NBC announced its 2012-2013 schedule today, one day ahead of its official Upfront presentation, and because most of the network's renewals and cancellations—not to mention new series pickups—were revealed/leaked/tortured out of those in the know last week, the real news today is where everything has landed.
We'll go through the new schedule on a day-by-day basis in just a second, but before we do, here are the basics: Get ready for a lot of comedy, spread out over four different nights. And you might want to do some facial stretching so you won't pull any muscles when your eyebrows raise and your jaw drops over some of NBC's weirder show pairings/time slot switches. Finally, Community fans should be warned: You're not gonna like what's ahead.
Psst! There's an easier-to-read "at a glance" schedule at the bottom of this page.
The first promo shot for new drama Revolution.
As we expected (but also advised against), The Voice will air in the fall, possibly in addition to its typical midseason run. The show will air three hours a week, with a two-hour block from 8pm to 10pm on Mondays and a follow-up hour on Tuesdays. New drama Revolution, a post-apocalyptic series from J.J. Abrams and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, finishes out Mondays, airing from 10pm to 11pm.
Tuesdays will no longer be weighed down by two hours of The Biggest Loser, at least in the fall (the show is expected to return in the midseason). Instead, they'll feature a mix of singing, comedy, and drama, beginning with the week's third hour of The Voice and giving way to new comedies Go On (starring Matthew Perry) and The New Normal (from Glee creator Ryan Murphy) in the 9pm hour. Parenthood stays put at 10pm.
The first promo shot for new comedy Animal Practice.
Humpday belongs mostly to freshmen, as new sitcoms Animal Practice (Weeds' Justin Kirk as a vet who loves pets but hates their owners) and Guys With Kids (about new dads who still like to party, produced by Jimmy Fallon) lead off the night at 8pm and 8:30pm, respectively. Veteran drama Law & Order: SVU moves up an hour to 9pm, followed by new drama Chicago Fire at 10pm.
NBC's long-running Thursday-night comedy block remains intact—in the sense that there's still a Thursday-night comedy block from 8pm to 10pm. As for the shows that fill it, it's hard to miss the glaring absence of TV.com favorite Community, which is moving to Fridays (more on that in a minute). 30 Rock—which, as you'll recall, is only renewed for 13 episodes—is taking over the 8pm slot, followed by Up All Night at 8:30pm. The 9pm hour sees a return to the old The Office and Parks and Recreation one-two punch—though I guess these days it's probably more like a zero-three punch? The Office will get a full 22-episode season, contrary to what was previously reported, and even though it's been widely assumed that both 30 Rock and The Office are headed into their swan-song seasons, NBC chief Bob Greenblatt took care to point out that "We haven't definitely said that to any of them yet." Finally, because NBC has apparently given up altogether on the Thursdays-at-10pm time slot, Rock Center with Brian Williams rounds out the night.
What I have to assume the Community cast members looked like when they found out their show is moving to Fridays.
Ugh. The shows in NBC's new Friday lineup go together like peanut butter and fish. Whitney kicks things off at 8pm, followed by Community at 8:30pm to form an hour-long comedy block that can't possibly please fans of either show. Grimm stays where it is at 9pm, and Dateline NBC rounds out the evening. Regarding Community's big move, let's ignore the parallels to what NBC did with Chuck and try to look at the bright side: The show made it onto NBC's fall schedule, which means it has a shot at a back-nine episode order. And that means there's a chance of it getting a full season (so far it's only renewed for 13 episodes). Plus Community is the kind of show whose fans will follow it. Right, you guys?
Football, football, and more football in the fall. Come the midseason, reality rules the evening, with Fashion Star at 8pm followed by The Celebrity Apprentice at 9pm. Scripted programming returns at 10pm with new drama Do No Harm.
So what's left? New dramas Hannibal and Infamous, as well as new comedies Save Me, 1600 Penn, and Next Caller, have all been held for midseason. Smash, which is already renewed for Season 2, will also return at that time.
Okay, let's hear it! What are your thoughts on NBC's new schedule? If you were an exec at the network, what would you have done?
NBC's fall 2012-2013 schedule(New programs in ALL CAPS)
8pm - 10pm — The Voice
10pm - 11pm — REVOLUTION
8pm - 8:30pm — ANIMAL PRACTICE
8:30pm - 9pm — GUYS WITH KIDS
9pm - 10pm — Law & Order: SVU
10pm - 11pm — CHICAGO FIRE