NBC was the first network to announce its fall schedule at the 2007 Upfronts this morning, and it started off with a shocker: A spinoff of "Heroes" called "Heroes: Origins" that will air when the original series is on hiatus and introduce characters not yet known to viewers. Take that, "Grey's Anatomy"! Combined, the two shows will air 30 new episodes next year.
Additionally, NBC picked up five dramas ("Journeyman," "Bionic Woman," "Chuck," "Life," "Lipstick Jungle"), one comedy series ("The IT Crowd") and two reality shows — one that will challenge contestants to sing popular song lyrics, the other focusing on dance from around the world.
Among returning shows, here were some of the big announcements:
- "The Office" will have 30 half-hour episodes, five of which will air as hour-long episodes (if I'm doing the math right, that means 25 weeks when "The Office" will be new).
- "Friday Night Lights" will air (ugh) Fridays at 10 p.m.
- "My Name is Earl" will have a longer-than-usual season of 25 episodes.
- "Law & Order" will be back, while "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" will air its new episodes on USA (eventually they'll air on NBC, too, but details on how that will work are unclear).
Here's NBC's official press release, and to see the full fall schedule and descriptions of the new shows,
All caps = new show
** = new time slot
8-9 p.m. "Deal or No Deal"
9-10 p.m. "Heroes"
10-11 p.m. "JOURNEYMAN"
8-9 p.m. "The Biggest Loser"
9-10 p.m. "CHUCK"
10-11 p.m. "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
8-9 p.m. "Deal or No Deal"**
9-10 p.m. "BIONIC WOMAN"
10-11 p.m. "LIFE"
8-8:30 p.m. "My Name Is Earl"
8:30-9 p.m. "30 Rock"**
9-9:30 p.m. "The Office"**
9:30-10 p.m. "Scrubs"
10-11 p.m. "ER"
8-9 p.m. "1 vs 100"/"THE SINGING BEE" (rotating)
9-10 p.m. "Las Vegas"
10-11 p.m. "Friday Night Lights"**
8-9 p.m. "Dateline NBC"
9-11 p.m. Drama Series Encores
SUNDAY (Fall 2007)
7-8 p.m. "Football Night in America"
8-11 p.m. "NBC Sunday Night Football"
SUNDAY (January 2008)
7-8 p.m. "Dateline NBC"
8-9 p.m. "Law & Order"**
9-10 p.m. "Medium"**
10-11 p.m. "LIPSTICK JUNGLE"
"WORLD MOVES" will premiere later in the fall.
Here's how NBC describes the new shows:
From Emmy Award-winning writer-producer Kevin Falls ("The West Wing") and Emmy Award-winning director-producer Alex Graves ("The West Wing"), "Journeyman" is a romantic mystery-drama about Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd, "Rome"), a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people's lives. Along the way, he also must deal with the difficulties and strife at work and home brought on by his sudden disappearances. However, his freewheeling travels through the decades reunite him with his long-lost fiance Livia (Moon Bloodgood, "Day Break") — which complicates his present-day life with wife Katie (Gretchen Egolf, "Martial Law") and their son. Reed Diamond ("Homicide: Life on the Street") and Charles Henry Wyson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") also star. "Journeyman" is a production of 20th Century Fox Television. Falls is executive producer and writer; Graves is executive producer and director of the pilot.
From executive producer, Josh Schwartz ("The O.C.") and executive producer-director McG ("Charlie's Angels," "We Are Marshall") comes a one-hour, comedic spy thriller about Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi, "Less Than Perfect") — a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as the government's most vital secret agent. When Chuck opens an e-mail subliminally encoded with government secrets, he unwittingly downloads an entire server of sensitive data into his brain. Now, the fate of the world lies in the unlikely hands of a guy who works at Buy More. Instead of fighting computer viruses, he must fight assassins and international terrorists. With the government's most precious secrets in Chuck's head, Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin, "My Bodyguard") of the NSA assumes the responsibility of protecting him. His partner is the CIA's top agent (and Chuck's first date in years) Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strzechowski, "Gone"). They'll keep him safe by trading in his pocket protector for a bulletproof vest. Also starring are Joshua Gomez ("Without a Trace") as Chuck's best buddy Morgan and Sarah Lancaster ("What About Brian?") as Chuck's ever-supportive sister Ellie. Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak wrote "Chuck," which is produced by College Hill Pictures and Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Struggling as a bartender and surrogate mom to her teenage sister, Jaime Sommers (Michelle Ryan, "EastEnders") didn't think life could get much harder. But when a devastating car accident leaves her at death's door, Jaime's only hope for survival is a cutting-edge, top-secret technology that comes at a hefty price. With a whole new existence and a debt to re-pay, Jaime must figure out how to use her extraordinary abilities for good, while weighing the personal sacrifices she will have to make. Ultimately, it's Jaime's journey of self-discovery and inner strength that will help her embrace her new life as the Bionic Woman. Also starring are: Mae Whitman ("State of Grace") as Becca, Jaime's younger sister; Miguel Ferrer ("Crossing Jordan") as Jonas, the man who employs Jaime's boyfriend; Chris Bowers ("Rescue Me) as Will, Jaime's boyfriend, who performs the operation; Will Yun Lee ("Witchblade") as Jae, the specialized operations leader; and Molly Price ("Third Watch"), as Ruth, Jonas' second-in-command. "Bionic Woman" is produced by NBC Universal Television Studio and executive-produced by David Eick ("Battlestar Galactica"), Glen Morgan ("The X-Files"), Michael Dinner ("Kidnapped") -- who also directed the pilot -- and Jason Smilovic ("Lucky Number Slevin"). Laeta Kalogridis ("Birds of Prey") is also an executive producer on the pilot.
From Rand Ravich and Far Shariat, the executive producers of the feature film "The Astronaut's Wife," and David Semel, who directed the pilot of NBC's "Heroes," "Life" is a new drama about a detective who is given a second chance. Damian Lewis ("Band of Brothers") stars as complex, offbeat Detective Charlie Crews, who returns to the force after years in prison, thanks to close friend and attorney Constance Griffiths (Melissa Sagemiller, "Sleeper Cell"), after serving time for a crime he didn't commit. The cast also includes Sarah Shahi ("Rush Hour 3") as Charlie's skeptical, demanding partner, Robin Weigart (HBO's "Deadwood") as their hard-hitting lieutenant, and Adam Arkin ("Chicago Hope") as former cellmate Ted Early. "Life" is an NBC Universal Television Studio production. Rand Ravich is executive producer and writer; Far Shariat is executive producer; David Semel is executive producer and director on the pilot.
Based on the best-selling novel by Candace Bushnell ("Sex and the City"), this fun dramedy follows three high-powered friends as they weather the ups and downs of lives lived at the top of their game. Nico (Kim Raver, "24"), editor-in-chief of a hot fashion magazine, wants to replace her boss as CEO. Movie exec Wendy (Brooke Shields, "Suddenly Susan") finds even her most earnest efforts may not be enough to balance career and family. And free-spirited designer Victory (Lindsay Price, "Beverly Hills, 90210") longs to make her dreams come true, and maybe find Mr. Right along the way. Armed with humor and strength, these three modern New York women support one another through the triumphs and tears that are all part of making it big in the Big Apple. Written by executive producers DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler (both for "How I Met Your Mother," "Three Sisters") and based on the book by Bushnell, "Lipstick Jungle" is from NBC Universal Television Studio. The pilot is directed by Gary Winick ("13 Going on 30").
"The IT Crowd"
Ever wonder what's up with those quirky techies who come to fix the office computer when no one's around? "The IT Crowd" is an offbeat series, based on the critically acclaimed British comedy, that offers a humorous behind-the-scenes peek at the people who truly keep the office humming. Roy (Joel McHale, "The Soup") and Moss (Richard Ayoade, "The IT Crowd" — U.K.) are the misunderstood masters of their high-tech domain, but they lack the people skills to befriend anyone but each other. Their company's head is Denholm (Rocky Carrol, "Chicago Hope"), who wants the IT department to stay segregated and forever banished to the basement. Executive producers are Moses Port ("Just Shoot Me"), David Guarascio ("Just Shoot Me"), Joe Port (NBC's "The Office"), Joe Wiseman ("The Office"), Graham Linehan ("The IT Crowd" — UK) and Steve Tao ("Red Doors"). Gail Mancuso ("Scrubs," "30 Rock") directed the pilot. "The IT Crowd" is produced by NBC Universal Television Studio.
"The Singing Bee"
"The Singing Bee" is a variety-competition show that challenges contestants to accurately sing the lyrics to popular songs -- even when the band stops playing. In this karaoke showdown, there's no middle ground for partially correct answers -- contestants must be perfect or they're out. Family-friendly, broad in appeal and conducive to playing (and singing) along at home, "The Singing Bee" features popular, recognizable music that inspires hilarious wrong answers and amazing performances by those rare contestants who somehow manage to get every word right. "The Singing Bee" is produced by the Gurin Company and Juma Entertainment, LLC. The executive producers are Phil Gurin (NBC's "Miss Universe" franchise) and Robert C. Horowitz ("Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials Top 40 Countdown").
From executive producer Randy Jackson ("American Idol") and the creators of the World Hip Hop Championship comes one of the most visual and captivating performance competition shows ever to hit TV. Thousands of dance teams from around the world will audition for their shot to come to Los Angeles and compete for a global championship and an international touring contract. The live television event features young teams of five to seven members demonstrating their athleticism, creativity and innovative choreography in a presentation that highlights both the competition and the personal drama unfolding within each team. Viewers from across the globe will vote via the Internet, by text message, or by phone to eliminate one team each week. Ultimately, it's not just about winning a competition; "World Moves" involves stories that change lives and bring the world together. From Warner Horizon Television, the series is executive-produced by Jackson ("American Idol," Dream Merchant 21 Entertainment), Rob Lee (President, Bayonne Entertainment, "Blow Out," "House of Carters"), Howard Schwartz ("Hip Hop International, World Hip Hop Championship), Karen Schwartz (Hip Hop International, World Hip Hop Championship) and Harriet Sternberg (Dream Merchant 21 Entertainment).