"After everything you've put us through, now you're keeping us off the air until October?!"
Well, there go the TV.com staff's late-summer vacation plans: NBC has announced its first round of fall premiere dates, and the rumors you've heard are true: The network will kick off its 2012-2013 TV season in August, with hopes that its coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics will help launch some of its new shows.
However, not all of NBC's programming is getting a head start, so let's get the bad news out of the way first: Community will premiere later than literally every other show on the network, new or old, and won't return until October 19.
Otherwise, the fun begins in August—and things are about to get all kinds of confusing, so hang on tigh (and note that there's an "at-a-glance" premiere date listing at the bottom of this page).
Things kick off on Wednesday, August 8, with a "sneak peak" at new Matthew Perry comedy Go On airing after that night's Olympics coverage. Four days later, new comedy Animal Practice—which stars Justin Kirk as a vet who loves pets but hates people—will get the same treatment, airing after the Olympics' closing ceremonies on Sunday, August 12. New reality series Stars Earn Stripes debuts the following night, on Monday, August 13, and leads into the the Season 2 premiere of Grimm (which will air on Mondays through the end of the month). Then everybody takes a break until a week after Labor Day, when The Voice returns for Season 3 on September 10; this will be the singing show's first fall run, and its two-hour premiere will lead into reruns of the Go On and Animal Practice pilots that debuted during the Olympics in August.
Got all that so far? Okay, let's press on.
Things kinda start to normalize on Tuesday, September 11, when Go On settles into its normal 9pm time slot, followed by the debut of Ryan Murphy's new comedy The New Normal at 9:30pm. Parenthood caps off the evening with its Season 4 premiere.
But wait, here's another sneak peak! On Wednesday, September 12, the second-to-last episode of the current season of America's Got Talent will lead into the debut of the new Jimmy Fallon-produced comedy Guys With Kids. Then the AGT finale, which airs the next night on Thursday, September 13, will lead into a rerun of The New Normal's pilot. Grimm closes out the week, returning to its regular time slot on Friday, September 14 at 9pm.
The week of Monday, September 17 kicks off with new post-apocalyptic drama Revolution premiering after The Voice; NBC's Thursday-night comedy block returns with three of its four shows (Up All Night, Parks and Recreation, and The Office) a few days later, on September 20.
After that it's straggler city: The already-bounced-around-by-that-point Animal Practice and Guys With Kids move into their permanent Wednesdays-at-8pm hour on September 26, leading into the two-hour premiere of the stalwart Law & Order: SVU at 9pm. 30 Rock will return to Thursdays for its seventh and final season starting on October 4, and I'm guessing its later start means it will run with little to no interruption though a series finale in December. New drama Chicago Fire shows up to the party on Wednesday, October 10.
Phew! I think that's it. Since NBC is the first of the major networks to announce any fall premiere dates, it'll be interesting to see whether any of the other big players follow suit, or whether they'll just stick to the old model of unveiling nearly everything in mid-to-late-September. Do you have a preference one way or another? Let's hear your reactions to NBC's new "strategy" in the comments!
NBC'S FALL 2012 PREMIERE DATESNew shows are listed in uppercase.
Wednesday, August 8
GO ON (sneak peek following Olympic Games coverage)
Sunday, August 12
ANIMAL PRACTICE (sneak peek following Olympic Games Closing Ceremonies)
Monday, August 13
8-10pm – STARS EARN STRIPES (two-hour premiere)
10-11pm – Grimm
Wednesday, September 5
7:30-8:30pm – NFL Kickoff Special 2012 (regular season)
8:30-11pm – Sunday Night Football (regular season)
Sunday, September 9
7-8:15pm – Football Night in America (regular day and time)
8:15-11pm – Sunday Night Football (regular day and time)
Monday, September 10
8-10pm – The Voice
Tuesday, September 11
9-9:30pm – GO ON (time period premiere)
9:30-10pm – THE NEW NORMAL
10-11pm – Parenthood
Wednesday, September 12
10-10:30pm – GUYS WITH KIDS (sneak peek after penultimate America's Got Talent)
Friday, September 14
9-10pm – Grimm (time period premiere)
Monday, September 17
10-11pm – REVOLUTION
Thursday, September 20
8:30-9pm – Up All Night
9-9:30pm – The Office
9:30-10pm – Parks and Recreation
Wednesday, September 26
8-8:30pm – ANIMAL PRACTICE (time period premiere)
8:30-9pm – GUYS WITH KIDS (time period premiere)
9-11pm – Law & Order: SVU (two-hour premiere)
Thursday, October 4
8-8:30pm – 30 Rock
Wednesday, October 10
10-11pm – CHICAGO FIRE
Friday, October 19
8-8:30pm – Whitney
8:30-9pm – Community