Upfronts: NBC Announces 2010-11 Primetime Schedule

  • Publish Date: May 16, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 11 user comments

Our comprehensive coverage of the TV network upfront presentations this week in New York kicks off with a look at NBC's plans for the 2010-11 season. We'll have additional reports for the other networks each day this week.

2010-11 New Programs
Comedies 5
Dramas 7
Reality 2

The highlights

While NBC's official presentation to advertisers will be held on Monday morning, the network got an early jump on the week by publicly announcing its fall schedule on Sunday afternoon after leaking details throughout the past week.

  • Perennial bubble show "Chuck" has been renewed for a shortened 13-episode season, but the once-popular "Heroes" has been canceled for good.
  • Other cancellations include "Law & Order" (after a 20-season run), "Mercy," and "Trauma."
  • While "Law & Order" may be gone, its sister show "Special Victims Unit" will return, and NBC has picked up a new Los Angeles-based variation of the original series.
  • Thursday night comedy fans will have to make due with a new sitcom ("Outsourced") in place of the critically acclaimed "Parks and Recreation" during the fall; the latter show will not appear until midseason.
  • Experts were predicting that NBC would add another night of comedy to its schedule, but that isn't happening, at least in the fall. Three additional new comedies will appear in midseason.
  • Though other networks have yet to announce their lineups, it is unlikely anyone will match NBC's quantity of new shows. The network's large roster of first-year programs includes a J.J. Abrams-directed spy drama, yet another David Kelley legal drama, and a Brian Grazer-produced sitcom. Intriguingly, NBC has decided to hold back many of its new programs until midseason.
  • NBC's long-rumored remake of "The Rockford Files" is not currently on the network's 2010-11 schedule, but hasn't been completely ruled out.

Below, we take a closer look at NBC's projected schedule, followed by descriptions for each of the network's new programs.

NBC's primetime schedule

In addition to the shows listed below, the following new shows do not yet have a firm timeslot but have been picked up for the 2010-11 season and will arrive later in the year: "The Cape," "Friends With Benefits," "Perfect Couples," "Harry's Law," "America's Next Great Restaurant," and "The Paul Reiser Show." In addition, "The Marriage Ref" will return at some point during the season, and "Parks and Recreation" will air at an unspecified time (likely 9:30pm) on Thursdays, but probably not until early 2011.

New programs are indicated in bold in the schedule below. All times are ET/PT unless otherwise indicated.

NBC Fall 2010 Schedule
  7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
SUN Football Night in America* Sunday Night Football * (8:15)
MON   Chuck The Event Chase
TUE   The Biggest Loser [2hr] Parenthood
WED   Undercovers Law & Order: SVU Law & Order: Los Angeles
THU   Community 30 Rock ** The Office Outsourced Love Bites
FRI   Who Do You Think You Are *** Dateline NBC Outlaw
SAT   [Reruns] [Reruns] [Reruns]

* Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football air live in all time zones, meaning that the programs start at 4pm PT and 5:15pm PT, respectively.
** New timeslot.
*** The new reality show School Pride will also appear in this timeslot during the fall.

NBC Winter 2011 Schedule
  7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
SUN Dateline NBC Minute to Win It Celebrity Apprentice [2hr]

The schedules for other days have yet to be determined.

NBC's new programs

First-year series on NBC's schedule during the 2010-11 season include:

America's Next Great Restaurant
From Magical Elves, the production company behind "Top Chef" and (originally) "Project Runway," comes this new reality show that will take contestants' restaurant concepts and put one of them into action in the real world, thanks to investors who will put their own money on the line to fund the winner. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay hosts.

ImageThe Cape

The Cape
David Lyons ("ER") stars as a good cop on a corrupt squad who is forced to go into hiding and abandon his family when he is framed for murders he didn't commit. On the run, he takes the law into his own hands, while adopting a new persona: his son's favorite comic book hero, The Cape. Summer Glau ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") also stars.


Yet another Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama, "Chase" follows a group of U.S. marshals who track down America's most-wanted fugitives. Kelli Giddish ("Past Life") and Cole Hauser ("K-Ville") star. Just 13 episodes have been ordered.

ImageThe Event

The Event
This serialized thriller about an ordinary man caught up in a major government conspiracy when his fiancee mysteriously disappears stars Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood, Sarah Roemer, Zeljko Ivanek, and Laura Innes. The series was created by Nick Wauters ("The 4400," "Eureka").

Friends with Benefits
Even if it didn't have the word "Friends" in the title, comparisons to NBC's one-time hit would be inevitable. This sitcom from producer Brian Grazer centers on a group of 20-something friends who are seeking success in the dating world. The ensemble cast includes Ryan Hansen ("Party Down") and Danneel Harris ("One Tree Hill"); "Dollhouse's" Fran Kranz was in the original pilot but will be replaced.

ImageHarry's Law

Harry's Law (formerly known as Kindreds)
David E. Kelley's latest legal drama stars Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates (yes, she's the Harry in the title -- make that Harriet) as a down-on-her-luck attorney who starts a new practice -- in an abandoned shoe store -- with two younger lawyers in similarly dire straits.

Law & Order: Los Angeles (aka LOLA)
There's not much to say about this Dick Wolf-produced drama other than it's just like "Law & Order," except set in Los Angeles instead of New York.

ImageLove Bites

Love Bites
Each week's installment of this 60-minute romantic comedy anthology series weaves together three loosely connected stories of modern romance. While single women played by Becki Newton ("Ugly Betty") and Jordana Spiro ("My Boys") will appear each week, a variety of guests -- ranging from Jennifer Love Hewitt to Craig Robinson to Charlyne Yi -- will come and go.


Jimmy Smits stars as a Supreme Court justice who quits the bench and opens up his own private practice, where he vows to represent "the little guy." The drama comes from John Eisendrath, who previously worked on "Alias" and "Felicity." Proving there's no such thing as hard feelings in the entertainment industry, ousted NBC talk show host Conan O'Brien is one of the show's producers. (Of course, giving the show a brutal Friday 10pm timeslot might indicate that NBC indeed harbors some residual hard feelings after all.)


A midwestern novelty manufacturer outsources its call center to India, and it's up to one manager to school his new overseas employees in the ways of America. This sitcom comes from executive producers Robert Borden ("The Drew Carey Show") and Ken Kwapis ("The Office").

The Paul Reiser Show (formerly titled Next)
Paul Reiser's semi-autobiographical sitcom stars the former "Mad About You" lead as family man and former television star Paul Reiser. (Think "Curb Your Enthusiasm," but less edgy.) Just six episodes of the single-camera comedy have been ordered.

ImagePerfect Couples

Perfect Couples
This sitcom from Jon Pollack ("30 Rock") and Scott Silveri ("Friends") centers on a trio of couples seeking the ideal relationship. Imagine "Friends," but with everyone dating each other. (Oh, wait -- that pretty much was "Friends.")

School Pride
A reality show from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Cheryl Hines, "School Pride" empowers community groups to give facelifts to crumbling public schools. Think of it as "Extreme Makeover: School Edition."


J.J. Abrams ("Lost", "Alias") returns to the spy genre with this frothy action-drama series about two married ex-spies-turned-caterers who are reinstated by the CIA when their friend and fellow spy goes missing during a crucial mission. Abrams directed and co-wrote the pilot in addition to serving as one of the show's executive producers.


We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (11)

  • Kelsey Hart  

    The Event sounds awesome. Anybody see the trailer yet: http://www.nbc.com/the-event/

    Epic doesn't begin to describe. Besides Harry's Law and Terra Nova. This is the only show I care about.

  • Joe  

    I want **** Hunter with Will F.

  • [anonymous]  

    NBC needs wrestling in it's prime time.

  • Christopher  

    They bring in run-of-the-mill cop dramas, but cancel Southland? TNT, good move.

    NBC is run by the worst executives in television.

  • Geoff  

    Great to see Chuck back, hopefully it gets extended to a full season. I think House (with a huge assist by 24 directly following it) in the same slot really hurt Chuck and I hope it finally gets the viewers it deserves

  • B  

    Outsourced looks like the only original concept here. I bet it does well.

  • MyTVByMe_Sean  

    I can't believe that they've moved P&R to midseason. If anything, it should've been 30 Rock....it has been very disappointing this season! And the new slate looks interesting to say the least!

  • Jason  

    The Cape will be the first to go. That promo picture screams "low budget crapfest"

  • Marko  

    No **** Hunter?

  • Royce Earnest  

    Great! More cop and lawyer shows! ( that's sarcasm in case it didn't come across as such)

New in Metacritic Features

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/predict-the-2016-emmy-awards Image
    Predict the 2016 Emmy Award Winners
    July 19, 2016 - 4 comments
    1. Hufter : The Americans, all over. Far out Read »
    2. aydge89 : American Crime deserves to win best limited series along with Felicity Huffman or Lili Taylor for best actress. The... Read »
    3. emilyay : I also want Mr. Robot to win. It was one of the best first season of any show I've ever seen. It had flaws, but it... Read »
    4. DanBurrito : I want Mr. Robot to win best drama. Most engaging and addictive tv show in recent memory. Read »
  2. /feature/68th-primetime-emmy-award-nominations Image
    2016 Emmy Nominations
    July 14, 2016 - 5 comments
    1. DetonNation : Yes. What about Penny Dreadful. Besides Eva Green, every actor in the series put in a ground-breaking performance... Read »
    2. Gamexpert : And again, not one nomination for "Always Sunny in Philadelphia"... Family Guy Korea Episode should also been on... Read »
    3. Ryan_Parkinson : I think it's really strange that Christian Slater would win the Golden Globe for best Supporting Actor and then not... Read »
    4. FleshWorld : Same old comedies nominated ever year. Where's It's Always Sunny? Red Oaks? Read »
  3. /feature/dvd-blu-ray-release-calendar-july-2016 Image
    DVD/Blu-ray Release Calendar: July 2016
    June 29, 2016 - 1 comment
    1. FleshWorld : Everybody Wants Some is BRILLIANT! An absolute must see - esp if you love Dazed & Confused. Read »
  4. /feature/tv-premiere-dates Image
    2016 Summer/Fall TV Premiere Calendar
    May 10, 2016 - 112 comments
    1. SuburbanGal : FOOD NETWORK'S CAMP CUTTHROAT - Premieres Wednesday August 24, 2016 @ 10 PM Read »