Image ©2007 NBC

Despite sometimes uneven, but generally fantastic, critical acclaim Studio 60 has been deprived a second chance at success.  The time slot afflicted show was officially canceled along with several others as NBC announced its fall schedule at today’s upfronts.  Meanwhile the on-the-bubble duo of Scrubs and Friday Night Lights received 11th hour full season orders, and the peacock added five new shows to its schedules, many of which reflect the success of genre powerhouse Heroes. In response to the avid fan following Heroes has enjoyed, the network is launching an innovative six episode spin-off called “Heroes: Origins” which will tell the back story of all new heroes decided upon by fan selection!

Heroes will continue to possess the hotly contested Monday 9:00pm timeslot, despite recent slips.  The superhero crossover drama has lost its dominance over the time slot since returning from its hiatus, at times dipping into the single digits.  NBC obviously has great faith it will return to former glory since it was one of the first new shows to be renewed with a guaranteed full second season earlier this year.

Among the shows you will NOT see back next season are:

20 Good Years
Andy Barker, PI
The Black Donnellys
Crossing Jordan
Grease: You’re the One That I Want
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
The Real Wedding Crashers
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Thank God You’re Here

Law & Order: Criminal Intent is actually not being canceled, but will be shuffled over to NBC/Universal’s USA cable network. 

The Bionic Woman (Image © 2007 NBC)

The new shows read like a study in high concept pitching, with the notable exception of the remake of The Bionic Woman.  The Bionic Woman may face the biggest challenge of the new shows despite its genre geek credentials.  First, it scheduled against American Idol’s Results show slot, Wednesday at 9:00. 

This will not have much impact during the first half of its season, but it is largely anticipated that ABC may announce it is bringing LOST back to it’s Wednesday 9:00pm slot as well.  Since LOST will not start until January 2008, Bionic Woman will only have Criminal Minds and what ever short timer ABC comes up with to contend with while it builds its fan-base.

When LOST and American Idol kick return in January, however, The Bionic Woman will have to summon all her cyborg strength to hold onto her ratings.

“Chuck” stars Zachary Levi (“Less Than Perfect”), Adam Baldwin (“Firefly”), is about a lowly tech support worker who has a spy database implanted in his brain.  Produced by The OC vet’s Josh Schwartz and McG, “Chuck” shows the peacock is as obsessed with ever about gaining control of the ‘weird’ drama genre.

“Journeyman” seems cut from the same failed formula as ABC’s LOST stand-in “Day Break”.  The new show stars Kevin McKidd (“Rome”), Gretchen Egolf (“The Namesake,” “Martial Law”), and ironically Moon Bloodgood (“Day Break”), is about a newspaper reporter (McKidd) who travels back and forth through time, and must deal with the changes he makes along the way. 

“Life” is a little more in the standard fare, yet interesting category. Damian Lewis (“Band of Brothers”), Melissa Sagemiller (“Sleeper Cell”) star in this drama about a police detective who rejoins the force after being released from prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

“The IT Crowd” is yet another attempt to import a successful British television show, something that NBC has had considerable luck with.  This time it is the story of an IT department’s day to day tribulations dealing with a new boss that HATES technology. Joel McHale (“The Soup”), Jessica St. Clair (“For Your Consideration”), Richard Ayoade (the British “IT Crowd”), and Rocky Carroll (“Invasion”) star.

“Lipstick Jungle” is an attempt at wringing a prime time drama out of Candace Bushnell’s novel of the same name about three type-a female executives who come together to kvetch about their personal struggles.  Features the power cast of Kim Raver (“24”), Brooke Shields (“Nip/Tuck”), and Lindsay Price (“Pepper Dennis” )

– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer


Senior Writer, BuddyTV