Fall schedule announcements: NBC makes small steps in overcoming its crippling fear of success
NBC is the first network to announce its fall schedule, and it decided to get a jump on tomorrow’s upfront (a presentation held to convince advertisers to invest in the network’s new shows) by announcing its fall schedule to the press today. The network is betting big on comedy, putting one-hour comedy blocs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and continuing with its low-rated, four-hour comedy bloc on Thursdays. (Seriously, the only thing they changed about it was moving Community. It makes little to no sense.) This is the kind of bold, visionary move all of the other networks are making, and it will be interesting to see if NBC’s substantial investment will pay off for the network, which had the first season in which it showed any signs of life whatsoever in many years. (Indeed, it may crawl out of the ratings basement to third place, though largely on the strength of showing a hugely-rated Super Bowl.)
The network recognizes that The Voice is central to much of its growth, even if the series slowly deflated in the ratings throughout this last season. As such, the reality series will be airing both in the fall and the spring, which risks over-exposure but at least gives the network a solid tentpole to build around. NBC’s solution to the sinking ratings is to somehow work the spinning chairs into the battle rounds, which makes no sense, but then, that’s why they’re NBC.
The most surprising move of the schedule is the banishment of The Biggest Loser, which was long the only thing on NBC that could crack the Nielsen top 40, to midseason. The show’s had ratings struggles this season—then, all reality shows have—and NBC president Bob Greenblatt said in a conference call that it will be rethought and retooled while it’s off the air, since NBC will be in real trouble if The Voice can’t regain its momentum and The Biggest Loser is done.
The schedule follows. New shows are in bold. Night-by-night analysis follows.
8 p.m.: The Voice (performance)
10 p.m.: Revolution
8 p.m.: The Voice (results)
9 p.m.: Go On
9:30 p.m.: The New Normal
10 p.m.: Parenthood
8 p.m.: Animal Practice
8:30 p.m.: Guys With Kids
9 p.m.: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10 p.m.: Chicago Fire
8 p.m.: Reruns
7 p.m.: Football Night in America
8:15 p.m.: NBC Sunday Night Football
7 p.m.: Dateline NBC
8 p.m.: Fashion Star
9 p.m.: The Celebrity Apprentice
10 p.m.: Do No Harm
Currently unscheduled: 1600 Penn, The Biggest Loser, Hannibal, Infamous, Next Caller, Save Me, Smash,
First of all, calm down. It’s not as bad as you think.
Second of all, let’s go night by night through this sucker and see if we can’t figure out what NBC is thinking.
The Voice has been the one big success story for the network in recent years, at least in terms of week-to-week series. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that it would be back. It’s followed by the new sci-fi drama Revolution, about a world where advanced technology stops working mysteriously. That seems like an odd fit, but it’s from J.J. Abrams. That name still carries a bit of cachet with TV viewers, so it might be easily promotable. In the conference call, Greenblatt hinted that Smash might be in the timeslot it has right now at midseason, which gives producers more time to retool, at least.
The Voice results show shifts an hour earlier to make room for the first of NBC’s comedy blocs, and arguably its riskiest. New Girl looked like an unbeatable show when it debuted last fall, but Fox’s clumsy scheduling of the program quickly sapped its audience, and the show was looking significantly more down to Earth this spring. However, there’s a long tradition of promising, accessible comedies gaining viewership in summer reruns, so NBC is taking a real chance that New Girl won’t catch on that way by scheduling its comedy hour opposite that and whatever is paired with it. To some degree, it appears NBC is following CBS’ strategy from the ‘90s: Load up on new shows starring familiar faces, then hope that one or two of them catch on. At the very least, doing so will draw some sort of audience to the pilot, which will give you a chance to promote your other new shows. It’s not a bad idea for a network with as many broken pieces as this one has.
All of this is a very long-winded way of explaining why NBC has sent Matthew Perry’s new therapy sitcom, Go On, to take on New Girl and NCIS Los Angeles. The network likely hopes the high-testing comedy pilot will draw viewers, thanks to a familiar face, though it might like to see how that worked out for Mr. Sunshine (yay). Go On is followed up by The New Normal, the new series about a gay couple and the surrogate mother carrying their baby, which hails from Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler. This is a pretty smart use of what look like they might be NBC’s two strongest comedy pilots, and so long as New Girl doesn’t catch on in reruns, the network might be looking at a very strong night.
The perpetually beleaguered Parenthood closes out the night, and it will be interesting to see how it does with an actual compatible lead-in.
Here’s one of NBC’s most curious decisions: The assumption was that Whitney’s renewal was to allow the multi-camera Guys With Kids another multi-camera sitcom pilot to be paired with. The thought was that they would be scheduled in the 8 p.m. Wednesday hour (where Whitney didn’t light the world on fire but did okay) or in the 8 p.m. Friday hour (where both would have been cheap enough to allow NBC to establish another foothold on the night with minimal risk). Instead, NBC has kept them separate, thus defying all known logic.
Guys With Kids takes over the 8:30 p.m. Wednesday slot, following up yet another promising new comedy, Animal Practice, which stars Justin Kirk as an anti-social veterinarian. (Something about that casting makes us think this one could be good. On the other hand, there’s this promo art, so grain of salt.) That the single-camera comedy about an unlikable guy is paired with the multi-camera family comedy about, well, guys with kids suggests that NBC made somewhat logical decisions on the first two days of the schedule, then decided to get drunk, because that was as good of a job as it had done in over a decade.
The night closes out with a Dick Wolf duo, as the TV super-producer’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit keeps that franchise alive for another season (and likely its last season, if ratings trends are any indication), then leads into his new series, Chicago Fire, which attempts to build a workplace drama around firefighters, something that’s never been successful on network, despite many attempts. (Even on cable, Rescue Me was only ever a niche hit.)
Another assumption: NBC picking up all of those comedies meant this night would be radically overhauled, perhaps with The Office moving to 8 p.m. to lead into a night of all new comedies, or to sandwich two new comedies between it and Parks at 9:30 p.m. Well, Parks is at 9:30, where it’s bizarrely struggled in what would seem to be the most natural timeslot for it. But the rest of the night consists of returning comedies, and low-rated ones at that.
30 Rock, which struggled in the 8 p.m. hour this spring, is returning there, where it will presumably face off with the surging Big Bang Theory, which does even better in the fall than it does in the spring. It’s followed by Up All Night, one of this season’s most curious ratings stories, in that it did fairly well Wednesdays at 8 p.m., with little to no promotion and absolutely no support, then completely fizzled when it was given the post-Office slot, the strongest place for a comedy on the network. Perhaps NBC is banking on female-driven comedies being a better fit for this hour than Community, which has substantial overlap with the BBT audience. Or maybe it’s just writing the hour off. (Interestingly, Greenblatt would not say that this is the final season for 30 Rock, as rumored, in the conference call, according to the Deadline report linked above.)
The 9 p.m. hour features what it does right now, with Office—renewed for 22 episodes with only a handful of regular cast members returning—leading into Parks & Recreation. They’re the only two shows on the network’s lineup to receive a full-season order, so it makes sense that they’d be paired, even if Parks has struggled more behind The Office than it has behind Community or 30 Rock.
The night closes out with Rock Center With Brian Williams, because the network has just given up on trying to schedule a critically acclaimed drama and/or The Firm in the hour.
Okay, are we still calmed down? I hope so.
Here’s the second of NBC’s multi-cam/single-cam hours, and it’s by far the most bizarre, if only because it all but forces Community fans to root for the ratings prospects of Whitney. Whitney leads out the night at 8 p.m., which makes sense, given that it’s cheap to produce, then leads into Community at 8:30 p.m., which already has the Internet singing songs of sorrow for how the series will be done after the next 13 episodes.
That’s absolutely a conclusion one could draw from this move, which makes no sense on its face. But Greenblatt refused to say this was the show’s final season, as he did when moving Chuck to Fridays, and he also maintained there was the possibility for more episodes to come. (He also didn’t seem all that concerned about Dan Harmon leaving the show.) Greenblatt’s primary reason for the move seems to be shoring up Grimm, which has turned into one of the network’s bright spots and is the highest rated scripted show on Fridays. And, indeed, this makes a certain amount of sense, since the two series court roughly similar audiences and could help each other in certain ways. Community’s audience is nothing if not loyal, and if even 75 percent of it follows the show to Fridays, it could, conceivably, run there for years to come at its current budgetary level.
Yes, Friday is often a death slot, but NBC has a rich history of using the night to prop up critically acclaimed shows it wants to renew but also wants to minimize its financial risk on. Obviously, those shows were under different regimes, and if Community comes in and draws an 0.5, it’ll be gone. But the move isn’t the immediate cancellation notice it might seem to be. After all, Fringe made it three seasons on the night, under surprisingly similar circumstances, and it never had anything like Grimm there to prop it up.
Then again, the show is also paired with Whitney, so who the hell knows what NBC is thinking.
The night closes out with Grimm, staying put perhaps so NBC can see if it can X-Files it, and Dateline: NBC.
Just reruns, as always. It’s too bad that the networks have abandoned this night, but it makes sense.
The usual football airs in the fall, and in the winter, the show is turned over to a newsmagazine, two reality shows, and a new medical drama, which… good luck to the medical drama, but we don’t really see that succeeding. By this point, NBC was so happy about how much sense its Monday and Tuesday schedules made that it had already had at least three bottles of tequila, and it was wildly scheduling things it didn’t even have access to. Mad About You on Saturdays! For all time!
New show descriptions and trailers follow (watch more clips at The Futon Critic):
Animal Practice: Meet Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk, Weeds), a top-dog New York veterinarian. With an unorthodox style of operating, George’s success comes from his undeniable gift with animals of all kinds. That is, all but the human kind. Dorothy Crane once held the key to George’s heart, but today, she also holds the key to the family business as she takes over Crane Animal Hospital. Not only is she George’s new boss, but her romantic history with him and her lack of experience with animals is seriously cramping his style. Dorothy is whip-smart and ambitious, and she’s going to make George pay for the past. Needless to say, he’s determined not to make any changes in his (animal) kingdom, which includes poker games with a resident capuchin monkey. Also starring are Tyler Labine (Reaper, Sons of Tucson) as Dr. Doug Jackson, a vet who’s great with animals but hapless in matters of the heart, Bobby Lee (Harold & Kumar) as Dr. Yamamoto, and newcomer Betsy Sodaro as Angela. Animal Practice is a production of Universal Television and American Work Inc. The executive producers are Scot Armstrong (The Hangover Part II, Old School) and Ravi Nandan (Best Friends Forever) of American Work Inc. (Best Friends Forever), along with Emmy Award winners Joe & Anthony Russo (Community, Arrested Development). Animal Practice was written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka (The Sitter), who also serve as executive producers. Gail Lerner (Happy Endings) also is an executive producer. Directed by the Emmy-winning Russo brothers, Animal Practice is a comedy where the animals are running the asylum.
Go On: Misery loves company. Unless you’re sportscaster Ryan King (Matthew Perry, Friends, Mr. Sunshine) who thinks misery should just be left alone. After taking some time off, Ryan, who recently lost his wife in a car accident, is now ready to get back to work. And while he seems like his same old charming, cocky self, his boss won’t set him back on the air until he seeks counseling. So, Ryan reluctantly joins a support group with one goal in mind: Get in, get out, and get back on the radio as quickly as possible. Played by the fast-talking, sarcastic, and charismatic Perry, Ryan gives grief a real run for its money. Within one day of group therapy, he hijacks the meeting, and suddenly, the downtrodden are cajoled into playing a game of who’s got the best sob story. And in no time, all of them are battling it out, trying to one-up each other’s despair. Now, this is fun! Ryan’s total lack of interest in healing might be just what this group needs… and maybe, exactly what he needs to move on with his life. Also starring are Tony winner Laura Benanti (The Playboy Club), Julie White (Transformers), Suzy Nakamura (Dodgeball), Khary Payton (General Hospital) and Allison Miller (Terra Nova). From the Emmy-winning writer and executive producer Scott Silveri (Perfect Couples, Friends) comes a new series that proves grief can be good. Todd Holland (Malcolm In The Middle) and Karey Burke (Free Agents, Miss/Guided) also serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Holland. Go On is a production of Universal Television, Dark Toy Entertainment and Silver & Gold Productions.
Guys With Kids: From Emmy winner and executive producer Jimmy Fallon comes a new comedy about three 30-something dads trying to hold on to their youth, while holding onto their new babies’ hands. Easy, right? Thankfully, Chris (Jesse Bradford, The West Wing), Nick (Zach Cregger, Friends With Benefits) and Gary (Anthony Anderson, Law & Order) have each other to help navigate their survival as new dads, while still trying desperately to remain dudes. Balancing work or staying at home, painfully married or happily divorced, they know that taking care of the little ones while maintaining a social life is a daily challenge. Whether it’s hosing the little squirt down in the kitchen sink or hitting the bar strapped with a baby björn, these guys are on a roller-coaster adventure—parenting like you (and they) have never seen before. Also starring are Jamie Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos) and Tempestt Bledsoe (The Cosby Show). Someone once said it is much easier to become a father than to be one. These three guys are about to find out just how true that is. Guys with Kids is produced by Universal Television and Holiday Road. Fallon (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) serves as executive producer/creator along with executive producer/creator/writer Charlie Grandy (NBC’s i) and executive producer/creator Amy Ozols (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) as well as executive producers Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz (Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place, American Dad). Emmy-nominated director Scott Ellis (Modern Family, 30 Rock) is the director.
The New Normal: These days, families come in all forms—single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It’s 2012 and anything goes. Bryan (Andrew Rannells, Girls, The Book of Mormon) and David (Justin Bartha, The Hangover) are a Beverly Hills couple, and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed and loving partnership, the one thing missing is a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie (Georgia King, One Day), an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A Midwestern waitress and single mother looking to escape her dead-end life and small-minded grandmother (Ellen Barkin, Ocean’s Thirteen), Goldie decides to change everything and move to L.A. with her precocious 8-year-old daughter. Desperate and broke—but also fertile—Goldie quickly becomes the guys’ surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams. Surrogate mother, surrogate family. The New Normal is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Ryan Murphy Productions. Murphy serves as creator/executive producer and director along with executive producer/creator/writer Ali Adler (Glee, Chuck) and executive producer Dante Di Loreto (Glee, American Horror Story).
Chicago Fire: No job is more stressful, dangerous or exhilarating than those of the Firefighters, Rescue Squad and Paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51. These are America’s everyday heroes, the courageous men and women who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way. But the enormous responsibilities of the job also take a personal toll. Big reputations and hefty egos, coupled with the pressure to perform and make split-second decisions, are bound to put squad members at odds. When a tragedy claims one of their own, there’s plenty of guilt and blame to go around. In the middle of a divorce, Lt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer, House M.D.) tries to go about business as usual but can’t help butting heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney, The Vampire Diaries) of the Rescue Squad, and each blames the other for their fallen team member. When it’s go-time, though, they put aside their differences and put everything on the line for each other. Chicago Fire is a look inside one of America’s noblest professions. Also starring are Eamonn Walker (The Messenger), Charlie Barnett, (Law & Order: SVU), David Eigenberg (Sex And The City), Monica Raymund (The Good Wife), Lauren German (Hawaii Five-O), Teri Reeves (Three Rivers) and Merle Dandridge (Sons Of Anarchy). Chicago Fire is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films. Emmy Award-winning creator/ producer Dick Wolf (Law & Order brand), Derek Haas (3:10 To Yuma), Michael Brandt (3:10 To Yuma), Peter Jankowski (Law & Order brand) and Danielle Gelber serve as executive producers. Haas and Brandt wrote the pilot, which was directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Homeland). From renowned Emmy-winning producer Dick Wolf and the writing team behind 3:10 To Yuma comes an edge-of-your-seat view of a dirty job that often means the difference between life and death.
Revolution: Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why? Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it? On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously (and unbeknownst to her) had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future. From director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) and the fertile imaginations of J.J. Abrams (Lost, Person Of Interest) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural), comes a surprising what if action-adventure series, where an unlikely hero will lead the world out of the dark. Literally. The series stars Billy Burke (The Twilight Saga), Tracy Spiridakos (Being Human), Anna Lise Phillips (Terra Nova), Zak Orth (Romeo + Juliet), Graham Rogers (Memphis Beat), J.D. Pardo (A Cinderella Story), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), David Lyons (The Cape), Maria Howell (The Blind Side), Tim Guinee (Iron Man) and Andrea Roth (Rescue Me). Kripke, Abrams, Favreau and Bryan Burk (Lost, Star Trek) serve as executive producers. Revolution is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions, Kripke Enterprises, and Warner Bros. Television. The pilot was directed by Favreau.
1600 Penn: The Gilchrists are just the average American family dealing with all the everyday issues, like a grown kid who’s forced to move back home, children who are smarter than their teachers and a stepmom (Jenna Elfman, Dharma & Greg) desperately trying to win over the kids. They’re loving, fun, and a little crazy. In other words, just like everybody else. With one exception: They live in a very special house. The White House! Whether it’s entertaining foreign dignitaries, sneaking away for a night out, dealing with middle school crushes or putting out fires—figuratively and sometimes literally—there’s never a dull moment in the Gilchrist White House. For example, the First Son (Josh Gad, star of Broadway sensation The Book of Mormon) is one of the administration’s biggest liabilities, but also the glue that holds this family together. The President (Bill Pullman, Independence Day, While You Were Sleeping) knows too well that the only thing harder than being Head of State is being head of the family. Also starring are Martha MacIsaac (Superbad), Andre Holland (Friends With Benefits), Amara Miller (The Descendants), and Benjamin Stockham (Sons Of Tucson). Modern Family meets The West Wing in this election-year comedy from Emmy-winning executive producer/director Jason Winer (Modern Family). The executive producers are Winer, Gad and Jon Lovett (former White House speechwriter). Winer also directed the pilot. 1600 Penn is produced by 20th Century Fox.
Next Caller: What happens when a foulmouthed satellite radio DJ, played by the multi-platinum selling artist and outrageously charming Dane Cook (My Best Friend’s Girl), is forced to share the mic with a chipper NPR feminist? It’s anyone’s call in this sharp new comedy from producer Stephen Falk (Weeds) and Emmy-winning director Marc Buckland (Grimm, My Name Is Earl). It’s her first day in New York City, and 26-year-old Stella Hoobler (Collette Wolfe, Young Adult) is ready to take on the world. After a stint on public radio, she’s been hired to co-host the no-holds-barred show Booty Calls With Cam Dunne. Smart, spunky and passionate, Stella is determined to elevate the show beyond its boy’s-club-locker-room humor into a respected debate about men, women and the state of human relationships. But there’s a problem: Cam! She’s going to find out the hard way that he’s got no intention of sharing the spotlight, especially with someone like her. It’s going to be a tense fight, but with the station’s one rule being make some noise, Cam and Stella could be a winning combination—as long as they don’t knock each other out on their way to success. Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Joy Osmanski (True Jackson, VP) and Wolé Parks (Premium Rush) also star. The series is created and executive-produced by Stephen Falk (Weeds) and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Marc Buckland (Grimm, My Name Is Earl), who also serves as executive producer on the pilot. Next Caller is produced by Lionsgate Television and Universal Television.
Save Me: Welcome to the Midwestern suburbs, where exciting things never happen. Well, almost never. After a near-death experience (choking on a hero sandwich), Beth (Emmy nominee Anne Heche, Hung) is revived only to realize she now has a direct line to God. Of course, her husband Tom (Michael Landes, Final Destination 2) is skeptical and dismissive, and his mistress (Alexandra Breckenridge, American Horror Story) is stunned to learn that her lover’s wife is now a prophet! But when inexplicable things begin to happen, everyone’s beliefs are tested. Beth starts to say and do things that shock her family and entrance her friends, but she isn’t going to be your typical fire and brimstone prophet. Let’s just say, if God had a desperate housewife as His mouthpiece, Beth would be it! She is the absolute last person on Earth who would be chosen. Then again, they say He works in mysterious ways. And this one is a real mystery! Heather Burns (Bored To Death) and Madison Davenport (Shameless) also star. Save Me is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Original Film. Novelist John Scott Shepherd (Henry’s List Of Wrongs, The Days) is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Scott Winant (Breaking Bad, True Blood, Californication) and executive producers Neal H. Moritz (The Big C, Prison Break, Fast Five), Vivian Cannon (The Big C), and Alexa Junge (Friends, Sex And The City).
Do No Harm: Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale, Rescue Me) is a highly respected neurosurgeon who has it all, a lucrative career, confident charm, the gift of compassion. But he also has a deep, dark secret. One morning when he wakes up disoriented in a wrecked hotel room amidst several near-naked women he’s never seen before, he knows one thing: It’s happening again. Every night at the same hour, something inside Jason changes, leaving him almost unrecognizable—seductive, devious, borderline sociopathic. This new man is his dangerous alternate personality who goes by the name of Ian Price. For years he’s battled Ian, keeping him in check with a powerful experimental sedative. But now his—their—body has developed a resistance to the serum, setting Ian free once again. And to make matters worse, after being suppressed for so long, Ian’s hellbent on taking revenge on his oppressor. With everyone Jason cares about at risk—patients, friends, coworkers and even the woman he loves—he’s got to stop Ian once and for all. Will they find some common ground, or will they bring each other down? Hell hath no fury like an alter ego scorned. Also starring are Alana De La Garza (Law & Order), Mousa Kraish (Superbad), Michael Esper (A Beautiful Mind), Ruta Gedmintas (The Borgias) and Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show). Do No Harm is produced by Universal Television and Traugott Company. The executive producer/writer is David Schulner (Desperate Housewives, The Event). Peter Traugott (Ringer) and Rachel Kaplan (Ringer) also are executive producers. Michael Mayer (NBC’s Smash) is the co-executive producer and director.
Hannibal: One of the most fascinating literary characters comes to life on television for the first time: psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In this new drama from Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Heroes), based on the characters from Thomas Harris’ classic novels, we see where this incredible story began. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, The Big C) is a gifted criminal profiler who is on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI. Graham’s unique way of thinking gives him the astonishing ability to empathize with anyone, even psychopaths. He seems to know what makes them tick. But when the mind of the twisted killer he’s pursuing is too complicated for even Will to comprehend, he enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country. Armed with the uncanny expertise of the brilliant doctor, Will and Hannibal (known as a serial killer only to the audience) form a brilliant partnership, and it seems there’s no villain they can’t catch. If Will only knew… Fuller is writer and executive producer. Martha De Laurentis (Red Dragon, Hannibal), Sara Colleton (Dexter), Jesse Alexander (Lost, Heroes), and Katie O’Connell also serve as executive producers. David Slade is the director/executive producer for the series pilot. Hannibal is produced by Gaumont International Television.
Infamous: When wealthy socialite and notorious party girl Vivian Bowers is found dead of an overdose, no one is really surprised. The heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire has been tabloid fodder for years: wild, pretty, privileged… and now dead at the age of 32. But for FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso, Avatar), things don’t add up with this suspicious dynasty. Convinced that the troubled girl’s death was a homicide, he has a clever plan to get to the truth. Her name is Detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good, Think Like A Man). Twenty years ago, she was Vivian’s best friend, having grown up in the Bowers’ home as daughter of the family housekeeper. And when she appears at Vivian’s funeral, the family re-embraces her and no one is the wiser. Joanna quickly begins to uncover dark secrets and clues about why Vivian’s life was very much in danger. At the same time, she rekindles an old romantic relationship and rediscovers the allure of the luxurious lifestyle she once knew. She’s about to see once again just how the other half lives… and dies. Also starring are Victor Garber (Alias), Tate Donovan (Damages), Katherine La Nasa (Alfie), Neil Jackson (Quantum of Solace) and Ella Rae Peck (Gossip Girl). Infamous comes from executive producer/writer Liz Heldens (Friday Night Lights) and director Peter Horton (Grey’s Anatomy, Dirty Sexy Money). Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein are also executive producers. The series is from Universal Television and BermanBraun.