NBC keeps "Rock Center," extends "The Voice" and adds comedy
All the low-rated but critically-acclaimed Thursday comedies earned renewals, although "Community" will move to Fridays.
Four of the comedies are new, including "Go On," starring former "Friends" actor Matthew Perry as a fast-talking, sarcastic sportscaster who loses his wife in a car accident.
Among the shows canceled by NBC are "Harry's Law," ''Awake," ''Are You There, Chelsea?" and "Bent."
One show on the bubble was Brian Williams' newsmagazine, "Rock Center," but it is on the fall schedule for Thursday nights at 10 p.m. Robert Greenblatt, NBC entertainment president, conceded the show's ratings are not what NBC had hoped for, but said such shows frequently take time to catch on.
"Smash" was renewed, although the series about putting on a Broadway production will not be back until midseason.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC will now also feature a fall version of "The Voice" with Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine. "The Voice" currently airs two nights a week toward the end of the singing competition; starting in fall it will air two nights throughout each run.
Two of the current Thursday comedies, "30 Rock" and "Community," have orders of only 13 episodes next season, often a sign that executives are hedging their bets.
"The Office" and "Parks & Recreation" have full-season orders. Despite reports that some of those shows have been told it will be their last season, Greenblatt said that wasn't true and they could have longer lives if ratings improve.
Betty White's "Off Their Rockers" candid camera show will also return midseason.
Besides "Go On," the new NBC shows on in the fall are:
--"The New Normal," about a gay couple who welcome a surrogate mother into their home as they try to have a baby. Ellen Barkin is featured as the prospective mom's grandmother.
--"Animal Practice," a comedy about a veterinarian who learns his ex-lover is taking over his business.
--"Guys With Kids," a comedy executive produced by Jimmy Fallon. The show is what it sounds like: three guys in their 30s trying to hold onto their youth despite being new fathers. Jamie Lynn Sigler of "The Sopranos" and Tempestt Bledsoe of "The Cosby Show," are featured.
--"Revolution," a J.J. Abrams action series in which the world is plunged back into a time when electricity doesn't work.
--"Chicago Fire," a drama about a fire rescue unit from "Law & Order" executive producer Dick Wolf.
Midseason shows include a comedy about a president and first lady played by Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman, a comedy with Dane Cook as a foulmouthed DJ forced to share his microphone with a feminist and a drama about Hannibal Lecter.
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