RENEWED: NBC’s comedies were the big winners of the season with several of them being renewed for new seasons. 30 Rock will be back for a seventh and final season starring Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. There was a little confusion over whether the seventh season would be its last or not but NBC confirmed yesterday that it would indeed be. The final season of the critical darling will consist of 13 episodes with the series finale being an hour long. Parks and Recreation will be back for a fifth season and while it’s not a huge ratings hit for NBC it does generate a lot of media buzz and has a very loyal fan base. Parks and Recreation, unlike 30 Rock and Community, will have 22 episodes in its next season.
Dark fantasy drama Grimm – part fantasy, part detective drama – has been renewed for a second season despite airing in the Friday night slot. Grimm has been one of NBC’s hits of the season in which Prime Suspect and The Playboy Club both faltered and fell. Musical drama Smash starring Jack Davenport, Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston has been renewed but will be held back for mid-season to allow its new show- runner time to settle in and make changes.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the last remaining Law & Order series on American television, will be back as well as Fashion Star, Parenthood, Up All Night, The Office and Whitney whose renewal surprised some.
AXED: Jason Isaacs Awake, a drama about two parallel worlds, won’t be back. It’s interest premise unfortunately didn’t equate to big ratings perhaps because viewers found the storyline too confusing – to be honest Awake sounds like a series more at home on a cable broadcaster such as Syfy. 1960s based drama The Playboy Club fell very early on in the season because of its poor ratings – again it was another drama that would have been more comfortable on a cable network.
NBC’s remake of Prime Suspect – the British detective drama which starred Helen Mirren – limped on for longer than expected despite its bad ratings but then it was a drama the broadcaster really wanted to work. Sadly it didn’t and in the end NBC admitted defeat. Kathy Bates’ legal drama Harry’s Law fell at the last minute mostly because of its 18-49 ratings rather than overall figures which were pretty decent. Fans are hoping another broadcaster will step in and pick up the series but no word as yet.
NBC also axed Are You There, Chelsea?, Bent, Free Agents and BFF.
PICKED UP: NBC has picked up quite a few new shows with some of them sure to generate a lot of buzz. J.J Abrams and Eric Kripke’s new series apocalyptic series Revolution is one series that will generate a lot of interest. Revolution is about a mysterious event which wipes out all electricity and technology across the world and the aftermath of it – how society changes. Post-apocalyptic shows are a bit hit and miss with viewers, some work and some don’t. It will be interesting to see if Revolution becomes the hit it has the potential to be.
Dick Wolf, the man who gave NBC and the world Law & Order, has created new fire-fighting drama Chicago Fire Talstarring Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer. Yesterday it was announced NBC had ordered pirate drama Crossbones straight to series; the drama will revolve around the notorious Blackbeard and will be 10 episodes long. Earlier in the year NBC ordered Hannibal, Bryan Fuller’s take on the prequel to Silence of the Lambs, straight to series as well. Jekyll and Hyde series Do No Harm about a brilliant neurosurgeon with a darker personality could become the new Dexter. Ryan Murphy comedy The New Normal, about a gay family, could prove to be a hit like Glee but also could fall victim to controversy and a Parents Television Council campaign….
NBC has also picked up Animal Practice, Go On, Guys with Kids, Infamous, Next Caller, Save Me and White House comedy 1600 Penn starring Bill Pullman.
[Written by Leanne Bryan and James Ryder]