It’s time for upfronts week, which is the week when all four of the major networks, plus whatever’s left of The CW, announce their fall schedules, usually in hugely anticlimactic fashion. Hell, NBC announces this morning in New York, and they sent out the schedule to journalists yesterday, along with posting clips of all of their new series (save the still-not-shot The Firm, for which they only posted a clip of John Grisham talking about how the time was right for The Firm) on their Web site.
Here’s the schedule, direct from the press release:
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 p.m.: The Sing-Off
10-11 p.m.: THE PLAYBOY CLUB
8-10 p.m.: The Biggest Loser
10-11 p.m.: Parenthood
8-8:30 p.m.: UP ALL NIGHT
8:30-9 p.m.: FREE AGENTS
9-10 p.m.: Harry's Law
10-11 p.m.: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
8-8:30 p.m.: Community
8:30-9 p.m.: Parks And Recreation
9-9:30 p.m.: The Office
9:30-10 p.m.: WHITNEY
10-11 p.m.: PRIME SUSPECT
8-9 p.m.: Chuck
9-10 p.m.: GRIMM
10-11 p.m.: Dateline NBC
7- 8:15 p.m.: Football Night In America
8:15-11:30 p.m.: NBC Sunday Night Football
7-8 p.m.: Dateline NBC
8-10 p.m.: The Celebrity Apprentice
10-11 p.m.: THE FIRM
8-10 p.m.: The Voice
10-11 p.m.: SMASH
Other midseason shows: 30 Rock; Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea; Awake; Bent; Best Friends Forever; Betty White’s Off Their Rockers; Brian Williams Newsmagazine; Fashion Star
If you want to watch all of the clips, you can find them collected in one handy-dandy place by The Futon Critic here.
Now, some night-by-night analysis:
Despite the fact that ratings for The Voice tumbled last week and despite the fact that The Biggest Loser is down quite a bit from its peak and despite the fact that The Sing-Off is an untested product, outside of the holiday season, reality is about the only thing holding NBC together, ratings-wise, so the network is betting big on the genre being what pulls it back from the abyss of being ranked fourth place. This means that in the fall, the network’s breaking out the a cappella group competition series The Sing-Off and turning it into a two-hour, weekly show. The series did very well last holiday season, but it was essentially the only thing on, and it aired every night. Far be it from us to wish ill on the career of best-reality-show-judge-ever Ben Folds, but this seems like a hugely risky move on essentially every level, particularly when tossing the show up against reality show juggernaut Dancing With The Stars (the reality audience tends to watch OTHER REALITY SHOWS, which is why they rarely compete well against each other). These two hours of wholesome family fun are followed up by The Playboy Club, which is just what it sounds like and, need we remind you, could feature nakedness. All in all, it’s an odd duo.
The midseason schedule makes a little more sense, particularly if The Voice can stabilize. Smash is NBC’s big hope for next season, and they want to give it as much protection as possible, in hopes of finding exactly the right audience to watch a sometimes realistic, sometimes campy tale of producing a Broadway musical (complete with Katharine McPhee singing “Beautiful” in a segment seemingly ripped wholesale from the movie of Chicago). Thus, it makes sense to put it after The Voice. But that’s betting a lot on America not being tired of reality performance shows when you’ve got America’s Got Talent AND Dancing With The Stars AND X Factor AND American Idol AND The Sing-Off all coming up. If The Voice continues to fall in the ratings, NBC could end up very terrified indeed.
This is unchanged from the current season. The Biggest Loser might be slumping, but it’s still one of the biggest shows on NBC, week in and week out. And while Parenthood is never going to be a mega-hit, it boasts a young audience and an affluent audience, and networks like that sort of thing. Plus, it has drawn a higher audience in the 18-49-year-old demographic than The Good Wife over on CBS some weeks. While NBC suffers from a lack of nerve on other nights, it makes a certain amount of sense to keep this night the same for now.
Here’s another oddly programmed night. The evening starts off with two single-camera comedies, and despite NBC’s insistence that it was aiming at picking up lots of comedies aimed at women, it hasn’t actually bothered to pair any of them together, instead opting to toss two promising-sounding comedies together and hope for the best. Emily Spivey’s Up All Night (the one with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) was once considered the network’s hottest comedy prospect, but the fact that it’s landed this slot instead of the post-Office slot is puzzling, unless NBC has such extreme confidence in its ability to be a self-starter. It’s followed by Free Agents, a show it would appear to have nothing in common with, but a show that hails from Party Down showrunner John Enbom. Both of these shows certainly SOUND interesting, but they don’t really make sense together or with the two established hits—Harry’s Law and Law & Order: SVU—that follow. All in all, a weird, weird night of TV.
Look, you know I like Community. You know I LOVE Community. But no matter how much Robert Greenblatt, the president of NBC, says that the show’s a strong self-starter in a tough timeslot or talks about how good its young demos are, there’s just no way that this show should be leading off the night at 8 p.m. It’s always performed better in later timeslots, with compatible lead-ins. If NBC truly believes in Up All Night, why not put that at 8 p.m. and shift Community to 8:30 at least? You’d run into the issue of the two shows not really having a lot in common again, but at least Community would get a chance to show if it could grow a bit in a later timeslot, rather than continue its audience erosion.
And if Community at 8 p.m. remains a bad idea, then following it with Parks And Recreation—a show that’s struggled after The Office, a series that should be the PERFECT LEAD-IN FOR IT—is incredibly baffling. It’s going to be the best hour of television all week, but it stands the chance of doing real, harmful damage to both shows. Unless Greenblatt is so sure he’s going to keep renewing these shows until they simply run out of gas (a la 30 Rock, which returns at midseason to give Tina Fey time to have a baby), it’d make sense to leave Parks And Rec after The Office and either hold Community until midseason (to find the best possible slot for it) or shift it to 8:30 somehow. I’m going to love watching this hour of TV; I’m going to dread reading the ratings.
The rest of the night continues the strangeness. This is probably the last year NBC can use The Office to launch a new comedy, and it’s chosen… Whitney, a multi-camera sitcom starring Whitney Cummings. I’m a fan of the multi-camera format (and my favorite comedy script this year was a multi-camera project), but it’s increasingly obvious that audiences don’t like a great deal of mixing and matching between the single-camera and multi-camera formats. Considering NBC already has a very similar sitcom to Whitney in Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea (based on the Chelsea Handler book) scheduled for midseason, why not hold Whitney until then and pair those two shows—featuring a similar filming style and similar sensibilities—together on the schedule when you have a hole to fill somewhere? No matter how good Whitney is, it’s doomed after The Office, unless audiences abruptly reverse their seeming antipathy to multi-camera and single-camera shows mixing.
The night closes out with Prime Suspect, which continues to seem like one of the most useless remakes ever but at least stands a good shot at seeming classier than The Apprentice did in this slot last fall.
Chuck is back for what will be its final 13 episodes, seemingly because NBC just doesn’t want to bother with expending a lot of promotional resources on a night where it wants to go scripted but doesn’t have a lot of money. The Chuck audience shows up wherever the show is scheduled, and they’ll surely show up for the final 13 episodes. That’s followed by early-contender-for-The-Cape-status Grimm, a series that features a promotional clip named “Bad Troll!,” and Dateline NBC.
Saturdays are for repeats, and if anyone ever tries to tell you that the networks used to program this night or that the biggest hit of the ‘70s aired on this night, they are wrong, and you should just tell them how wrong they are! Loudly!
In the fall, there’s football, assuming the NFL lockout doesn’t cancel the season. (NBC’s plan if it does? Reality TV, according to Alan Sepinwall. Wheeee!)
At midseason, then, the network will shift to Dateline at 7, followed by the two-hour Celebrity Apprentice at 8. Sepinwall’s report says that if Donald Trump leaves his show to run for president, the network will simply cast another billionaire in the main role. Finally, there’s The Firm at 10, and no matter what the folksy Grisham clip promises, it is almost certain that the vast majority of people will greet this project with a baffled, “They made a TV show out of the fucking Firm? Why?”
Descriptions of all shows (straight from NBC) follow:
PRIME SUSPECT: Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, Prime Suspect has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives, NYPD Blue) and director Peter Berg (NBC's Friday Night Lights) and stars Maria Bello (A History of Violence) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She's an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys' club. Timoney has her own vices too with a questionable past, and she tends to be forceful, rude, and reckless. But she's also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect. Also starring are Aidan Quinn (Unknown), Brian O'Byrne (FlashForward), Tim Griffin (Star Trek), Kirk Acevedo (Fringe), Joe Nieves (How I Met Your Mother), Damon Gupton (The Last Airbender) and Peter Gerety (Blue Bloods). Prime Suspect is produced by Universal Media Studios, ITV and Film 44. Cunningham is the executive producer/writer along with executive producer/director Berg and executive producers Sarah Aubrey, Julie Meldal-Johnson, Paul Buccieri, and Lynda LaPlante.
THE PLAYBOY CLUB: From Academy Award-winning executive producer Brian Grazer, The Playboy Club is a provocative new drama about a time and place that challenged the social mores, where a visionary entrepreneur created an empire and an icon changed American culture. It's the early '60s, and the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago is the door to all of your fantasies, and the key is the most sought-after status symbol of its kind. Inside the seductive world of the bunny, the epitome of beauty and service, the clientele rubs shoulders with the decade's biggest mobsters, politicos and entertainers. Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian, CSI: Miami) is one of the city's top attorneys and the ultimate playboy, rubbing elbows with everyone in the city's power structure. With mysterious ties to the mob, Nick comes to the aid of Maureen (Amber Heard, Zombieland), the stunning and innocent new bunny who accidentally kills the leader of the Bianchi crime family. Dating Nick is Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti, Take The Lead), a bombshell and established star at the club who knows her days as a bunny are numbered and finds herself continually at odds with Billy (David Krumholtz, Numb3rs), the club's general manager. Adding to the charm of the Playboy club is Janie (Jenna Dewan Tatum, American Virgin), the carefree life of the party who is dating Max (Wes Ramsey, CSI: Miami), an overly protective bartender. Also starring are Naturi Naughton (Fame) and Leah Renee (True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet). In addition to Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster), the executive producers on The Playboy Club include Chad Hodge (Tru Calling), Francie Calfo (Scoundrels), Jason Burns (The House Bunny), and Dick Rosenzweig (Kendra). Hodge also wrote the pilot, which was directed by Alan Taylor (Mad Men, The Sopranos). The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television.
SMASH: Smash is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire: to be a Smash. The series centers on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle, Legally Blonde: The Musical) and Julia (Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, Will & Grace). Julia recently began the process of adopting a child with her husband of many years, but her focus is torn when she has the opportunity to write another Broadway hit. A rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty (Katharine McPhee, American Idol), who is trying to find fame in the big city against all odds, and a stage veteran (Megan Hilty, 9 to 5: The Musical), who's determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. Tenacious producer Eileen (Oscar winner Anjelica Huston, Prizzi's Honor) discovers the Marilyn project and jumps on board with a brilliant director (Jack Davenport, Pirates of the Caribbean films), whose talent is matched by his cunning and egocentric amorality. The series stems from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (ER, Schindler's List). The pilot was written by acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck (Mauritius, NYPD Blue). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning Chicago, Hairspray) and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (United States of Tara, The Borgias) will also serve as executive producers. Original songs are written by Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can), who also serve as executive producers. Smash is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with DreamWorks. The pilot was directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot).
GRIMM: Grimm is a new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm's Fairy Tales. Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Those weren't stories; they were warnings. Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli, Turn The Beat Around) thought he prepared himself for the realities of working as a homicide detective until he started seeing things he couldn't quite explain. When his ailing Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton, Grey's Anatomy) arrives, Nick's life turns upside down when she reveals they are descendants of an elite group of hunters, also known as "Grimms," who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. As Nick digs deeper into her past, he realizes that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of his ancestors and contend with a larger-than-life mythology of the Brothers Grimm that is now all too real. Russell Hornsby (Lincoln Heights), Bitsie Tulloch (Quarterlife), Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break), Reggie Lee (Persons Unknown) and Sasha Roiz (Caprica) also star. Grimm is a production of Universal Media Studios and Hazy Mills Productions. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (Hot In Cleveland) serve as executive producers, Jim Kouf (National Treasure, Angel) and David Greenwalt (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) are the creators/executive producers and Marc Buckland (My Name Is Earl) is the director.
AWAKE: Awake is an intriguing drama about a detective (Jason Issacs, Harry Potter, Brotherhood) who finds he is leading an arduous double life that defies reality. When Detective Michael Britten (Issacs) regains consciousness following his family's car accident, he is told that his wife Hannah (Laura Allen, Terriers) perished but that his teen son, Rex (Dylan Minnette, Saving Grace), has survived. As he tries to put the pieces of his life back together, he awakens again in a parallel reality in which his wife is very much alive… but his son Rex died in the accident. In order to keep both of his loved ones alive at one time, he begins living two dueling realities in parallel worlds, which churns up confusion. In one moment, Michael and his wife debate about having another child to replace their son, while in the other reality, he is attracted to his son's tennis coach, Tara (Michaela McManus, The Vampire Diaries), to fill the void from the loss of his wife. Trying to regain some normalcy, Michael returns to police work and solves crimes in both worlds with the help of two different partners: Detective Isaiah "Bird" Freeman (Steve Harris, The Practice) and Detective Efrem Vega (Wilmer Valderrama, That '70s Show). Also starring are Emmy Award winner Cherry Jones (24) and BD Wong (NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) as therapists in each respective world. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Kyle Killen (Lone Star) and Howard Gordon (24) are executive producers. David Slade (Twilight: Eclipse, 30 Days of Night) also serves as executive producer and directed the pilot, written by Killen.
THE FIRM: Based on the blockbuster feature film and best-selling novel by world-renowned author John Grisham (The Pelican Brief, The Client), The Firm continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel. As a young associate, McDeere brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert, & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob, and his life was never the same. After a difficult decade, which included a stay in the Federal Witness Protection program, Mitch and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future, only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere. The Firm is produced by Entertainment One in association with Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Pictures. The executive producers are Grisham, Lukas Reiter (Law & Order, Boston Legal), John Morayniss (Haven, Hung), Michael Rosenberg (Hung, Skins), and Noreen Halpern (Rookie Blue, Hung).
WHITNEY: A hilarious look at modern love, Whitney is a new multi-camera comedy series about Whitney (Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Lately) and Alex (Chris D'Elia, Glory Daze), a happily unmarried couple. Together for five years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched. However, after attending yet another one of their friends' weddings, Whitney realizes that she and Alex are dangerously close to relationship boredom. Determined not to let that happen, Whitney consults her close circle of opinionated girlfriends, including Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, The Other Guys) and Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, The Starter Wife), and then snaps into action. A few awkward sexy costumes and one botched seductive evening later, the couple ends up in the emergency room. Even so, Whitney and Alex realize that while their relationship might not be perfect on paper, they really do love each other, and that works for them. Also starring are Maulik Pancholy (NBC's 30 Rock) as Lily's perfect boyfriend, and Dan O'Brien (How I Met Your Mother) as an eternal bachelor. Whitney is produced by Universal Media Studios and Scott Stuber Productions. Stuber (The Break Up), Quan Phung, Betsy Thomas (My Boys), and Barry Katz (Last Comic Standing) are executive producers. Cummings also serves as executive producer/writer. Andy Ackerman (Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine) is an executive producer and directed the pilot.
UP ALL NIGHT: From Emily Spivey (NBC's Parks And Recreation, NBC's Saturday Night Live) and legendary Emmy Award-winning producer Lorne Michaels, comes Up All Night, a modern take on parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) plays Chris, Reagan's supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents, a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults… for the most part. Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids) stars as Ava, Reagan's outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan's former carefree life. James Pumphrey (High Road) portrays Brian, Reagan's socially awkward hipster assistant. Up All Night is a production of Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video. Spivey is the creator and serves as executive producer along with Michaels and Jon Pollack (NBC's 30 Rock).
FREE AGENTS: Free Agents is a crooked workplace/romantic new comedy from creator John Enbom (Party Down) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle), based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound. Alex (Hank Azaria, The Simpsons, Huff) is newly divorced and can barely keep himself together while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, Hung) thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex's co-workers, Dan (Mo Mandel, Love Bites, Modern Family), Gregg (Al Madrigal, Wizards of Waverly Place, Gary, Unmarried), and Stephen (Anthony Head, Merlin, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started, in a casual, intimate, and beautifully awkward relationship. Also starring is Joe Lo Truglio (Backwash, Mad Love) and Natasha Leggero (Ugly Americans, 'Til Death). Free Agents is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Dark Toy and Big Talk Productions. Enbom is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Holland. Karey Burke (Miss/Guided) executive-produces, along with Big Talk Productions' Kenton Allen (Free Agents, BBC Network) and Nira Park, as well as Chris Niel.
ARE YOU THERE VODKA? IT'S ME, CHELSEA: Inspired by the best-selling book from comedienne/talk show host Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Lately), the new comedy Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, follows the exploits of twentysomething bartender Chelsea (Laura Prepon, That '70s Show) a strong-willed force of nature who is determined to live life to the fullest and make no apologies. Her friends are along for the ride but they all know it is Chelsea's way or the highway. Mark (Jo Koy, Chelsea Lately) is a charming bartender whose wit makes him the perfect foil for Chelsea while Shoniqua (Angel Laketa Moore, ER) is a smart and sassy fellow waitress who looks out for Chelsea's best interests. Close friend and fellow bartender Todd (Mark Povinelli, Water For Elephants) has a wry sense of humor that keeps her in check. Also starring are Natalie Morales (NBC's Parks And Recreation) as Ivory, Chelsea's feisty best friend; Lauren Lapkus (The Middle) as Dee Dee, Chelsea's sheltered, shy roommate, and Lenny Clarke (Rescue Me) as Chelsea's dad, Melvin. Handler has a recurring role as Chelsea's sister Sloan, a happily married new mom who has little in common with her carefree sister. Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea is a production of Warner Bros. Television in association with Werner Entertainment and Borderline Amazing Productions. Dottie Dartland Zicklin (Dharma & Greg) and Julie Larson (The Drew Carey Show) are creators and executive producers. Handler serves as executive producer along with Tom Werner (That '70s Show), Mike Clements (The Life & Times of Tim), and Tom Brunelle (Chelsea Lately).
BEST FRIENDS FOREVER: Best Friends Forever is a single-camera comedy that takes a look at what happens when best friends promise to support each other, no matter what the cost or circumstances. When Jessica's (Jessica St. Clair, In The Motherhood) husband files for divorce, she immediately seeks comfort and flies across the country to move back in with her best friend, Lennon (Lennon Parham, Accidentally On Purpose). Unfortunately, Lennon's boyfriend, Joe (Adam Pally, Happy Endings), has just moved into the apartment and has turned Jessica's old room into his perfect home office. As Lennon and Jessica fall into their old routines of beloved traditions, Steel Magnolias marathons, and epic girl-talk sessions, Joe begins to feel as if he's the odd man out. While Lennon struggles to find balance between her previous life with Jessica and her new life with Joe, Jessica's reentry to single life is complicated by the unresolved feelings that an old friend, Rav (Stephen Schneider, The Funniest Movie Ever… Just Kidding), has for her and the fact that pleated khakis aren't the most flattering single girl look. Best Friends Forever is produced by Universal Media Studios and American Work. St. Clair, Parham, Scot Armstrong (Old School, The Hangover Part II) and Ravi Nandan (Off Duty) are the executive producers. Fred Savage (Party Down) directed the pilot.
BENT: Bent is a new romantic comedy about two people who suddenly find themselves attracted to the qualities that typically repel them. On the surface, Alex (Amanda Peet, Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip) and Pete (David Walton, Perfect Couples) could not be more different. The recently divorced Alex is a resilient and tough lawyer who now is raising her eight-year-old daughter, Charlie (Joey King, Ramona And Beezus), as a single mom. Unwilling to let anything get in her way, she downsizes into a smaller house, and she hires Pete, a recovering gambling addict and unapologetic womanizer, as the contractor to re-do her kitchen. The remodeling job is Pete's last chance to prove that he is no longer a screw-up, but he doesn't know what's about to hit him when he encounters the force of nature that is Alex, nor does she realize that she's met her match in Pete, a man unafraid to call out her flaws. Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) also stars as Pete's father, Walt, an out-of-work actor, while Margo Harshman (Sorority Row) stars as Alex's wild younger sister Screwsie. This romantic comedy from writer and executive producer Tad Quill (Scrubs, Spin City) and director Craig Zisk (Nurse Jackie, Weeds) will prove that these resilient characters are "bent, not broken." The series is produced by Universal Media Studios.
New reality and alternative series
BETTY WHITE'S OFF THEIR ROCKERS: Ahhh senior citizens: blue-haired, discount card-holding pensioners slowly winding down through their golden years. So sweet, so kind, so… out of control and outrageous?! In the vein of Jackass and Punk'd, comedic sensation Betty White orchestrates a band of fearless senior citizens as they roam the streets pulling shockingly hilarious pranks on the naive younger generation. Delivering comedy in carefully crafted stunts, the results are jaw-droppingly funny candid moments and priceless reactions captured by cameras hidden in strategic locations. And with a fresh and edgy look, there's nothing old-fashioned about this series. The original Belgian version is the winner of the International Rose d'Or Best Program Award. Taking the world by storm, this ratings sensation finally arrives in America and proves that no matter how old you are, you should never act your age. Cast: Betty White, Host; Credits: Executive Producers: Betty White, Chris Coelen (Secret Millionaire, Don't Forget the Lyrics), Matilda Zoltowski (Dancing with the Stars), Tim van Aelst (Benidorm Bastards); Production Company: Kinetic Content
BRIAN WILLIAMS NEWSMAGAZINE: Starting this fall Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of America's leading evening newscast NBC Nightly News, whose outstanding journalism has earned the program the highly esteemed Peabody Award and who was named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in The World", will spearhead an eye-opening new primetime newsmagazine. Drawing on the unparalleled strength of America's premier news organization, the program will be an exciting showcase for journalistic excellence. Top correspondents and trusted anchors from NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC will all be tapped to contribute their formidable talents. The live broadcast will be built around the day's biggest and most interesting events, meaningful and in-depth stories, and timely newsmaker interviews. In addition to the innovative primetime television program, there will be a groundbreaking, constantly evolving on-line edition of the magazine. Provocative, illuminating and agenda-setting, the hour will not only focus on who and what America is talking about but will also introduce them to the people and the topics that they will be talking about. Cast: Brian Williams, Host
FASHION STAR: Elle Macpherson is bringing the glitz and glam of fashion to primetime television. All across America, students, soccer moms, accountants, and people from all walks of life are sewing in their basements, selling jewelry at small town conventions, and creating incredible works of fashion. And even though they all may come from different walks of life, they all share the same burning desire… to be discovered and expose their designs and creations on a national level, and most importantly, to see their dreams become a reality. This show will inspire them to do just that. In this serialized competition, Elle Macpherson, a model, successful businesswoman, and an icon in the fashion world, is searching for the next big fashion star. In every episode, designers will be faced with challenges specifically crafted to further develop their fashion lines. With the help and guidance of Elle, they will present their new creations to a team of buyers and expert designers who will ultimately decide who stays and who goes each week. In the final episode, only one designer will be crowned the winner and their collection will be showcased in several major department stores across the nation for all of America to buy. Cast: Elle Macpherson, Host; Credits: Executive Producers: Ben Silverman (The Biggest Loser, The Office), Dan Cutforth & Jane Lipsitz (Top Chef, America's Next Great Restaurant), Rick Ringback (Treasure Hunters); Studio: Realand Productions/Electus/The Magical Elves