Pair of NBC U shows picked up for fall
Fox is ready to buy a shiny new “House,” while ABC is ready to give up some real estate to Mel Gibson’s “Savages.”
Neither net would confirm anything Thursday, but industry insiders said both shows are, for all intents and purposes, on the air next season. Indeed, Fox has already given “House” producers the OK to start hiring writers and staff for the medical mystery drama starring Hugh Laurie.
Both “Savages” and “House” come from the newly minted NBC Universal Television Studio, in conjunction with Icon and Hell and Toe Films, respectively.
As a couple of the nets prepare to hand out official series orders today, the Peacock’s pickup picture seemed clearest.
While stability will be a watchword at its upfront Monday, net may pick up a few more shows than actually land on its fall sked. That’s because execs are expected to stress the need for year-round programming (something Fox is already in the hunt for) and fewer repeats — which means some shows could share timeslots.
NBC has already greenlit WBTV’s “Joey,” DreamWorks’ “Father of the Pride,” medical mystery “The Cure” (from scribes Michelle Ashford and Jason Horwitch) and the limited event skein “Revelations” (from Gavin Polone, David Seltzer and Jessika Borsiczky). Latter is expected to debut in November or February (Daily Variety, May 13).
On the drama tip, both “Hawaii” and “HUB” are red hot. Comedy-wise, “Crazy for You” (previously the untitled Heline & Heisler project) is already being talked up as a Tuesday player, while “The Office: An American Workplace” may snag a limited series order for midseason (though some inside the net are concerned it’s not a broad hit). “The Men’s Room” is still in play for fall, while “Never Mind Nirvana” and “My 11:30” are alive.
The bogus NBC skeds started flying Thursday, and most have NBC putting a series like “Hub” or “Hawaii” Monday at 10 p.m. (rather than reality fare). Some insiders are buzzing about Tuesday or Wednesday at 8 as possible timeslots for reality; boxing skein “The Contender” could get on the air a bit earlier than expected, some believe.
Having consistently failed to launch comedies Tuesdays at 8, skedding “Father of the Pride” Wednesdays at 8 might make sense, allowing NBC to counterprogram with reality Tuesdays at 8 (and avoiding the horror of seeing a promising comedy killed by “American Idol” come January).
One rumor had “The West Wing” shifting to Friday, but that seemed unlikely given the fact the skein is still a lucrative ad draw for NBC.
Over at ABC, in addition to “Savages,” there’s still solid buzz for Jennifer Love Hewitt’s laffer, while “That’s My Rodney” is on the radar big-time. Execs also like medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” and comedy “We Are Family” has its fans. “Doing It” is also building buzz, and “Desperate Housewives” remains a fave of ABC execs (but is it too dark?). Some say “Countdown,” which had been counted out a few days ago, could be coming back to life.