NBC unveils fall plans at infront

Peacock orders six new series, renews three

NBC gave advertisers a partial look at its fall plans Monday in New York, announcing the pickup of six new series and three renewals at its second annual "infront" presentation. But the network declined to unveil a fall schedule and left a couple of key shows in limbo.

After going down to the wire on its new series pickups and "bubble" series renewals, NBC announced that next season's lineup will include two medical dramas, "Trauma" and "Mercy"; the one-hour dramedy "Parenthood," starring Peter Krause and Maura Tierney; and, for midseason, the apocalyptic series "Day One."

On the comedy side, "100 Questions" and Chevy Chase's "Community" received orders.

"We are thrilled to be announcing such an awesome slate of new series that builds on our existing quality brand and delivers emotional, human stories," said Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. "NBC will strive to make viewers feel, and our shows represent the full range of human emotion from laughter to tears. We can't wait to share these concepts with our audience and advertising partners."

David E. Kelley's "Legally Mad" and the Dick Wolf-produced "Lost and Found" were left off the list of drama-pilot pickups.

As for renewals, the John Wells-produced cop drama "Southland" and NBC-produced comedy "Parks and Recreation" received orders. The recently debuted Thursday night duo are the only freshman scripted series that NBC has committed to bringing back next season. Monday night's "Heroes" also received a pickup.

Sources added that Patricia Arquette's "Medium" has received a pickup, with an episode order to be in the 13-18 range.

NBC also announced six new "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update" primetime specials, which performed well in the fall when tied to the presidential election.

The network postponed the verdict for two of its remaining bubble series: sophomore fan favorite "Chuck" and veteran procedural "Law & Order." The latter seeks to tie "Gunsmoke's" primetime record 20-season run in annual renewals, if not produced episodes. Both series appear somewhat likely to return, but the decision won't be made until later in the month.

There were no surprise saves for "Life," "My Name Is Earl" or "Howie Do It," with NBC executives confirming that "Life" definitely is canceled.

Silverman said NBC will discuss "Medium," "Law & Order," "Earl" and "Chuck" with advertisers before making final decisions. "We want their feedback," he said.

NBC noted that "Day One" will premiere out of its coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics and that the "SNL" specials will air on Thursdays. Silverman also noted that the network had not decided whether "The Biggest Loser" would return in the fall as a two-hour program as usual or shorter.

Absent from the presentation was the traditional unveiling of the fall schedule, despite NBC having fewer slots to fill with Jay Leno's new talk show occupying the 10 p.m. hour. That stood in contrast to last year's debut infront, which presented a full 65-week schedule ahead of rivals. With no schedule listed and more pilot pickups or renewals likely, advertisers don't yet have a firm sense of what to expect from NBC's fall lineup. The network intends to announce its schedule May 19 along with some additional series pickups.

In addition to "Biggest Loser," previously announced series pickups include "The Office," "30 Rock," "The Celebrity Apprentice," "Law & Order: SVU," "Friday Night Lights" and new reality series "The Marriage Ref," "Breakthrough With Tony Robbins" and "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Steve McClellan of Adweek in New York contributed to this report.
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