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New Series Breakdown: NBC

By Garth Franklin Monday May 17th 2010 03:24AM
New Series Breakdown: NBC

The Fall TV Season presentations for all the new network shows take place this week with the first announced today. Here's a full breakdown of which concepts have made the final list over on NBC.

While the Peacock has struggled in recent years, those were like a cakewalk compared to this past season as the network became a very public punching bag over the debacle of its 10pm Jay Leno show experiment, the Leno/Conan media wars, and ultimately the general failure of its shows which all struggled in the ratings - most visibly its two new medical dramas and the once proud "Heroes".

By the end of the season the only real success stories to talk about were the network's well-regarded but not spectacularly-rated Thursday night comedy block (Community, 30 Rock, Office), and "Chuck" which only just got renewed last season and is proving to be one of the network's most acclaimed and stable shows despite its modest audience.

This season NBC has plunged deeply into its development coffers and has added five new comedies and seven new dramas to its line-up with many filling in the 10pm slot the Leno show previously occupied. Growing comedy hit "Parks and Recreation" along with five of the new shows "The Cape,” “Friends With Benefits,” “Perfect Couples,” “Harry’s Law" and "The Paul Reiser Show" have all been pushed to mid-season. There's also a reality series called "School Pride" which tells the stories of communities coming together to renovate their aging and broken public schools.

Several pilots didn't make the final cut and won't be seen. These include the comedies "Beach Lane" about an author turned Hamptons newspaper editor starring Matthew Broderick; "The Strip" about a former child star turned hooters-style bar owner; "The Pink House" about two college graduates who move to L.A.; and "Nathan vs. Nurture" about a surgeon (Bill Pullman) who finds his biological parents had three more kids and kept them.

Pilots that came very close include "This Little Piggy" about two adult siblings who move into their late parent's rambling Portland mansion with their eldest brother; the David Tennant-led legal drama "Rex is Not Your Lawyer" about an anxious attorney who coaches clients to represent themselves in court; and David Shore's remake of "The Rockford Files" which may re-emerge but has various issues.

The network also tried to develop a remake of acclaimed British hit "Prime Suspect" but failed to find a leading lady that could come close to matching the skill of Helen Mirren who made the Jane Tennison role her own. Another surprise move in recent days was the decision to replace the original "Law & Order" with an L.A. spin-off - the decision should at least bring in higher ratings, but the network loses the bragging rights of having the original officially becoming the longest running drama series on the air.

Onto the new shows and they are:

The Cape
(Superhero Drama, Mid-Season)

Vince Faraday (David Lyons) is an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead.

Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family (Jennifer Ferrin, Ryan Wynott) and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Faraday becomes his son's favorite comic book superhero 'The Cape', and takes the law into his own hands.

Also in the mix is a circus ringleader (Keith David) who mentors him, an investigative blogger (Summer Glau) who wages war on crime and corruption, a former detective and friend (Dorian Missick) of Faraday's, and The Cape's nemesis - Max Malini (James Frain), a billionaire who moonlights as a serial killer.

Chase
(Action/Drama, Mondays 10pm)

A fast-paced drama that drops viewers smack into the middle of a game of cat-and-mouse as a team of U.S. marshals hunts down America's most dangerous fugitives.

Leading the team is U.S. Marshal Annie Frost (Kelli Giddish), a cowboy boot-wearing deputy whose sharp mind and unique Texas upbringing help her track down the violent criminals on the run.

Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco, Rose Rollins and Jesse Metcalfe also star as members of Frost's elite team. Jennifer Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer ("CSI") are producing.

The Event
(Drama/Thriller, Mondays 9pm)
A high-octane conspiracy thriller about Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), an everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his fiancee, Leila (Sarah Roemer), and unwittingly begins to expose a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind.

An eclectic band of strangers soon find their lives affected by his investigations - his shadowy father-in-law (Scott Patterson), the leader of a mysterious group of detainees (Laura Innes), and the newly elected U.S. President Martinez (Blair Underwood).

Ian Anthony Dale and Zeljko Ivanek also star.

Friends with Benefits
(Comedy, Mid-Season)
A group of twenty-something singles navigate the difficult, and often confusing, world of dating. Ben Weymouth (Ryan Hansen) is on the hunt for the perfect woman while his best friend Sara Maxwell (Danneel Harris) is just looking for a man to settle down with and both often turn to each other for moral and physical support.

Their friends include the romantic at heart Aaron, the womanizer Hoon and straight shooter Riley (Jessica Lucas) who are all distracted with their own dating trials and tribulations.

David Dobkin ("Wedding Crashers") and Brian Grazer ("A Beautiful Mind," "Arrested Development") produce.

Harry's Law
(Legal Drama, Mid-Season)
Harriet (Kathy Bates), Matthew (Ben Chaplin) and Malcolm (Aml Ameen) couldn't be any more different. Harriet (Kathy Bates) is a curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer who, having just been fired from her cushy job, is completely disillusioned with her success and looking for a fresh start.

Matthew (Aml Ameen) is a recently fired high school teacher and dreamer, while an ex-student of his Malcolm (Ben Chaplin) is a young man trying to figure out life.

When these three cross paths, they realize they're all looking for a fresh start. Now, the most unlikely of people are starting a law practice in the most unlikely of places--a rundown shoe store. Brittany Snow and Beatrice Rosen also star.

The project marks the return to television of David E. Kelley ("Boston Legal," "The Practice").

Law and Order: Los Angeles
(Legal Drama, Wednesdays 10pm)
The latest spin-off of the "Law and Order" franchise is another procedural crime drama that will follow the theme and storylines of the original but sets the action on the streets of the City of Angels. No cast members have been announced though Dick Wolf will stay on as executive producer.

Love Bites
(Romantic Comedy, Thursdays 10pm)

A romantic comedy anthology series featuring three loosely connected, modern stories of love, sex, marriage and dating. Each episode contains multiple vignettes, all illuminating the theme of love with an edgy, irreverent spin.

One of the three will be a permanent storyline that will anchor the series and revolve around the last two single girls standing after all of their friends get married - Annie (Becki Newton) is an infectiously bubbly optimist and Frannie (Jordana Spiro) is an always-a-bridesmaid realist.

Other romantically-challenged characters will come and go each week. Cindy Chupack ("Sex and the City") will produce.

Outlaw
(Legal Drama, Fridays 10pm)
Supreme Court Justice Cyrus Garza (Jimmy Smits), a playboy and gambler in his own right, quits his high-level position when he realises the system he believed in was flawed.

Returning to private practice, he's determined to use his inside knowledge of the justice system to take on today's biggest legal cases and making ripples along the way.

Jesse Bradford, Carly Pope, Ellen Woglom and David Ramsey also star. John Eisendrath ("Alias," "Felicity," "Playmakers") produces.

Outsourced
(Comedy, Thursdays 9:30pm)
A small all-American novelties company suddenly finds its call center being outsourced to India, along with the new manager Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport). As Todd discovers his new staff needs a crash course in all things American, he soon realizes that figuring out India will be more than a full-time job.

Rizwan Manji, Sacha Dhawan, Rebecca Hazlewood, Parvesh Cheena, Anisha Nagarajan, Diedrich Bader and Jessica Gower also star.

The Paul Reiser Show
(Comedy, Mid-Season)
Paul Reiser stars as himself, a former hit sitcom star who has been enjoying the quiet life at home with his lovely wife and kids and generally minding his own business. Lately Paul has been thinking that it's time he did something new and meaningful and is helped and hindered by his new "friends" along the way.

Like most men his age, Paul didn't choose these friends. They're the husbands of his wife's friends, the dads of kids that his boys go to school with. Thrown together by circumstance, Paul and his friends form an unlikely comradeship -- and a horrible basketball team.

Ben Shenkman, Omid Djalili, Duane Martin, Andrew Daly, Amy Landecker, Brock Waidmann and Koby Rouviere also star.

Perfect Couples
(Comedy, Mid-Season)
Depicts the misadventures of three engaging couples as they struggle to find out what makes the ideal relationship.

Dave (Kyle Howard) and Julia (Christine Woods) are the relatable normal couple, but Julia's hope of remaining cool and low-maintenance is tested by Dave's needy best friend Vance (David Walton).

Vance and neurotic Amy (Mary Elizabeth Ellis), are the high-passion, high-drama couple who bring out the best and worst in each other.

The third are the so-called experts who've read up on relationships - the reformed party guy Rex (Hayes MacArthur) and his wife Leigh (Olivia Munn), who considers herself the group's mother hen.

Undercovers
(Spy Action/Drama, Wednesdays 8pm)
Steven Bloom (Boris Kodjoe) and Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are a married Los Angeles couple who own a small catering company helped along by Samantha's easily frazzled younger sister Lizzy (Jessica Parker Kennedy).

Secretly, the duo were two of the CIA's best spies until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired. When fellow spy and friend Nash (Carter MacIntyre) goes missing, the Blooms are reinstated by boss Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney) to locate and rescue him.

Thrust back into the world of espionage as they follow leads that span the globe, the pair realise this supercharged undercover lifestyle provides the excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing.

Ben Schwartz also stars. J.J. Abrams, Josh Reims and Bryan Burk will produce.

The nightly NBC schedule will be as follows:

MONDAY
8pm: "Chuck"
9pm: "The Event"
10pm: "Chase"

TUESDAY
8pm: "The Biggest Loser"
10pm: "Parenthood"

WEDNESDAY
8pm: "Undercovers"
9pm: "Law & Order: SVU"
10pm: "Law & Order: Los Angeles"

THURSDAY
8pm: "Community"
8:30pm: "30 Rock"
9pm: "The Office"
9:30pm: "Outsourced"
10pm: "Love Bites"

FRIDAY
8pm: "Who Do You Think You Are"/"School Pride"
9pm: "Dateline"
10pm: "Outlaw"

SATURDAY
8pm: Encore Programming

SUNDAY
7pm: "Football Night in America"
8:15pm: "NBC Sunday Night Football"

Renewals include "30 Rock," "The Apprentice," "The Biggest Loser", "Chuck," "Community," "Dateline NBC," "Friday Night Lights," "Law and Order: SVU," "The Marriage Ref," "Minute to Win It," "The Office," "Parenthood," "Parks and Recreation," "Saturday Night Live," "The Sing-Off," "Sunday Night Football," "Who Do You Think You Are"

Cancellations include "Heroes," "The Jay Leno Show," "Law and Order," "Mercy," "Trauma".

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