Few surprises in NBC's 2009-10 fall season pickups announced today in New York. Given that The Jay Leno Show (set to bow the second week of September) will roll five nights a week at 10 p.m., the one big surprise is that NBC found room for six new shows.
The four dramas include two medical shows (to replace departing ER?), including the San Francisco-based paramedic drama Trauma. Mercy stars Nova Scotia-native James Tupper, the former Men in Trees lead romantically linked to Anne Heche. Michelle Trachtenberg is also in this medical drama which looks at things from the nurse's perspective. Parenthood is another run at bringing that lame Steve Martin movie to the small screen (a 1990 attempt with Ed Begley, Jr., fizzled after a few months). Peter Krause, Maura Tierney and Craig T. Nelson star in this Ron Howard/Brian Grazer production. Check out this long trailer posted at the NBC site, it presents a much more dramatic series than the earlier, '90s attempt.
A fourth drama, Day One--an apocalyptic vision from the folks behind Heroes, Lost and Alias--will bow early next year behind NBC's promo-packed 2010 Winter Olympic coverage.
Two comedies are also joining NBC's schedule: 100 Questions, a dating sitcom with couples exploring 100 questions to ask about love. Christopher Moynihan (For Your Consideration) stars and writes. Community is about a group of community college adult education losers. Chevy Chase is exhumed for the effort.
Speaking of Chase, NBC has also ordered more of those Saturday Night Live Weekend Update specials. NBC had previously announced that The Office, 30 Rock, The Biggest Loser, The Celebrity Apprentice, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Friday Night Lights would all be back. They've also ordered several new alternative/reality series, including Jerry Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref, Breakthrough With Tony Robbins and Who Do You Think You Are?
NBC also confirmed today that midseason shows Southland and Parks & Recreation will both be back, as will Heroes, although there are rumours of a shorter order. As for the fate of "bubble" shows My Name is Earl, Chuck or Medium, or long-running Law & Order or Law & Order: Criminal Intent, those decisions have apparently been postponed a week (although The Hollywood Reporter says Medium has been renewed, perhaps as a backup series). NBC will make more details of their final schedule known on May 19, around the time the other networks will make their schedules known to advertisers.