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Check out NBC’s ‘Community’ on Facebook


If you just can’t wait until the Sept. 17 premiere of NBC’s new comedy, “Community,” you don’t have to!

The full pilot episode is available on the sitcom’s Facebook page. And if you like what you see – and how couldn’t you? The show stars super-funny Joel McHale of E!’s “The Soup” and brought Bedford’s Chevy Chase back to TV! – then tell a friend.

Because the episode isn’t available anywhere else, and it’ll only be on Facebook for a limited time.


(Photo courtesy of NBC)

Posted by Heather Salerno on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 8:39 am |
| | 1 Comment »

NBC officially confirms where they’ll squeeze other shows in around Jay Leno


The Jay Leno Show premieres Sept. 14 at 10 p.m. ET. Other shows will air too, but none of them will devour fully one-third of NBC’s prime time schedule (though Sunday football comes close) and none of them feature a star who retired from a prestigious gig only to resurface months later and steal the thunder of their successor.

OK, got that out of the way.

NBC released its fall premiere schedule today, and there’s a few interesting items of note.

The Thursday comedy lineup debuts Sept. 17, with SNL Weekend Update Thursdays, Parks & Rec, The Office and newbie Community. I’m particularly interested in that last one, starring Joel Mchale. The preview looks hilarious.

30 Rock is out until Oct. 15, following mini-SNL‘s run and bumping Community to an earlier time slot.

The Sept. 21 Heroes premiere will be a two-hour event. Debuts for Parenthood and Trauma follow on   Sept. 23 and 28, respectively. And the other Saturday Night Live is back Sept. 26.

And hey, Law & Order is back for a 20th season, albeit on Friday nights starting Sept. 25.

The premiere schedule appears after the jump, with new programs in all caps…

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Posted by Brian Howard on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
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UPFRONTS CHUCKDATE… Moving from #SaveChuck to #WatchChuck, and ideas about who’ll be back


UPDATES: Creator Josh Schwartz tells TV Week’s TV MoJoe Chuck will be back on Mondays at 8, but not until after the Olympics. Aaarggghhhh!!!!

“We are happy to be back,” he e-mailed after the Times broke the ‘Chuck’ scheduling. “Ready to serve – whenever. Wherever. We have the best audience in the world and we will do everything we can to make this worth the wait.”

Here’s NBC’s official press release about Chuck that, unless I’m blind, doesn’t mention the return date but does read like a payday for Subway.

Here’s the Fall Schedule press release that buries the news about Chuck‘s post-Olympic return in the fifth paragraph.

Nikki Finke reports that the Peacock suits credit the online fanbase for the show’s return.

But the network said it didn’t cancel Chuck “because of the demand for Chuck that came out of the online community, the critical community, and the advertising base. The other shows had none of that attention or energy.” Said one of the top execs: “I was sent more Nerds than anyone could consume in a lifetime.”

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Posted by Brian Howard on Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 11:00 am |
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Thanks for being awesome, NBC — Breaking down the Chuck renewal


Well it came two days early and with a few caveats, but Chuck will be back for a third season.

And that is cause for celebration. This is among the funniest, smartest and surprisingly deep shows on television, and it clearly has a flock of devoted, not to mention intelligent and good-hearted fans who rallied to its cause.

Whether the network heard them or only heard its own dollar signs can be debated. I doubt there’s a definitive answer to be had to that question. But me, I’d like to believe the cleverness of the Finale and a Footlong campaign, followed by the compassionate ingenuity of the We Heart Chuck effort, which has raised upwards of $15,000 for the American Heart Association in the shows name, couldn’t have gone unnoticed.

And if the network noticed, it had to be impressed as well as confident renewal would be as bottom-line friendly as it would be fan-friendly.

To be sure, all the leading observers had the show on a very positive bubble, expecting a fall pickup to be only a matter for the beancounters to work out. No one erroneously believed this was a runaway hit on the chopping block. Rather, its supporters knew it was more than some niche show and that it might actually have thrived if not for killer competition in its time slot.

So I’m happy. But about those caveats…

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Posted by Brian Howard on Sunday, May 17th, 2009 at 9:58 pm |

Your daily Chuck-date: A shout-out, a prediction and fans with heart


If all I’ve got to hang my hat on in making a Chuck update post is a passing afterthought of a mention by Jon Stewart, I should probably hold off on blogging.

No, there’s no news to report yet, but there’s an air of giddy anticipation about the interwebs as Tuesday’s big announcement from NBC approaches.



I’d call this good news and less than good news, if it has any bearing on reality. As a commenter points out below, Nikki Finke is reporting that one possible fall lineup NBC is mulling would put Chuck and Southland together on Friday nights.

I’d be happy just to know it’s returning, but isn’t a Friday timeslot the kiss of death?


So yeah, Stewart’s a Chuck fan, and in ripping Nancy Pelosi’s torture-friendly stance last night, he gave a shout out to the Save Chuck crowd. (In other news, a blind squirrel found a nut.)

More significantly, though still in the realm of speculation, TVbytheNumbers’ latest Renew/Cancel Index puts Chuck in the ‘Renewal Likely’ category.

If that doesn’t explain all the giddiness, maybe it’s the good karma emanating from the Have a Heart — Save Chuck campaign. The effort, begun May 6, to target donations to Chuck sponsor Subway’s favorite charity, the American Heart Association, has yielded $13,255 in donations as of this morning from more than 500 fans.

Like I’ve said, even if it doesn’t sway the Peacock, it is an amazingly good thing unto itself. Sure beats mailing nuts to Burbank, with all due respect.

Posted by Brian Howard on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 1:48 pm |

Chuck updates: Glimmers of hope but nothing concrete just yet


This is either really good news for Chuck‘s renewal hopes or it makes no difference at all.

And that’s about as decisive as it gets for those awaiting NBC’s decision about its fall lineup and Chuck‘s possible place in it.

Variety reported last night that the network passed on the David E. Kelly drama Legally Mad, meaning it’ll have to pay a $2 million penalty to Warner Bros. Studios. Those following this closely know the speculation was that NBC was negotiating a waiver on that penalty in exchange for picking up Chuck, also a WB production.

Whether there is or ever was anything to that, I don’t know, but the mag says insiders call the two unrelated. I did like this line from the piece, though.

Chuck remains on the bubble, although most expect it to return to the Peacock next year.

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Posted by Brian Howard on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 11:51 am |
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What’s new on the Peacock? NBC’s partial fall roll-out laid out


NBC unveiled six new series for fall 2009 at yesterday’s network “In-Fronts” in New York.

Without a hint of commentary, here they are for your review. Check out the summaries and the official clips.

Three series not mentioned here, because they’re not technically new, are Southland, Parks and Recreation and a six-episode run of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday.

The Jay Leno Show, meanwhile is technically new, at least in its new Monday-Friday, 10-11 p.m. time slot.

Not new at all are previously announced pickups The Office, 30 Rock, The Biggest Loser, The Celebrity Apprentice, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Friday Night Lights. I loathingly mention new reality launches The Marriage Ref (with Jerry Seinfeld, oddly), Breakthrough With Tony Robbins and Who Do You Think You Are?, which traces stars’ geneology.

Hotly anticipated word on additional pickups, including that of Chuck, will be announced May 19 at the regualr upfronts.

OK, a little bit of commentary here: I put the one I’m looking forward to most first.


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From Emmy Award-winning directors Joe and Anthony Russo comes Community, a smart comedy series about higher education — and lower expectations. The student body at Greendale Community College is made up of high-school losers, newly divorced housewives, and old people who want to keep their minds active. Within these not-so-hallowed halls, Community focuses on a band of misfits, at the center of which is a fast-talkin’ lawyer whose degree has been revoked, who form a study group and end up learning a lot more about themselves than they do about their course work. In addition to McHale, the series also stars: Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie and Chevy Chase.

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Posted by Brian Howard on Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 11:00 am |
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An end for ‘Life’ and ‘The Tudors?’


Is this the end of “Life” as we know it? Last week’s season finale of the NBC detective drama sure felt it.

First, we wrapped up the mystery of who framed Det. Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis), which, let’s face it, was becoming less interesting than the quirky plots and quirkier characters as the series went on. Then we learned that Ted (Chappaqua favorite son Adam Arkin) had left roommate Charlie a note saying he had gone off to Spain, in pursuit of true-love Olivia.

Perhaps, however, in the most surprising and yet most expected move, Charlie realized he was in love with his partner, Det. Dani Reese (Sarah Sashi, on real-life light duty, as she’s pregnant). Thank goodness: I was afraid she’d wind up with their boss (Donal Logue), who’s well-meaning but still a lughead. Could “Life” be setting us up for a love triangle?

I hope this isn’t the end. In the first place, Lewis is giving one of the most original performances on TV. His Crews is a worthy heir to Hugh Laurie’s House, just as idiosyncratic but a lot nicer and more sympathetic. Lewis is surrounded by an equally intriguing cast and imaginative cases.

Plus, you’ve got to love a cop show whose last word of the season is “love.”

Please don’t let it be the last word of the series.

Speaking of finales, Showtime has announced that “The Tudors” will end next season with Wives 5 and 6, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. Boo meet hoo, as they say.

Really, it was a misguided adventure from the start — anachronistic, heavy on the sex and violence, and, despite a solid supporting cast, lacking in its portrayal of Henry VIII by a perpetually sullen Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Still, I would have enjoyed seeing the next generation — Edward VI, Mary and especially, Elizabeth I — who were far more entertaining than their father.

(Photos courtesy of NBC and Showtime)

Posted by Heather Salerno on Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at 8:44 am |
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Rosie O’Donnell returns to TV – this time, on primetime


The last time we saw Nyack’s Rosie O’D. on TV, she was shaking things up on “The View.”

Now she’s back. But this time, she’s on primetime, trying to bring back the old-fashioned variety show. And she promises she won’t be bringing up anything controversial.

“Rosie Live,” a one-hour variety show featuring celebrity guests Liza Minnelli, Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski of “30 Rock,” Kathy Griffin, Ne-Yo, Gloria Estefan and Alanis Morissette, airs tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on NBC.

If all goes well, this will be a regular once-a-week gig for Rosie, which fits in better with her lifestyle as the mother of four. Still, even though this forum is a far cry from her days battling Elisabeth Hasselbeck and the other “View” ladies, Rosie hasn’t quieted down.

Not offscreen, anyway.

Rosie talked to reporters recently about how she wants her latest venture to be the modern-day Donny and Marie show. And wouldn’t you know it? “The View” happened to come up.

Go here to read my story on Rosie in today’s Journal News.

(Photo courtesy of NBC)

Posted by Heather Salerno on Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 at 7:24 am |
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