NBC is keeping a tighter-than-usual lid on its new fall schedule — but that’s not stopping TV industry types from speculating just what the Peacock has planned for next fall.
Because the net traditionally kicks off the annual upfront meetings with advertisers, the NBC sked has traditionally been set by Thursday or Friday the week before the meetings. But NBC Entertainment prexy Jeff Zucker doesn’t want to give competitors an entire weekend to counterprogram his moves, so he’s instructed the troops to keep their mouths shut.
It’s a strategy CBS topper Leslie Moonves pioneered: Eye execs go to extraordinary lengths each year to maintain a veil of secrecy around the net’s new lineup.
Nonetheless, Peacock insiders said a schedule making the rounds Thursday contains elements not too far removed from the current thinking of NBC brass.
Sked has Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights staying the same. The biggest move is on Tuesday, where there’s buzz NBC might shift “Just Shoot Me” to an 8 p.m. spot, with the Par-produced domestic laffer “In Laws” at 8:30 p.m. “Frasier” stays at 9 p.m., with either “Hidden Hills,” “Live at Five Feet” or “It’s Not About Me” at 9:30 p.m. “Dateline” would presumably stay at 10 p.m.
Thursday would see “Scrubs” and “Good Morning Miami” filling the 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. slots, though which goes where is anyone’s guess. NBC brass really love “It’s Not About Me,” according to insiders, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see it end up on Thursdays. “A.U.S.A.,” from Rich Appel, remains a darkhorse.
On Sundays, feel-good drama “Our Generation” is being talked about for an 8 p.m. slot, with one of two crime dramas — “Kingpin” or “Boomtown”– possibly landing at 10 p.m. Low-budget drama “Arthur” would seem a logical 7 p.m. fit come midseason.
If “Providence” doesn’t return, it might make sense for NBC to move “Ed” to Friday in order to make room for more laffers from 8-9 p.m. on Wednesday — though NBC might not want to mess with the flow of a winning night. A new drama could also make sense on Wednesday or Friday.