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NBC New Strategy, Renews Three Shows for 2008-09 Season. What About the Rest?

ChuckNBC has announced that they’re revamping their Upfronts presentation in May. Unlike past years, they’ll be unveiling a 52-week, year-round primetime schedule. Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal, said, “This new approach gives our clients an early look at NBC’s scheduling strategy and allows us to showcase the full suite of creative advertising solutions and customized services that NBC Universal is uniquely positioned to provide to the marketplace.” Despite this new approach, the network will still be forced to replace shows that aren’t performing. What’s the status of the current crop?

Last week, NBC announced some early renewals for the 2008-09 season. Unlike the other networks, they’ve just handed out a few. To no great surprise, NBC has announced that Heroes is coming back for another season. Joining it are freshman dramas Life and Chuck. None of them will be back with new episodes this season. Another round of the celebrity version of The Apprentice was ordered last month for a 2009 premiere. American Gladiators has been renewed as well. Where does this all leave the rest of the peacock network’s current programs?

30 Rock — The series has resumed production on new episodes for this season and they will start airing on April 10th. Network co-chair Ben Silverman is a big fan and the sitcom is expected to be renewed for season three.

Bionic Woman — All eight episodes of the low-rated drama have aired and the show won’t go back into production to complete the season. Show staff members were informed of the cancellation last week. Jaime Sommers has gone to the scrap heap.

Deal or No Deal — The reality series was unaffected by the writers strike and continues to be a staple for the network’s schedule. It’ll be back next year for sure but, how long until NBC kills the show with overexposure?

ER — Additional episodes of the venerable drama are being created for this season and will start airing on April 10th. Despite sagging ratings, NBC was reportedly in negotiations with the studio to cut costs so that they could bring ER back for season 15. EOnline recently reported rumors that the staff of County General will indeed be back for another year.

Friday Night Lights — The Panthers won’t be returning with any more episodes this season. In fact, despite a devoted core audience, it looks highly unlikely that Friday Night Lights will be back for another year on NBC. There are discussions that the show may be continued on another channel (perhaps Bravo or USA) or that the series could be concluded with a two-hour movie.

Journeyman — All 13 episodes have aired and, back in December, NBC passed up its chance to go back into production for more. It’s not coming back next season.

Las Vegas — The final episode of the series’ fifth season aired last Friday. Due to the writers strike, only 19 episodes were produced and there won’t be any more this season. The ratings have dropped this season so, if it is renewed, NBC will likely start with a 13 episode order.

Law & Order — Additional episodes are on the way for this season and will begin airing on April 23rd. The venerable crime show has been performing pretty well and builds on its lead-in. I suspect it will be back for season 19 but, if it does, it will be without longtime castmember Jesse L. Martin. The actor is currently negotiating his exit from the series.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — As is the case with the original L&O, additional episodes are on the way for later this season, set to kick-off on April 15th. SVU has been doing well so it looks like it will be back next season.

Lipstick Jungle — This new drama-comedy had a 13 episode order but, because of the writers strike, only seven were produced. The show’s not going back into production. Ratings for the first two episodes haven’t been good so, unless things improve, it’s probably not coming back for a second season.

Medium — The Patricia Arquette series has gone back into production for more episodes now that the writers strike is finished. It’s been performing pretty well this season, usually coming in first for 18-49 viewers in its timeslot. It’s likely to return, probably midseason or earlier.

My Name is Earl — More episodes are on the way for this season and it will surely be back for year four. It will return on April 3rd with a one-hour episode.

The Office — Additional episodes are being produced for this season (starting April 10th) and it’s a cornerstone of the network’s Thursday night schedule. It’ll be back next year.

Scrubs — It was already decided that season seven would be the sitcom’s last. Only 11 of the 18 episode order have been produced and they’ll start April 10th. There’s been no word if NBC will pay for the show to go back into production but executive producer Bill Lawrence maintains that the series will be wrapped up somehow. The as-yet unfilmed episodes could debut on ABC (Disney produces the show) or on DVD.

Because of NBC’s new Upfronts strategy, fewer shows may be cancelled this May. Will your favorites benefit? Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

 

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

DänE April 4, 2010 at 2:40 am

My Name is Earl!!!!!

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SGT Frank Schubert February 16, 2009 at 9:58 am

Hey there I wanted to thank you all for the awesomely funny show Chuck. We are currently serving in Iraq.I along with about 30 of my fellow soldiers get together to watch Chuck as a stress reliever after we get back from missons and well I seriously cant wait to get the box sets for “Chuck” when I get back to the states. This show. I just wish the internet was better here so that we could catch the full episodes here on nbc.com. Repectfully SGT Frank Schubert

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Barb Harris August 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

I have watched passions since is came on and now it is gone. I didnt realise it was having a final show untill all of the charaters appeard on screen waving good by… Please bring it back….Days of our lives is and Passions was my all time favorite day time show.

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jeffery tabor May 24, 2008 at 7:12 pm

The Bionic Woman Series with Michelle Ryan is a hit and you need about six episodes to start to idnetify with her Character!

go watch the series 8 episodes on msnbc.com and click tv shows.

You can watch from the Pilot and see from the begining why the show needs time
to develop her character as she is trying to figure it out as she goes!

Jeff Tabor

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Rob April 2, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Fools. Fools. Fools.

Journeyman was a terrific show. Sharp. Well written. Well acted. Kevin McKidd disappeared into that character. The show had some terrific hooks, and it didn’t seem to drag out its “mysteries” like other serial dramas (i.e. Lost on ABC, Heroes on NBC). Although similar to Quantum Leap, it was compelling in a completely different and contemporary way. The character was the same guy week after week. Anyhow, at least there were 13 episodes.

BTW, I NEVER write on these boards so it goes to show you how much I disagree with NBC.

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linda March 15, 2008 at 11:54 am

The only two programs on NBC that I have enjoyed watching and do watch
has been Vegas and Medium. If Vegas is cancelled then that only leaves one show that I like to watch on NBC. I have enjoyed watching Vegas more this year because I have liked the direction it has taken. Tom Selleck is a great asset to Vegas. When James Caan left the show I couldn’t see how he could possibly be replaced. However, when I heard that Tom
Selleck was coming to join the show I was very happy to hear this. Tom Selleck has always been my favorite actor. Tom Selleck has always been a great actor and I feel he is the only one that could turn the show around. Please do not cancel Vegas it is the only good show on Friday nights and that I enjoy watching. Also I do hope that Medium will continue because it is another good series. If both shows are cancelled I am finished with NBC,

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Kristen March 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm

My husband and I LOVE Journeyman and really talked it up to family and friends. We can’t believe it’s been canceled. What a disappointment. Last season we stopped watching several other series because we just lost interest but we immediately got hooked on this show. The cast and writing is excellent. I just don’t understand NBC’s strategy here.

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Charles March 7, 2008 at 4:58 am

I can’t believe Journeyman won’t be back. That was a truly intriguing, and compelling story.

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Jillian March 6, 2008 at 8:43 am

Please do not cancel Friday NIght Lights!!!!! Its the best show you’re not watching. It is really a well acted show and deserves to stay on nbc. There isn’t another show like it in the likes of all the reality shows that are running right now. If it’s canceled I am finished with NBC.

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Anonymous March 3, 2008 at 7:59 am

Delighted to hear Life (the zen cop) will be returning this fall. Wish it were sooner

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