Upfront roundup: NBC picks up two more, and Cougar Town may head to TBS
Here’s your round-up of TV upfront and scheduling news for the day.
• NBC has picked up two additional new series to join Anne Heche star vehicle Save Me (picked up earlier today) and Matthew Perry vehicle Go On (picked up weeks ago) on the network’s 2012-13 schedule. The first is comedy The New Normal, from producers Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler, who co-wrote the pilot script. It stars Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha as a gay couple who are trying to have a baby with the help of a surrogate mother played by Georgia King. Since it’s from Murphy, the series will almost certainly have a solid pilot, then probably feature at least one strange and horrifying serial killer clothed entirely in black. Which would be new territory for a half-hour sitcom, admittedly. The second new series is NBC’s first drama pickup, the sci-fi series Revolution, which hails from J.J. Abrams and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke. The show—which takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where technology has abruptly stopped working—has all the hallmarks of the kind of show that will be disappointing, both in terms of potential wasted and ratings. It’s got an intriguing premise that will inevitably be botched, a large ensemble cast with at least one ringer TV fans will be excited by (Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito), and a painfully generic cast photo. Why, it looks like this is something that was already canceled in 2006 but has returned to life to stagger back onto our television screens in confusion. At least the show also stars The Cape’s David Lyons, thereby fulfilling our lifelong dream of sending out a Cape notification. (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)
• There are rumors swirling about—rumors which began with this Deadline report—that TBS is interested in picking up the beleaguered ABC cult hit Cougar Town should ABC decide to cancel the series. Since ABC Studios produces the Courteney Cox vehicle, there’s always the possibility the network will pick it up to help the show get closer to syndication numbers, but the TBS deal is reportedly for two seasons of 15 episodes each, which would get the series over the 85-episode hump. The deal would also make sense for TBS in many ways, since it would presumably get the rights to rerun the first three seasons of the show as part of the deal. The network’s had success with sitcom reruns, and this would just add more to its roster. It is also entirely possible this information is leaking now to force ABC proper into a renewal decision, since few networks want to cancel a show, then have it become a hit on another network.
• Deadline also has this report, which says that 30 Rock, Up All Night, Community, and Parks & Recreation are all very much in the hunt at NBC, though most will receive shortened orders if picked up. (In the case of 30 Rock, it seems that shortened order would be for a final season.) Whitney looks done, but stranger things have happened.
• This doesn’t really have anything to do with upfronts, but we knew you’d all want to know that Lifetime has picked up the Jennifer Love Hewitt prostitute procedural series The Client List for a 15-episode second season. Set your TiVos!
Stick with us through the week for more renewal and cancellation news.