Monday, September 07, 2009

NBC Fall TV 2009 Preview Post

A modified 3rd generation Trans Am used as KITTImage via Wikipedia

Today I'll probably only have time for one network. And what better network to spend time on today than NBC? (Well, based on Nielsen ratings . . . just about any network besides The CW is a better network than NBC, but I'm not being objective by saying that am I?)

Back in 2006 I wrote about NBC's new lineup of shows and I highlighted the hopes they had placed on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. That show didn't work out as they expected, but neither did their reboot of Knight Rider last year. So, in honor of the epic FAIL that was last year's Knight Rider mess, I'll present the 2009 lineup as if I was the robotic brain of KITT.

It seems illogical that you would abandon Heroes [premieres season 4 9/21 @ 8 pm] David. It features super powers, comic books, and things you profess to enjoy, does it not? However, one must consider how badly the show has "jumped the shark" in the last year and a half. The display of emotion on your face indicates that I am right in evaluating your disappointment with the program. Or perhaps I am misinterpreting anger for the excitement you expressed yesterday when you learned that Chuck will replace Heroes in this same time slot later in spring of this television season?

Trauma [premieres 9/28 @ 9 pm] seems to be to match many other shows. By running a detailed statistical analysis of the characters and plot contrivances, I find that this show focused on EMTs and (by necessity) hospitals might attract the same people who watched E.R. for many years. My review of the Internet also shows that a program entitled Day One will replace Trauma at some point, but the NBC network is unable to provide a functional Web site that gives information on the premise. I find this illogical.

Speaking of illogical, David, I also see that NBC will be filling it's 10 pm time slot with a show entitled The Jay Leno Show. My review of entertainment news from the past several months indicates that this Jay Leno retired from public work. Why then is NBC paying him to return? I find human actions sometimes very difficult to understand.

Again, from reviewing your face, I am registering an emotion that could be evaluated as happiness? But you are no fan of Jay Leno, since I have an extensive database of your late night viewing habits for over twenty years and it has almost no evidence of any preference for Mr. Leno. Could your happiness be a realization that because NBC is placing this Jay Leno program each weeknight at 10 pm, you have less to write?

NBC has chosen to dedicate an entire two-hour block of their Tuesday night schedule to a show called The Biggest Loser. I find humans to be too ready to insult each other with name calling. Even when I battled KARR so many years ago, we did not resort to emotional name calling to gain an upper hand upon each other. Again, my logic circuits have trouble evaluating human actions. And, based on the sensors in my driver's seat, I think that you could stand to lose a few pounds of mass from your torso.

Yet another hospital drama begins this night on the NBC network. The show entitled Mercy [premieres 9/23 @ 8 pm] cannot be terribly different from other dramas with a similar premise. Perhaps by focusing on the nurses, the viewers might gain a small dollop of newness? I suppose that there were many similarities between several of William Shakespeare's plays. Wait . . . did I just try to make a comparison between Shakespeare and an untested television drama. Maybe I need to get my cognitive circuits tightened when the oil is changed next week?
(In a human-like aside, I note that a different show called Parenthood is ready to replace Mercy in the spring, much like Chuck is preparing to replace Heroes. Does this NBC network have any confidence in the shows it is presenting?)

Law & Order: SVU [premieres 9/23 @ 9 pm] has been on the television for 11 years. It seems that the human race has a great fondness for dramatic entertainment set in hospitals or police headquarters. Is it attractive to watch the human race in extremis? Does it reveal the best and worst of you? Why do humans not want to watch more shows about super-intelligent machinery?

Again, by reviewing my entertainment database, I see that for a significant number of years, the NBC Network made itself popular and wealthy with its Thursday night grouping of shows. It might be instructive to look at this year's grouping on Thursday night to see if such popularity can repeat itself.

SNL: Weekend Update Thursday [premieres 9/17 @ 8 pm] confuses me. I have been devoting a large amount of my RAM memory trying to understand the title alone, which contains the works Saturday, Weekend, and Thursday. I suspect if it is even presented Live as the title also suggests. Additionally, while this show begins here at 8 pm, a note I observed shows that the new program Community [premieres 9/17 @ 9:30] will eventually take this 8 pm position on Thursday night. One wonders if such a new show with an untested plot about community college attendees learning about one another at study group will be able to survive a move from one time slot to another. And while we are at it, David, does not the plot for Community remind you slightly of that movie entitled The Breakfast Club? The show 30 Rock will take the 9:30 slot vacated by Community on October 15.

Parks and Recreation [premieres 9/17 @ 8:30] seems to be stable in this time slot and a show called The Office [premieres 9/17 @ 9 pm] seems to be the most predictable program on this extremely unpredictable night. At least one can confidently say that The Jay Leno Show will be on each night at 10 pm. I am only a super-fast, galactically-smart Trans-Am, but one hopes that The Jay Leno Show succeeds or the NBC Network will be facing a dangerous hole in their nightly programming schedule.

I must say, the confusion surrounding NBC Thursday night makes me wonder if such an ever-changing lineup will translate into ratings success and commercial profit. But, again, perhaps I should keep myself focused on jumping ditches and scanning buildings for security systems.

My review of television history shows that Friday nights are where "programs go to terminate" if I am using that human idiom correctly? One wonders if this theory will prove correct in 2009 when the Irresistible Force of Friday night failure meets the Immovable Object of Law & Order [premieres 9/25 @ 8 pm]. Law & Order has been on television since 1989, initially premiering only a few years after my own program went off the air. Additionally, it has undergone many cast changes without suffering visible damage to its overall popularity. I wonder what might have happened if we tried replacing David Hasselhoff with, say . . . Jan Michael Vincent in 1985?

The show Southland [premieres 10/23 @ 9 pm] is a police-based drama in the Los Angeles area. It might be well presented and written, but if a Trans-Am could give a script note, I would suggest they consider making one of the police cruisers Internet-capable . . . or maybe just connected to Twitter. I have found that intelligent vehicles lead to more dramatic captures of criminals.

I have decided to forgo a review of the weekend programming on the NBC network. A review of my TV Guide Web site shows that it features repeats of programs aired earlier in the week, a show called Dateline NBC that is almost as difficult to destroy as KARR was and many hours of the human sport of football. (And I should clarify that this is the American football, not the futbol played around the rest of the planet. My programming demands that I be specific on this point.)

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