Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NBC Unveils Her Next 65 Weeks; Peacock Fans Confused

Doo. Doo. Doo.

Hear that? That’s me humming the NBC trill.

NBC is hands-down my favorite network. I “came of age” as a TV fanatic watching Friends, Will & Grace, ER, Mad About You, Providence, Ed, Good Morning, Miami, and The West Wing. For years, I literally watched nothing on other networks.

And then, as Conan O’Brien so brilliantly detailed in his 2006 Emmy opener:

But then those shows bailed
And the new ones failed
And it started a nasty trend.
And the guy who passed on Lost?
Was promoted instead of tossed!
And now this network’s getting it from both ends.

Watch the whole song-and-dance here:

Anyway, NBC announced their fall season today, and I have a lot of questions and concerns.

But first the good news:

Friday Night Lights is officially renewed! I’m so proud of internet fandom today. Though I myself wasn’t really a part of the Save FNL campaign, I have enormous respect for all of you who were. Congratulations! I have no doubt that it was the fans—and not some network brass change of heart—who turned the tides.

30 Rock and The Office are both officially renewed! No surprises there, but yay!

Now for the questions.

An Office spinoff? Really? I know I made a joke about Jim and Pam quitting on Tuesday, but I wasn’t serious! First of all, ensembles are ensembles for a reason. Grey’s Anatomy has survived the departure of Addison, but I certainly miss her. Even when she’s over on Private Practice, her absence is tangible in Seattle. Also, a hierarchy exists on Grey’s that does not exist on The Office. While Grey’s has several tiers of character importance (Meredith and Derek on the top, followed by the other residents and Dr. Bailey, followed by Callie and Hahn and Sloane, etc.), The Office pretty much has two tiers. You’ve got Michael, Dwight, Jim, and Pam...and then everyone else. We LOVE everyone else, but they are not “qualified” in terms of character status to anchor an entire new show; neither is the “core cast” capable of staying afloat without one of the four. That said, I could watch Kelly Kapoor Story Hour for, like, at least eleven seasons.

Maybe it’s not a traditional spinoff.

Maybe it’s Dunder-Mifflin Corporate (theoretically, a Ryan spinoff). This seems the most likely option.

Maybe it’s another D-M branch. Although...why do we need two shows about regional offices of a freakin’ paper company?

Other suggestions? I suggested The Warehouse. My friend John thinks it’ll be Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.

I’m just really unsure as to how this is supposed to work. This show doesn’t seem to have the capacity for spinoff. It’s not built for that. Let’s wait for further instructions, shall we?

Okay, moving on. I am baffled by NBC’s decision to literally hand one of their most critically beloved series over to ABC. The mere fact that ABC is willing—nay, jumping—at the chance to take Scrubs off of NBC’s hands seems to me like a sign to hang onto it. Especially in light of what an NBC spokesperson said last week about hanging onto shows like ER: that there are worse things on television than another season of ER.

And there are worse things on television than another season of Scrubs. Like ER.

Why would the network hang on to ER and ditch Scrubs? I could see keeping both for their final seasons or ditching both, but one and not the other makes little sense to me. I am WHOA CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC that another season of ER will likely mean the return of Carter and COULD MAYBE POSSIBLY mean the reunion of Carter and Abby, but...that doesn’t justify to me another 22 episodes of something that, week to week, is pretty terrible.

Anyway, I can’t grasp this choice.

Ben Silverman, what’s going on? Why, for starters, are you unveiling 65 weeks of programming in one day? Why did you go ahead and announce that The Office is getting the post-Super Bowl spot? That’s essentially a big piece of news (or, at least, it will be nine months from now), but you took it out with the trash. Like, I could get excited about all of this in six months, but now it only serves as a good blog post on a slow news day.

I miss the upfronts.

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