Edit: Schedule Grid updated on 5/27/08 for NBC's recent announcements.
Robert posted earlier about NBC's entire new 2008-9 schedule. I wanted to compare the schedule just announced for Fall 2008 with the schedule for Fall 2007. For all the talk of change after the writers strike, they are surprisingly similar in structure. NBC's Fall 2008 schedule doesn't look all that different from its Fall 2007 schedule, in terms of new shows or reality shows.
Four new shows (and four hours of shows) (Chuck, Journeyman, Bionic Woman and Life) were introduced in Fall 2007 and four shows (and hours) will be introduced in Fall 2008 (My Own Worst Enemy, Kath & Kim, Knight Rider, Crusoe). I'm not going to count the 3 special SNL episodes to be broadcast on Thursdays as "new".
There were 9 hours of unscripted programming in Fall 2007 (The, Singing Bee, Deal or No Deal, , NFL Sunday Football). All our readers worried about a tsunami of reality shows can breath easier, there will be only 8.5 hours of unscripted programming in Fall 2008 with Singing Bee not returning.
Let's not forget, NBC got absolutely crushed last Fall in the ratings, falling to nearly 20% below its Fall 2006 season to date ratings by early November . They actually began recovering once the writer's strike began to have an effect. I don't see anything in the announced schedule that would lead me to believe it will perform any differently and I would expect NBC to suffer badly again in Fall 2008. Good thing for Jeff Zucker he's got the #1 primetime cable network.
Update: Stuart Elliot at the NY Times, writes that NBC Entertainment's co-chair Ben Silverman is touting the family friendly nature of their schedule. It's lots of nice words from Silverman, but it all boils down to only one change to NBC's schedule from 8-9p in Fall 2008: Deal or No Deal gets moved to 9-10p, that's it. But it all sounds so lovely when it's couched as "Family Friendly".
Update 2: And it's also 'adult themes at 10'. The net result of that change? Nothing! Unless substituting My Own Worst Enemy for Journeyman is substantially more "adult". More talk with no action from NBC!
NBC Fall 2007 Schedule Shows vs. Fall 2008 Schedule Shows
|10-11p||JOURNEYMAN||MY OWN WORST ENEMY|
|10-11p||Law & Order:||Law & Order:|
|8-9p||Deal or No Deal||KNIGHT RIDER|
|9-10p||BIONIC WOMAN||Deal or No Deal|
|8-8:30p||My Name Is Earl||My Name Is Earl|
|9:30-10p||Scrubs||KATH & KIM|
|8-9p||Deal or No Deal||CRUSOE|
|9-10p||Friday Night Lights||AMERICA'S TOUGHEST JOBS|
|9-10p||Drama repeats||KNIGHT RIDER (repeats)|
|10-11p||Drama repeats||Law & Order:(repeats)|
|7-8pm||Football Night in America||Football Night in America|
Shows in BOLD CAPS are/were new, shows in italics are unscripted, 2007 shows in strikethrough did not return.
I didn't think it was worthwhile to compare the announced Winter 2009 and future schedules to this years for two reasons. One, this years Winter and Spring schedules were somewhat cobbled together in response to the writers strike. Two, schedules announced so far in advance have a habit of changing.