Upfronts, the annual presentations where TV networks announce their fall schedules to advertisers, don't start until next Monday, but NBC don't care. The network has already picked up almost a half-dozen series for its 2012-2013 schedule, including three more today. Television viewers, say hello to Save Me, The New Normal, and Revolution. Let's meet the new shows that will be vying for your attention!
What it is: This comedy stars Anne Heche (Men In Trees) as a woman in a broken marriage who gets in an accident and comes out of it with the idea that she can talk to God (maybe Mark Pellegrino will play God and appear only in her head?). Because the starring role features a blonde as a transformed character, Save Me sounds a lot like HBO's Enlightened, but I see the possibility of an Eli Stone vibe here, too. Save Me also stars Alexandra Breckenridge, Michael Landes, and Heather Burns.
Initial reaction based on description alone: This could be good. At least it's not a show about six friends—three guys and three girls—navigating the tricky world of dating in your late 20s/early 30s.
My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: Though Save Me could be good, it sounds like it might not be network TV material. And does Heche have any cachet? This will probably be lucky to get to Season 2.
Where NBC might schedule it: I'd put it on Thursday nights, where other smart comedies live.
The New Normal
What it is: The latest series to come out of the mind of Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) tackles the same-sex family dynamic with a sitcom about a gay couple and their surrogate mom. The pilot reportedly tested very high with preview audiences, and Murphy is great at conceptualizing new shows. He's just not great at keeping them good. But kudos for broadening the spectrum of different lifestyles on television. Starring Andrew Rannells, Ellen Barkin, star-in-the-making Justin Bartha, and Georgia King.
Initial reaction based on description alone: Murphy isn't going to exploit gay culture, so not only could this be a excellent show, it could be very important on a social level. Think Modern Family with a focus on Cam and Mitchell... until Season 2, when Murphy loses interest and starts work on something else.
My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: I can already see this going for three seasons, easy.
Where NBC might schedule it: This has a different vibe to it than the rest of the network's Thursday comedies and the potential to be a hit on its own. I'd throw it on Wednesdays in a one-hour comedy block.
What it is: This post-apocalyptic action drama follows a family that tries to reunite in a world where all energy has disappeared. If you consider yourself into geek culture, get a load of the crew working on the series: It was created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural), produced by J.J. Abrams (a whole ton of stuff), and the pilot was directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man). Plus it has Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito! Also starring Billy Burke (Twilight), David Lyons (The Cape), and Tracy Spiradakos (Being Human).
Initial reaction based on description alone: OHHHHHHH GOD please let this be good.
My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: It's going to be a struggle to get this to a second season. But I'm pretty confident the product will be good and a loyal fan base will flock to it.
Where NBC might schedule it: With Mondays and Tuesdays likely spoken for, something tells me this will be left out on an island on Wednesday nights at 10pm, unless NBC does something crazy like pair it with Grimm on Friday nights.
These three new series join the already picked up Go On, starring Matthew Perry as a sportscaster dealing with a big loss, and Hannibal, a thriller about young Hannibal Lector, on NBC's 2012-2013 schedule.
Do you like the sound of NBC's new series so far?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom