And so begins the long, grim task of rebuilding NBC’s schedule after The Jay Leno Show rips off its mask and admits it was really The Tonight Show all along. (If you needed further evidence that that was the endgame, People reports that next week is likely to be the last for Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show.)
So what does NBC have in the cupboard to replace Jay? Planned new drama Parenthood. Struggling not-as-new dramas Trauma and Mercy. Jerry Seinfeld-produced reality show The Marriage Ref and sundry other reality projects. Law & Order. Law & Order: SVU. “Encores” of Law & Order: SVU. Dateline. And what else… beans… I think there were some beans in the back here somewhere…
Excerpts from the release, and a trip through NBC’s cobwebbed pantry, after the jump:
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – January 14, 2010 – NBC unveiled its new post-Winter Olympics primetime program schedule today. The new drama series “Parenthood” will premiere on Tuesday, March 2 (10-11 p.m. ET) and the comedy panel series “The Marriage Ref” from Jerry Seinfeld will premiere Thursday, March 4 (10-11 p.m. ET) after its sneak preview on Sunday, February 28 (10:30-11 p.m. ET) following NBC’s coverage of the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
In addition, the new alternative series “Who Do You Think You Are?” from Lisa Kudrow will premiere Friday, March 5 (8-9 p.m. ET) and the new game show “Minute to Win It” joins the lineup on Sunday, March 14 (8-9 p.m. ET). Also, “Friday Night Lights” will begin a new broadcast season on NBC on Fridays (8-9 p.m. ET) starting April 30 after “Who Do You Think You Are?” concludes its run.
The long-running series “Law & Order” continues its 20th season debuting on a new night with a two-hour telecast (9-11 p.m. ET) on Monday, March 1 before settling into its regular time period the following week, Monday, March 8 (10-11 p.m. ET). “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” will move to Wednesdays at 10-11 p.m. (ET) beginning March 3. Encore episodes will air at 9-10 p.m. (ET) followed by original episodes (10-11 p.m. ET). “Trauma” returns to the schedule Monday, March 8 (9-10 p.m. ET).
“Parenthood” is a one-hour drama inspired by the box-office comedy hit of the same name that debuts Tuesday, March 2 (10-11 p.m. ET). The re-imagined and updated production introduces audiences to the large and colorful yet imperfect Braverman family and features an all-star cast that includes Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, Craig T. Nelson, Erika Christensen, and Bonnie Bedelia among others. Serving as executive producers are Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Frost/Nixon”), Jason Katims (“Friday Night Lights”) – who wrote the pilot episode – and David Nevins (“Friday Night Lights,” “Arrested Development”). Emmy Award winner Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”) is the director and executive producer of the pilot. “Parenthood” is from Imagine Television and Universal Media Studios.
“The Marriage Ref” – which has a special sneak preview following the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics on February 28 – is NBC’s new comedy panel series about the unpredictable and hilarious institution commonly known as marriage. It features comedian/actor Tom Papa, who was personally selected by executive producer Jerry Seinfeld to host and serve as the “marriage ref.” The show will premiere in its regular slot on Thursdays (10-11 p.m. ET) beginning March 4.
“The Marriage Ref” is produced by Seinfeld’s Columbus 81 Productions and Ellen Rakieten Entertainment. Seinfeld, Ellen Rakieten (“The Oprah Winfrey Show”), Shed Media’s Nick Emmerson (“Supernanny”) and Jennifer O’Connell (“Supernanny”), Al Berman (“The Biggest Loser Live Finale,” “The Celebrity Apprentice Live Finale”), Howard West (“Seinfeld”) and George Shapiro (“Seinfeld”) serve as executive producers. International distribution is by Endemol.
“Who Do You Think You Are?” premieres Friday, March 5 (8-9 p.m. ET) and gives viewers an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today’s most beloved and iconic celebrities. Among the celebrities featured are Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Emmitt Smith. Ancestry.com is NBC’s official partner on the series. From executive producer Kudrow (“Friends,” “The Comeback”) – in conjunction with her production company Is or Isn’t Entertainment and the U.K.’s Wall to Wall productions – “Who Do You Think You Are?” is an adaptation of the hit BBC television documentary series created and executive-produced by Alex Graham.
“Who Do You Think You Are?” is produced by Wall to Wall productions (a Shed Media Company) in association with Is or Isn’t Entertainment. Alex Graham and Lucy Carter from Wall to Wall and Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky and Don Roos from Is or Isn’t Entertainment are the executive producers. Bryn Freedman is the co-executive producer.
All-American chef and television personality Guy Fieri (“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”) will host NBC’s new game show “Minute to Win It” as it debuts on Sunday, March 14 (8-9 p.m. ET). Fieri will serve as master of ceremonies and will lead competitors through a series of simple, yet nerve-wracking games that can reward them a $1 million prize. Over eight one-hour episodes, competitors will face 10 challenges that escalate in level of difficulty using everyday household items. Each game has a 60-second time limit and failure to finish the task on time will eliminate the contestant. At various points throughout the game, the contestant can walk away with the money earned up to that point – but it’ll take nerves of steel to complete all 10 tasks to win $1 million.
“Minute to Win It” is produced by Universal Media Studios with Friday Television. Craig Plestis, Tim Puntillo (NBC’s “Identity”), Mattias Olsson and Jock Millgardh serve as executive producers.
The new post-Olympics program schedule grid follows (all times ET); new series are in upper case.
8-9 p.m. – “Chuck”
9-10 p.m. – “Trauma” (beginning March 8 )
10-11 p.m. -“Law & Order” (returns March 1 with two-hour episode, 9-11 p.m. (ET); resumes in regular time slot March 8 )
8-10 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser”
10-11 p.m. – “PARENTHOOD” (premieres March 2)
8-9 p.m. – “Mercy”
9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (encores beginning March 3)
10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (originals beginning March 3)
8-8:30 p.m. – “Community”
8:30-9 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. – “30 Rock”
10-11 p.m. – “THE MARRIAGE REF” (premieres March 4; sneak preview February 28)
8-9 p.m. – “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” (premieres March 5; “Friday Night Lights” returns on April 30)
9-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC” (begins March 5)
SATURDAYS (all beginning March 6)
8-9 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser” (encore episode)
9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order” (encore episode)
10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (encore episode)
SUNDAYS (all beginning March 14)
7-8 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
8-9 p.m. – “MINUTE TO WIN IT” (premieres March 14)
9-11 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice” (season premiere March 14)