Upfronts: Day One – NBC

MindShare's managing partner/director of broadcast, Lina Alles, volunteered to be MiC's on-the-scene reporter at this year's upfronts.

Yesterday at 3pm, the NBC presentation was held at Radio City Music Hall. It started right on time and they promised a one-hour presentation. Given that these sessions are usually two-three hours, everyone in the audience cheered and applauded, but no one really believed it. Well, it was an hour and 25 minutes, which in itself was an amazing accomplishment!

The theme was ‘Beyond 30 seconds.’ The entire focus of the presentation was on delivering the ‘enhanced viewer experience.’ The net believes it’s all about the interactive experience, and that they are the best at delivering this. NBC’s goal is to deliver on the promise: ‘content, strategy and partnership.’

Overall, NBC is thrilled with the success of Heroes, which of course is back on the schedule this fall. They’re also bringing back 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights.

What’s new? Journey Man, Life, Lipstick Jungle, Chuck, and Bionic Woman. That’s not a typo. The Bionic Woman is back, albeit without the Six Million Dollar Man and no Lindsay Wagner.

Of the five new shows, the only one that looked like it has potential is Journey Man, which is about a guy who time travels… I know – it’s been done before without any success. Anyone remember Day Break? But it does look kind of interesting.

Jerry Seinfeld showed up to plug his new ‘minisodes’ – one-two-minute clips about how animated movies are made. Yep . . . that’s what we thought too!

Now onto the party, which was at Rockefeller Center. As soon as we got there, we headed straight to the booth to get our pictures taken with the cast of Heroes. So as we’re waiting, we of course check out the cast. Well, let’s just say they now believe they are ‘IT’. They looked totally bored and ungracious, checking their phones and/or Blackberries. The cheerleader looked pissed off to be there at all. Hello? A year ago, nobody even wanted to have their picture taken with you and now you think you’re it? Let’s just say that no one in that line-up wanted to save the cheerleader. And, honey, you’re what, 18? Oh well, I still got my picture snapped with them.

That’s it for now. Tomorrow I’ll update you on ABC.

More on NBC’s 2007-08 Line-up from the MiC Team

In addition to the abovementioned five new dramas, the peacock net’s upcoming season will include one new comedy, a new game show and a new competitive reality series. The drama premises are: Journeyman (a time-traveling journalist changes people’s lives), Chuck (a computer nerd accidentally becomes a secret agent), Life (Damian Lewis, from Band of Brothers, stars as a wrongly imprisoned police detective who gets a second chance), Lipstick Jungle (the adventures of three NYC career women, based on a novel by Sex & the City author Candace Bushnell, stars Brooke Shields), and the Bionic Woman remake (starring Michelle Ryan from EastEnders).

NBC’s single new comedy is The IT Crowd (adaptation of a popular Britcom). Its new unscripted entries include The Singing Bee (widely described as prime-time karaoke), and World Moves, from American Idol judge Randy Jackson, which will feature competition among dance teams.

The hit series Heroes will not only be back, but has spawned a spinoff – Heroes: Origins, which will take over on Monday night when Heroes goes on hiatus. The net has ordered six episodes of Origins, which will centre on characters not yet seen on the original show. In a CGM touch, viewers will vote online on which Origins character should join the cast of Heroes next year.

NBC has ordered 30 episodes of The Office, including five hour-longs, and 25 eps of My Name is Earl. The 18th season of Law & Order and the return of Medium will bow on Sunday nights after Sunday Night Football finishes. Scrubs and Friday Night Lights were also renewed.

As mentioned above by Lina Alles, NBC also unveiled its deal with Jerry Seinfeld and DreamWorks to air 20 interstitial minisodes in which the comedian talks about his adventures voicing the upcoming animated feature film Bee Movie.