NBC unveils 2010-11 schedule

NBC announced its 2010-11 schedule to the press today, with significant changes from last year.

For one thing: no Jay Leno in prime-time. Second, NBC has picked up dramas from J.J Abrams and Jerry Bruckheimer, two producers who know how to create hit shows – something NBC desperately needs right now.

From Abrams comes Undercovers, a new spy drama  which will air on Wednesday nights, and from the creator of CSI and The Amazing Race comes Chase, which takes a last hour on prime-time on Monday.

In a surprise move, the new single-camera comedy Outscored takes 30 Rock’s slot on Thursday, pushing Rock to 7:30 p.m. (CT).

And also on Thursdays, a new anthology comedy series titled Love Bites, takes up the last hour of primetime. Love Bites is reminiscent of ABC’s Love, American Style, which ran for an hour on Friday nights between 1969 and 1974 (and in half-hours in endless syndicated reruns ever since.)

Canceled shows include Heroes and Law & Order. Returning midseason are The Marriage Ref, Parks & Recreation, Celebrity Apprentice (it might likely become just The Apprentice again as Donald Trump is looking to drop the “Celebrity” angle from the show), and Minute It to Win It.

To see the complete schedule, click here. And to read a Q&A session featuring executives Jeff Gaspin and Angela Bromstead, click here.

Thought: There is nowhere to go but up for NBC, thanks in part to Jay Leno’s departure from prime time. Yours truly like the new dramas from Abrams and Bruckhmeier, and the two gives NBC some credibility. While it was a given the overrated Parks & Rec was renewed, it was a bit of a surprise to see the series shifted to midseason.

There are some major pains in this schedule. Chuck should not have come back for another season in the same Monday night time slot, while continuing to fill Tuesday with two hours of The Biggest Loser is a bit much, giving the number of pilots they rejected (Biggest Loser should be only one hour a week, at best.)

While Love Bites is a different animal, keep in mind Love, American Style was a middling performer at best during its five season run at ABC – the show never broke into the top 30 and vanished midway through the 1973-74 season, an unusual move for even then.

And really, do we need Law & Order: Los Angeles? If they wanted a L.A. based-crime drama, they should have kept Southland. Or at least bring back Adam-12 (which actually did happen – in 1990 for syndication.) And renewing the ultra-lame Marriage Ref and Minute to Win It is a complete joke.

Overall, look for NBC to be stronger in 2010-11 – but not strong enough to get out of fourth place.

Did you know? Love Bites was a #1 hit for hair-metal band Def Lepperd in October 1988.

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