You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nets focus their wares at winter TCA

NBC looks for new traction, banking on 'Voice,' 'Smash'

NBC has the most at stake with its midseason efforts, but all of the broadcast nets will be jockeying to make an impression as the semiannual dog-and-pony show known as the Television Critics Assn. tour begins its winter gathering in Pasadena on Wednesday.

Running through Jan. 15, TCA kicks off with a two-day presentation by PBS before the broadcasters begin their parade, with the nets keen to convince journos that their upcoming series are the next big thing.

NBC, along with ABC, has the most midseason shows to tout. But with the Peacock in a much tougher predicament than the resurgent Alphabet, network topper Bob Greenblatt will be in salesman mode, promoting NBC’s new shows with a lot on the line.

The net came into fall with high hopes for “Prime Suspect” and “The Playboy Club,” both of which were canceled, and comedies “Whitney” and “Up All Night,” which have performed adequately but been far from breakouts.

Now, nothing may be more important this midseason to NBC than returning reality skein “The Voice” and rookie drama “Smash” — premiering the evening of and day after the Super Bowl, respectively — with the judges and casts from both series up on stage to generate awareness.

“The Firm,” based on the John Grisham novel, also will be a major component of NBC’s midseason sked, and the net thinks Jason Isaacs starrer “Awake” can bring in sci-fi auds that may not have come to NBC in the past.

To tubthump its offerings, the Peacock will throw a nighttime soiree at CalTech Friday before the NBCUniversal cablers take over the TCA tour on Saturday.

Next up is Fox, which will look to gain some traction for newbie series and Kiefer Sutherland starrer “Touch,” “Bones” spinoff “The Finder” and “Alcatraz,” from exec producer J.J. Abrams.

While network president Kevin Reilly took a more reasoned approach at the summer TCA in Beverly Hills regarding the new fall shows, Simon Cowell told attendees then that he expected “American Idol”-like numbers for “The X Factor.” That clearly put “X Factor” in the crosshairs of TV journos. With that in mind, Reilly will likely be confident selling his new wares but won’t oversell.

With Monday dedicated to ABC’s kids, news and daytime divisions, Paul Lee will take the stage Tuesday brimming with confidence after a very healthy fall. Alphabet has done well with drama hits “Revenge” and “Once Upon a Time” as well as comedy freshman “Suburgatory.”

Midseason entries for ABC include three dramas — “The River,” “GCB” and “Scandal” — and comedy “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23.” Net will also offer a comedy showrunner panel, with “Modern Family,” “The Middle,” “Suburgatory” and “Happy Endings,” as well as a panel dedicated to “Desperate Housewives,” which will sign off in May.

CBS comes into TCA as the strongest broadcast net and doesn’t have much to offer in midseason. Although prexy Nina Tassler could easily get onstage and simply crow about the Eye’s perf — “Two and a Half Men” relaunched itself as the top comedy in total viewers and “2 Broke Girls” looks to be a longterm player — Tassler, without much new to promote, has decided not to engage attendees in an exec session.

Corporate siblings CW and Showtime will share Jan. 12 before cable closes out the festivities Jan. 13-15.

HBO, in a rare morning session and also forgoing an exec panel, will tubthump a handful of new series. Pay cabler has plenty of heavyweight talent of display, including Dustin Hoffman (“Luck”), Nicole Kidman (telepic “Hemingway & Gellhorn”) and Ed Harris and Julianne Moore, who play John McCain and Sarah Palin in the TV movie “Game Change.”

Other cable panels that might generate interest and could prove lively discussions include “Dallas” on TNT, Kevin Smith’s “Comic Men” for AMC and Louis C.K.’s sitdown for his self-titled FX skein.

More TV

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content