David Shore and David Tennant booed by NBC, more upfront news.

by Paul William Tenny

HeroesFinding out that you're out of a job is a terrible way to begin the weekend. Maybe less so for above-the-line people like writers and actors who make pretty decent money when they do work, especially when your show has been on the air for more than just a single season.

More so for below-the-line crew who don't have residuals to fall back on.

Such is the rotten luck of the cast and crew of Heroes and Law & Order who both have been the subject of pointless speculation this week. NBC Entertainment has confirmed that both shows have been canceled. That probably has more to do with NBC producing far more pilots now than in recent years, such that they feel like they can get rid of a profitable show like Heroes in order to bet on an unproven pilot that may sink faster than Trauma did, than it does the relative weakness of either show.

As I just said, Heroes is supposed to still be profitable even if the ratings aren't where NBC wants them. It's a solid NBC brand, practically the only drama you can readily identify as a peacock show.

But they nuked 'em anyway.

In other upfront news:

  • ABC reportedly picked up Body of Proof and Off The Map (third concurrent series by Shonda Rimes) but passed on It Takes a Village. I won't really be reporting on pilots that didn't get picked up, it's redundant.
  • NBC didn't order The Strip from the Reno 911! guys. I'm mentioning this only because it's an inexcusable blunder that makes me question all of their comedy decisions. If NBC didn't see the value in this show, how badly are they going to screw up other orders?
  • They also didn't order Rex Is Not Your Lawyer (David Tennant) or David Shore's new version of The Rockford Files. Again, notable because of those two names.
  • NBC nuked Mercy and Trauma (the latter was rumored to be dead before it even hit half-season, but NBC had nothing to replace it with), but picked up The Cape, yet another cop drama, and Friends With Benefits.
  • Joely Richardson quit The Whole Truth after it was picked up by ABC. Her reason may be morally commendable (time with family), but her behavior is really unprofessional and embarrassing. Who would ever cast her in another pilot after this? (The answer to that question, sadly, is everyone.) It's not that I think she should have put the show over her family, it's that she should have never done the pilot in the first place.
  • FOX is reportedly developing an animated series based on Napoleon Dynamite, but it's far off on the horizon. There isn't even a pilot yet.
  • They are also picking up a Steven Spielberg show called Terra Nova, which I haven't heard about and wasn't on my list (that I recall). FOX only had 1 show on its mid-season schedule. Dinosaurs, baby.

This is why I do my upfront coverage the week before the presentations. Everyone know what's going on by next week, for the most part. All the good stuff comes out early.

So what have I missed?

in Television


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