Reader Mailbag: When is the NBC Upfront? How definitive are the upfronts? And, of course, Chuck

Categories: Watching TV

Written By

April 30th, 2009

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Here are some answers to recent e-mail questions.  The questions are composites rather than actual e-mails.

Question: When is the NBC upfront?  Your site list it as Tuesday, May 5th, but I keep seeing reports that it's Monday, May 4.

We originally just copied our information for NBC from a schedule we saw earlier.  Again this year NBC isn't holding a traditional upfront, but rather a series of meetings and conference calls that kick off on May 4.   Multiple sources have the May 4th date (along with a comedy showcase NBC will be doing later in the month on May 19 featuring Jay Leno).  My guess is we will probably see the schedule announcements sometime Monday.  The sad passing of  NBC exec Nora O'Brien could further complicate things.  We'll be looking for the announcements on Monday unless we hear otherwise. 

Question: How final are the upfront decisions?  How final are any mid-season schedules they announce?

I'd frame it like this, if a show you love isn't on any announced schedule, that does not bode well, and I'd take it to mean the show has been canceled.   But nothing is definitive, and any mid-season schedules announced are particularly subject to change.

If you're a fan of  say Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles or Dollhouse and you don't see those shows mentioned by FOX on any schedule announced at  its upfront, even if there is no cancellation announcement, you should assume they are canceled and not coming back.  That doesn't mean there are never situations where shows that are canceled can't return, but they are very rare and they usually involve some special event like huge DVD sales.

Question: If Chuck isn't picked by NBC, what are the chances it gets picked up by another network?

I've done about 5 posts on this over the last two months already.  In my opinion, the chances of any show that gets canceled being picked up by another network are never good.  There are exceptions, though  in recent history, they seem to involve sitcoms, and not hour long dramas.   And I'm not talking about something like Law & Order: CI that had already been on for years when it was moved from the NBC Universal owned NBC to the NBC Universal owned USA Network.

 
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