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NBC (ended 2015)

Upfronts are the equivalent of Hell Week in college. If you weren't a member of a sorority or fraternity, or if you were lucky enough to have friends who didn't haze you in order to prove you wanted to be best friends forever, the gist is basically that it's terrible—which should really be clear by the name. The Upfronts are when networks unveil their new fall schedules (which is why they're preceded by so many renewals and cancellations). They give us the first glimpse of what's to come in the fall, and in some cases, they validate our opinions of whatever pilots we've been enthusiastically anticipating or mocking/dreading for months. But mostly, Upfronts are when we gather together as a TV family and yell, "Oh my God, they canceled Community for THAT?" NBC, which actually finished first in the ratings this year (no, you're not drunk, it's true), is up first, so let's break down the good, the bad, and the ugly from the network's new schedule.

First thing first: Here's NBC's full 2014-2015 schedule.

And here are the first trailers for NBC's six new fall showsMarry MeA to ZState of AffairsThe Mysteries of LauraConstantine, and Bad Judge. (Editor's Note: NBC did not release trailers for its midseason shows, so we're only discussing things in terms of the fall TV schedule.)

Now let's get to the good stuff... as well as the bad stuff and the ugly stuff, 'cause that's the whole point of this story!


THE GOOD


NBC is finally making moves to blow up its long-standing Thursday-night comedy block, which has proven in recent years to BE a punchline instead of delivering them. Both The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World failed spectacularly this past season, which means it's time to shake things up. In the fall, NBC's Thursdays will be home to The Biggest Loser at 8pm, then a pair of new comedies from 9pm to 10pm, and then the final season of Parenthood at 10pm. And starting in February, the James Spader-starring The Blacklist will leave its post-Voice spot on Mondays to anchor NBC's Thursdays, which puts it up against some juicy competition (unless the rest of the networks pull a 180 on us). Considering it's the network's first real hit in years, this is a pretty smart move. Plus, it'll offer a strong lead-in for the new Russian spy drama Allegiance (which will replace Parenthood in the Thursday-at-10pm spot), which should prove to be a decent combination.


THE BAD


NBC's veteran comedy Parks and Recreation currently doesn't have a spot on the network's schedule. There's still no word on an episode count for Season 7, but after months of speculation, NBC has confirmed that it'll be the show's last. While this is sad news for those of us who are still jamming to that awesome performance of "5,000 Candles In the Wind" from the Season 6 finale, that just means the network is either holding it until midseason or—the more likely option—until something else fails. I guess we'll all just have to play a bunch of Cones of Dunshire while we wait.


THE UGLY


NBC's new dramas seem to have miscast their female leads. Katherine Heigl's State of Affairs is already laughable because Heigl's not exactly believable in the lead role, not to mention the show feels like a poor man's version of Homeland. Alfre Woodard is perfectly cast as the president, but Heigl looks out of her element here. 

And while Debra Messing isn't quite as bad in The Mysteries of Laura, she's also not the greatest choice for the role of a homicide detective. Her saving grace (heh) is that the series looks more like a dramedy than a straight-up serious drama, and we all know she can handle the comedic aspects better anyway.


THE "THIS ALMOST MAKES UP FOR CANCELING COMMUNITY (WHICH IN ALL HONESTY HAD A GOOD RUN)"

The emotionally taxing but (generally) beautifully written Parenthood was renewed for a sixth and final season, and the disturbing but artistically brilliant Hannibal will be back for Season 3. You'll notice the latter isn't on NBC's fall schedule, but that's normal. It'll most likely premiere in the spring, just like it has for the past two years.


Best-looking New NBC Series: Marry Me


Disclaimer: I'm in a one-sided love affair with Ken Marino, but Marry Me, which comes from the creator of Happy Endings and also stars Casey Wilson, is already shaping up to be one of the most promising new comedies of the season. 


Worst-looking New NBC Series: State of Affairs


Former Grey's Anatomy and rom-com star Katherine Heigl as a no-nonsense CIA attaché would be a really funny joke if State of Affairs wasn't a Very Serious Drama. We always had a feeling that it would be terrible, the trailer only proves that Heigl cannot pull of a role of this kind. She ain't Claire Danes, y'all.


The New NBC Series That Should Look Better Than It Does: Constantine

I can't exactly place my finger on what's missing from the Constantine trailer, but there's definitely something keeping it from reaching its highest potential. I do know one thing, though: It sucks that Lucy Griffiths doesn't get to keep her natural accent. Also, was that Dickie Bennett?


The New NBC Series That's Most Likely to Remind You of How Much You Hated the End of How I Met Your Mother: A to Z


To be fair, A to Z looks very cute and I hope it does well. The reason How I Met Your Mother was so successful throughout its run was its unapologetic take on romance in a world that's populated mostly by cynics like myself. A to Z feels like a HIMYM descendent not only because Cristin Milioti—who starred as the Mother in the show's final season—plays the female lead, but because Ben Feldman's character is a true romantic in the essence of Ted Mosby. And when paired with talk about destiny and true love, A to Z feels right out of HIMYM's playbook (no, not that Playbook). The show could very well fill the comedy void left by the Gang's departure in March, but let's all be on alert for the Robin, okay?


How do your first impressions of NBC's new schedule and shows match up to mine? 



Upfronts 2014 HQ:
New Shows, Network Schedules, Video Previews, and More


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 2/16/2015

Season 1 : Episode 13

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10 bucks says all but two of these will be canceled by the end of the season just like this year.
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I'm willing to give the new comedies a shot while I wait for Parks & Rec to return.
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I am going to watch Constantine. But it still bothers me that they might miss out on all the good stuff in the DC comic book mythology. I like the fact that Constantine is now a cocky Brit, that they got the suit, tie and iconic trenchcoat right including the color, and even the look (the actor is pretty close to comic book version). But the rest looks like it was copied from the Constantine movie with the exception of Keanu Reeves. The Exorcist/Demonologist side of Constantine was only one part of the character, the bigger part was that Constantine was a rebel mage who frightened and pissed off other magical creatures aside from demons. This was the side of him that interacted with the other magic-based characters of the DC/Vetigo Universe - The Phantom Stranger, Swamp Thing, Doctor Occult, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna, and my two favourites, The Sandman and Timothy Hunter-Books of Magic. One of the factors which made Arrow successful was the introduction of other DC characters such as Black Canary, Red Arrow/Arsenal, Deadshot, Huntress, Deathstroke, Bronze Tiger, and now the Flash over the last two seasons. Unless they can expand Constantine's universe outside of what is in the movie version, as much as I like the character, I don't think they can make him interesting enough to last even one season.
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Wow State of Affairs looks horrid.
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I don't know about you but State of Affairs looks perfect to me.
A hot blonde actress falls in love with the first son ,plans to become first daughter -in-law and birth a bunch of first grandchildren but while the two of them scout locations for their wedding in the Middle East he dies in a tragic car accident. To cope with his death she lies crying on the bathroom floor of her hotel room till her friends Meredith and Kristina finaly come in and put her into bed.Then she attends the funeral in the white coat she had intended to wear at their wedding with one black rose over her heart and a table napkin around her neck.Her president-almost-mother-in-law-almost-grandmother-of-her-children tries to comfort her by offering her a job at the CIA.Our beautiful but tragic heroine accepts and promises to avenge the First Son-almost-her-husband-almost-father-of -her-children death.
The job of a CIA agent isn't easy but she gets to wear awesome outfits ( the black leather jacket a personal favourite of mine ) and cool jewelry , give orders while pouring coffee and act all sassy with lame army guy. And the CIA hair saloon is totally free and so hip.The pony-tail hair-do a la Glee cheerleader looks especially good on her and makes her look so very serious and badass.
However while her professional life is going ok, her love life is a disaster. She tries to fill the void left by The First Son by sleeping with random men and kicking them out of bed in the morning but that doesn't make her feel much better . Even her mother/psychiatrist can't help her.But one evening, wearing her favourite gold earrings, she goes to get a drink after a hard day at work and meets a hot ,mysterious stranger.But is he the future love of her life or is he an enemy of the state who asssasinated the former love of her life?
I can hardly wait for fall to come ,this series is gonna be so aw....wait for it.....some.

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a couple of good sounding shows, but I'll probably watch none of them. Except the Blacklist.
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State of Affairs? That reminds me...time to start planning my Dead Pool 2014 selection.
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Oh my god Kaitlin, what the hell is up with that "ugly"? You win my attention, but at what cost... at... what... cost???

You think Thursday will be kind to NBC? That is a recipe for failure until The Blacklist gets there, and I suspect The Blacklist will pull a "Heroes" in season 2 and flounder as well.

Pretty sure Parks & Rec didn't have a slot in the upfronts last season either, or the season prior, and it still made the fall schedule.

The Ugly is everything, NBC is circling the drain with next season's sched. And poor Constantine, lost in ratings diarrhea Fridays, dead before birth.

Ha ha, yeah, State of Affairs looked dreadful.

The thing missing from Constantine is not feeling like a pushy NBC drama. Almost nobody in that trailer had their own accents, including the lead.
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Hahaha. You have Tim to thank for that lovely header.
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Not sure the average TV viewer will notice accents, or know what the accent should be for the actor / character, or care, unless they have a good ear for them. I did not know Janet Montgomery was British until Salem. Could not believe they cast another Brit to play an American character and on Jersey Girl of all things. Somehow I missed that she was British then.
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I wasn't originally going to bring up the accents thing, but Kaitlin did so I was merely responding from that.
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Is there any chance they remove that blackhead picture above the comments, its been turning my stomach for weeks now.
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It's in a rotating ad system, so I doubt it. Also, it's not actually a blackhead, those misleading titles are meant to grab your attention, that's a mole.
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Its not rotating fast enough for my liking. Thanks for the info, I can live with it being a mole.
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Heigl should have stayed at Grey's anatomy! I give her new show three episodes before NBC pulls the plug!
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I think Constantine looks a lot better then what I was expecting! =)
I can't wait!
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I am sorry, I was flagging spam and flagged your post accidently. And there is no unflag.
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oh it's alright
we'll just say I was spamming my feelings towards Constantine =P
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State of Affairs and A to Z look decent, Marry Me is a maybe but so far it looks pretty stupid. The others are all a no to me. Mysteries of Laura looks especially terrible.
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If I'm being honest, Heigl doesn't see as out of place as I'd expect her to on paper. Sure, it's a little Homeland'ish...but even the current Homeland is only Homeland'ish compared to itself. Carrying all the baggage resulting from 3 previous seasons and no Brody...it's on a VERY short leash with me. Using that measure, and perhaps it's unfair, State of Affairs might just be the better sorta crazy female CIA analyst show this season...even if Heigl can't do on her best day what Danes can on her worst. That said, I had awfully low expectations for James Spader and Blacklist and have been pleasantly surprised...maybe their casting team knows something I don't.

Constantine is, or I think should, be one of those shows that plays the long game...it's going to be hard to get a true feel for the show from a promo. Similar to Sleepy Hollow, it's sum should be greater than it's parts. Matt Ryan also sorta give me that Guy Pierce circa Memento vibe...which is an awfully high standard to live up to.
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This site needs a thumbs-down button for comments like yours. This is the first time in years NBC's fall upfronts haven't seemed like the network is biding time in a hovering pattern while waiting for someone to turn off the lights. When was the last time NBC carried over more than one or two shows besides Law & Order: SVU?
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Good job at not sounding crude.
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A to Z looks adorable but not particularly funny yet, Constantine looks Sleepy Hollow level of crazy/awesome, The Debra Messing one.....does not......look...good, Marry me is full of people I love and looks great, and State of Affairs looks like a mashup of Salt/Scandal/Zero Dark Thirty/Homeland that is not as good as any of those things.
Can't wait for fall.
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I don't usually watch many comedies so I focused on the trailers for the 3 new dramas or 1 hour shows.State of Affairs looked awful,Katherine is completely miscast,The Mysteries Of Laura looked worse,Debra Messing looks like she;s trying to do her best Mariska Hargitay imitation.Constantine looked descent for what it is,horror,but unfortunately I tend to not watch many of those kinds of shows.So I'm very disappointed in what I have seen of the fall,so far.I was hoping they would premiere better shows in the fall.State Of Affairs and The Mysteries Of Laura,won't see a 2nd season as for Constantine that will depend on if people who like those kind of shows tune in.It's bad when you find yourself saying they cancelled Revolution for this because I would rather have seen a 3rd season of it.On to FOX next,which already having seen the trailer for Gotham,I'm a little more interested in,because it looks really good.
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'Debra Messing looks like she's trying to do her best Mariska Hargitay imatation', haha, yeah, and for some weird reason they thought that it'd be cool to incorporate this fact into the series? It's not, it just draws even more unwanted attention to the fact that Debra Messing is trying (and failing, I might add) to do her best Mariska Hargitay imitation.
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Yeah,I noticed they incorporated it in,so utterly ridiculous.
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i don't know about you kaitlin but state of affairs looks like a good show. is it because this site is owned by cbs?
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I know right, It looks really good and I won't be watching Homeland ever again anyway. Homeland without Brody is not Homeland
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  • Heigl and Messing looked completely miscast in those roles so hard to see those shows doing well. But who knows we could be surprised...
  • Constantine looks like a show from USA or the CW instead of the gritty feel it should have (looking more like AHR). Unfortunately it seems as if those who predicted NBC would make Constantine into a vanilla show may be right....
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Um....................they suck and will soon be cancelled?

No matter, as long as the no talent bum Robin Williams is off the air, at least for the moment, all is right with the world.
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Place Your Bets...

I say the first causalities of NBC's new fall line up are the following:

1) State of Affairs... Let's face it Katherine Hiegl brings more "Tiger-Blood" than ability to a show seems like it is nothing more an attempt to play in milieu that NBC thinks is working because of "The Black List".... I see failure written all over this one like the impending doom on lambs being lead to slaughter. This show will be lucky to get as many hours on Television as Iron Sides.

2) The Mysteries of Laura... Again another series that feels all wrong. Cops with complicated home lives screams "Hey, Remember Memphis Beat" --what you don't? Exactly, everyone. A comedy-cop show about a quirky detective with passion for Blues, Memphis and the love of his Mama... Didn't make it on TNT and surely won't make it on NBC with Debra Messing helming a female version of the same old shtick. I give it 10 episodes tops--before Debra Messing and her quirky crime fighting complex life bores the audience to change the channel.

3) Constantine-- I just don't see this being any different than The Cape. It will be a watered down, boring affair, with an ill suited premise on a night when most people would rather go out than stay in. I'm sorry people but an over-weight and preachy moralist Tom Selleck will be dining on the corpse of Constantine in a matter of weeks... I'm sorry to say this people, but, when it comes down to it Blue Bloods is going to do what Satan cannot-- KILL CONSTANTINE! People will be expecting something close to the film or the comic book and instead they will be getting Fluff... Dead with in 7 episodes.


4) A to Z... 1995 is calling back for it's Rom-Com... This one is gonna die a hard and painful death. It looks like a return to the old "Must See TV" days and everyone knows those Must See TV days are dead as Mullets, Segwaya's Inventor, and hopes that Charlie Sheen's sanity will return! The facts are simple this show is the super-sweet saccharine candy syrup of the late 1990's rolled up in a 2014 package that has already expired. I give it 3 episodes before asking so what letter did it die on c or d?

I don't see any of those shows making it.

Big Hits in Ratings:

The Black List... It is doing well in its Time Slot-- so obviously some program director thinks "Hey move it to 9:00pm on a Thursday..." Which of course puts it up against Scandal a show that has seen an steady up-tick in ratings since its debut... Were as the Black List is already down 2 million viewers or so from its debut. I'm guessing that after this season we will only see sharp decline on a night where the audience is might be more divided between possible conspiracy theory shows with over-wrought leads... (Perhaps, Denny Crane will come into play--could he be Berlin?)

The All Cop Night... Wednesday Night is where the Cop Drama starts and finishes on NBC... Starting off with Debra Messing's new Quirky Detective and ending with the darker-side of Chi-town's not so finest... I see a snooze fest! I say quirky cop drama-comedy gets shot in the line of duty.

NBC's numbers with out the winter olympics next year are going to be absymal.


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From the trailers and sneek peeks Bad Judge, A to Z, Constantine look promising. Although Constantine seems kinda cheesy.Its better off if they go darker, like on Hannibal.
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From the trailer, State of Affairs looks like a good show....
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I don't trust NBC any more after they cancelled Revolution, they will cancel State of Affairs after few episodes, so don't get attached to this show, I am sure it will be good show, but still I don't trust this network...........
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Revolution had far more episodes than it deserved. The best thing said about its second season was that it wasn't as bad as the first, and that it was watchable.
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I've never watched an episode of Revolution, but honestly, the reason I strongly believe ratings of shows aren't what they use to be is because people just can't seem to trust these networks. If you're going to continue on with a show past it's first season, than you should owe it to the fans to have a decent ending. Why waste someone's time? I mean cancel Believe and I'm fine, but waste my time liking a show like pushing daisies, Veronica Mars and deadwood for years to just end it with no closure is just wrong. Someone out there needs to create a channel like Lifetime that make lots of made for TV movies and give cancelled series closure. Or film it and put it online. Or on the DVD. Something... Lol

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I give NBC a little bit of credit in actually trying to put together series that don't follow the traditionally bland cop/lawyer/doctor dramas (I'm looking at YOU, CBS). They're giving bigger chances to series that would normally be found on cable, so I can't figure out why these unconventional series don't work on broadcast networks.
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I don't like Katherine Heigl too...but why is it laughable she was cast in State of Affairs. Why exactly is she unbelievable in the role?
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Once Again it feels like TV.com got something stuck in their a**, something missing from Constantine, i guess you haven't seen the movie or read the Hellblazer comics, this is the f**king awesome universe that is Constantine. And about State of Affairs i agree with everybody else in here give it a chance it might surprise you.
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They didn't say there was anything wrong with Constantine as a character, or the universe in which he is based, but rather this adaptation of it seems to be missing something, there's a difference.
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I didn't say I didn't like it or that it didn't look good. I just said it feels like it could be better somehow.
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But still it is only the Commercial for the show and trust me they can be decieving sometimes. I have seen the Commercial for Critters 4 and the movie. :-)
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Somehow reminds me of the lame-a** job they did of making The Dresden Files into a TV series (except for Paul Blackthorne, he was awesome).
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I liked Dresden Files for what it was, but it wasn't the books. Jim Butcher approved it though, treated it like an alternate universe.
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what it needs is a bad guy, a little bit of satan would spice things up, they should just get a bucket of tar and hire peter stormare, cos he was class.
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...except he will be busy next season on The Blacklist. (yayyyy!)
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I actually thought State of Affairs looked alright. True, it rings of Homeland, but that's not necessarily a bad thing? And Katherine Heigl isn't that terrible as you make her out to be. I remember she had some pretty powerful scenes in Grey's back in the day.

I actually thought Marry Me looked pretty bad though. I get that it's from the writers of Happy Endings, but I just don't see from the promo how the premise can carry for a full season (or more).
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State of Affairs actually doesn't look that bad to me... but then again, I would be watching more for Alfre Woodard than for Katherine Heigl. I will watch that woman in anything. And the dead fiance who was the president's son angle was something I wasn't aware of before, and I find it interesting.
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NBC still gets my vote for best show on TV, any channel, anywhere, with Sunday Night Football. But after The Blacklist--which isn't best by even any hint of the imagination--the rest is crev-ass all the way to it's black hole of a bottom. Perhaps I'll try that guy below who says I can make some big bucks fast on the Internet. It's about as likely as NBC getting their shit together any time soon I figure...
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Sunday Night Football isn't a very original show, I'm pretty sure there's something just like it on Monday, and CBS looks to have a near copy-cat show coming next season on Thursdays. Same drama, same storylines, same cast.

I suspect The Blacklist won't hold up next season, but I hope I'm wrong. Constantine could work, I'd recommend keeping an eye on that even though Friday will certainly doom it. Otherwise, you are right, they're circling the drain, they even ruined SVU this season.
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To be fait, they do have the best drama on network TV on their schedule. You should check out Hannibal if you haven't.
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I have, and I think it's really quite good. Unfortunately, it's just a bit too creepy for my taste. And I don't think it's the best. I think The Good Wife is and also Person of Interest.
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I watch all three and honestly believe Hannibal to be better than the two. But it most definitely isn't for everyone.
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There's also a wonderful drama out there from BBC--Call the Midwife--and it's incredibly good. You should give that one a go.
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Oh, and GO Katherine Heigl...and take the rest of those knuckleheads with you.
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If Marry Me gets the title of "Best-looking New NBC Series", should we look for it to also get the title: "Best New Comedy to Not Get a Second Season", currently held this year by Trophy Wife?
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Best-looking New NBC Series: Marry Me Constantine!!!
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