Trying to wash the stink of failure off of it for the umpteenth time, NBC — which finished in 8th place last Thursday night thanks mostly to The Firm — just spent a boatload of money yesterday to polish its still-not-completely tarnished brand. (I mean, it still airs Parks and Recreation and is bringing back Community in the Spring, so NBC is still A-OK in this guy’s book.) And wow, is it a big order.
In all, NBC order 10 pilots: 2 hour-long dramas and 8 sitcoms. And that’s in addition to the 4 sitcom pilots it had already ordered, which includes the new, network-friendly Sarah Silverman’s show The hope is that many of them will help transform the network into the powerhouse it once was back when it was airing Seinfeld and ER. The reality may be that none of them make a significant dent in the ratings department. Still, there could be a hero in the bunch.
And the nominees for NBC’s hero-in-waiting are:
Animal Kingdom – A sitcom about a veterinarian who loves pets but hates their owners.
Chicago Fire – An hour-long drama about firefighters that is executive produced by Dick “Ding-Ding!” Wolf.
County – A medical drama that is set in L.A. County Hospital, from Friday Night Lights exec producer Jason Katims and starring The Event‘s Jason Ritter.
Daddy’s Girl – A sitcom about a young woman who finds out that her father is currently dating the “mean girl’ who tormented her all throughout high school.
Downwardly Mobile – Roseanne Barr returns to scripted TV, in a sitcom she co-created centering around a woman who owns a mobile home park.
Friday Night Dinner – Greg Daniels takes another stab at remaking a British sitcom for American tastes, this time revamping the show that centers around a middle-aged Jewish couple who attempt to have dinner with their 20-something sons but chaos always reigns.
Go On – Written and executive produced by Scott Silveri, the show centers around a sportscaster who finds solace with the members of the group therapy session he attends.
Next Caller Please – Created by Stephen Falk, the show is about a satellite radio DJ and his plucky, yet headstrong female co-host.
Untitled Jimmy Fallon Project – Created by Charlie Grandy, the sitcom centers around a group of 30-something men who tackle the challenges of parenting despite being immature themselves.
Untitled Hilary Winston Project – A sitcom that centers around a woman who is dumped by her jerk fiance and then is egged on by her friends to seek revenge.
This is not necessarily a bad slate of new pilots but we do keep our fingers crossed that at least one of them is completely awesome.