Last year, NBC spent $4.38 BILLION to obtain the rights to broadcast the Olympic games through 2020. Their ratings for the 2012 London games have been stellar, despite outrage from critics professional and amateur alike. By the time they air, sports broadcast during NBC’s evening segments have been completed for nearly twelve hours. That leaves plenty of opportunity for viewers to know the results beforehand.
But the suspense of not knowing, or knowing, or not caring, or caring, isn’t surpassed by NBC’s gripping interview segments (like Ryan Lochte trying to convince us that he does, in fact, know English), or they’re skipping the tributes to victims of terrorism or fallen soldiers during the Opening Ceremonies.
The biggest thing on NBC right now—seriously, RIGHT NOW!—is their shameless pimping of their debacle of an upcoming fall lineup.
First up on the chopping block is a new comedy called Animal Practice. Scholars have surmised that the show’s name comes from the fact that the sitcom’s premise is that a monkey works at a hospital. It’s an animal hospital. Maybe the monkey is like a primate Doogie Howser, and at the end of every episode, he sums up his thoughts by writing in his e-diary on his iPad. Maybe Justin Kirk, once respectable as Andy Botwin on Weeds, couldn’t find anything better to do with his time.
(Side note: also airing during the Olympics was a John C. McGinley—of Scrubs fame—appearance in a State Farm commercial. This tangent is not without merit, as NBC’s Animal Practice, on the surface, seems as complicated an idea as when JD imagined the fake sitcom Legal Custodians on Scrubs.)
LOST creator JJ Abrams has Revolution coming to NBC this fall. The post-apocalyptic sci-fi/action/adventure premieres in September with a pilot directed by Jon Favreau. The show may have promise, supposing folks can buy into the premise of the entire world losing electricity for fifteen years (which my dad could easily do, seeing as he’s had a conspiracy theory about the Chinese taking over our power grids for some time now). Viewers will also have to buy into the fact that Zak Orth, who in tv spots looks to be the obligatory sci-fi, fat-nerd-hunk comic relief, actually furthers the plot and isn’t there just to make us laugh. Seeing a decrepit Wrigley Field covered in weeds with a “2012 World Series Champions” sign is hilarious enough.
The New Normal looks like a button-pushing, pseudo-controversy in sitcom form (from—YES!—the creator of Glee), while Guys With Kids may capture the hearts of that elusive 27-36 male parent demographic (i.e., no one). Chicago Fire, in all likelihood, will not contain dialogue and will simply be a continuous slow-motion montage of people being heroes in the face of adversity. (In the NBC tradition, the show will profile fictional firefighters on tape-delay.) The show should not be confused with the actual Great Chicago Fire of 1871, or the soccer team that bears the same name.
Matthew Perry’s Go On shows promise in its tv spots, though it remains to be seen if a funny guy and a hot chick can carry a premise for more than a few episodes. The show takes place in a support group, with each cast member coping with some sort of anger or loss.