita Productions Inc.
“Best Friends Forever,” from executive producer Scot Armstrong (“Old School,” “Hangover 2″), is a new comedy about old friends, new beginnings and awkward situations. Jessica St. Clair (“Bridesmaids”) and Lennon Parham (“Accidentally on Purpose”) star as Jessica and Lennon, best friends who live on opposite sides of the country with the men in their lives. When Jessica is served divorce papers, Lennon convinces her to return home to Brooklyn and back into the apartment they used to share. Soon, the girls fall into old habits: movie marathons and late-night, girl-talk sessions — none of which is good news for Lennon’s live-in boyfriend, Joe (Luka Jones, Upright Citizens Brigade). Stephen Schneider (“Happy Endings”) and Daija Owens also star.
“Best Friends Forever” is produced by Universal Television and American Work, Inc. Along with Armstrong, St. Clair, Parham, Alexa Junge (“Friends,” “United States of Tara”), Fred Savage (“Party Down”) and Ravi Nandan are executive producers. Donick Cary is consulting producer, while Keith Raskin serves as producer on the series.
After a strong sneak-peek debut in January, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” takes senior stereotypes and blows them out of the water with a cast of sassy septuagenarians who are hip, sexy and ready to party. America’s favorite comedy sweetheart sends a fearless band of senior citizens to the streets to pull shockingly hilarious pranks on the younger generation in this outrageously funny “hidden camera” show. In the vein of “Punk’d,” the show delivers cleverly crafted comedic stunts, candid moments and priceless reactions captured by hidden cameras. Sassy seniors are on a mission, targeting unsuspecting young “marks” with their irreverent behavior.
White, a seven-time Emmy Award winner, stars in and executive-produces the series, adapted from the hit Belgium series “Benidorm Bastards.” Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltowski, White, Scott Hallock, Kevin Healey, Tim Van Aelst and Tim Gibbons are the executive producers of the series produced by Kinetic Content in association with Hallock Healey Entertainment.
What do you think of the schedule changes? Are you glad that Community is returning? How about the Betty White series? Will you try either of the new scripted comedies?