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Tuesday May 15, 2007 9:03 pm

NBC Could Have Been a Contender

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Comedy, Drama, Prime Time, NBC, News, Ratings,

NBC LogoWhen television was new, NBC was there. The company began broadcasting great primtetime way back in 1938, quick to jump on the newfangled creation, television. In the 1950s, NBC dominated television with must-see shows like The Tonight Show and Today. The network was even home to some great TV in the 1990s, including the hit series Seinfeld. But for several years now, NBC has struggled to keep its shows among the top ten Neilsen ratings slots. Back when NBC had only to compete with ABC and CBS, it seemed the network would dominate. Today, NBC struggles for ratings supremacy against both these former rivals and even the “new” network, FOX. The famous peacock has unveiled its fall schedule…will this be the year that NBC finally claws its way back to the top of the TV ratings game? Looking at the line-up, I’m thinking no. They probably won’t even get close. 

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Scheduled for Mondays at 10pm ET, the dramatic Journeyman is being touted as a “romantic mystery” and focuses on a San Francisco newspaper reporter (Kevin McKidd, whom fans may recognize from HBO’s Rome) who begins to travel through time. By what device and means he travels is the mystery – he just, unexplainably, begins to do so. While on this time-traveling adventure, he tries to “fix” people’s lives. I’ve actually seen this show. I’ve seen it on NBC, back when it was called Quantum Leap and starred Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell. The show ran on the network from 1989 to 1993 and focused on the life of Dr. Sam Beckett, a scientist who stepped into a quantum leap accelerator and began randomly leaping backward into the past, appearing in different people’s bodies. Al, played by Dean Stockwell, helped him in holographic form by telling him how to “fix” whatever situation he’d leapt into. How is Journeyman different? I’m not sure, but Quantum Leap is still in syndication for those who are interested.

Romantic-mystery drama isn’t the only thing coming to NBC this fall – so is a man named Chuck. Airing on Tuesdays at 9pm ET, Chuck is a nerdy computer guy who finds one day he has “spy secrets” inside his brain, placed there by some unknown and highly mysterious circumstances. Chuck leaves his mouse behind and becomes a government agent in this highly likely scenario. I mean, honestly, doesn’t that kind of thing happen all the time to unassuming computer geeks? Great idea, NBC!

NBC is also bringing back the Bionic Woman, a show that first aired on ABC for the 1976-1977 season and then on NBC for the 77-78 season. The show was canceled after only one season on NBC…so, they’ve made the decision to bring it back with a whole new cast and a more modern feeling. The show already failed once, but apparently NBC is willing to try anything. You can view the remake next fall on Wednesdays at 9pm.

For dramedy, look for Lipstick Jungle, scheduled for January 2008 on Sunday nights at 10pm ET. Written by the real-life Carrie Bradshaw Candace Bushnell (columnist who wrote Sex & the City), the series will focus on three highly professional female friends (instead of four). It already sounds highly original – a funny, yet dramatic show about three thirty-something women who want to do it all on their own terms. Hmmm…that’s new.

NBC is planning several more new shows and interesting TV events in an attempt to draw in viewers. But, if the rest of their fall line-up looks like this, you can count NBC shows out of the top ten ratings spots for all of 2008 as well.

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