News and notes from the first full day of the upfronts:
– Get ready for a 21st-century incarnation of “The Flintstones,” by way of “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. The new take on the classic cartoon will go in for the same modern-prehistoric humor as the old show did; Dan Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) and Kara Vallow (“Family Guy”) will executive produce it with MacFarlane. Production is set to begin in the fall, but it won’t be on the air until 2013.
– The rumored prime-time newsmagazine fronted by NBC anchor Brian Williams is now reality. It doesn’t have a title or an airdate yet, but the network says it will debut sometime in the fall. Williams briefly described his notion for the show at NBC’s presentation, saying it would focus on longer-form stories that don’t currently have an outlet.
– NBC has ordered a series based on John Grisham‘s novel “The Firm,” but it won’t be just a retelling of the book and the 1993 movie based on it. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told the audience Monday that it will be set 10 years after the events of the book, with lawyer Mitch McDeere and his family in witness protection. He takes a new job and soon finds out that he may not yet have escaped his past. Casting is set to begin in a few weeks.
– FOX will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its launch with a star-studded special on Sunday, April 1, 2012. A clip package for the special that ran at the FOX presentation brought a wave of nostalgia washing over us as we saw snippets of “Beverly Hills, 90210,” old-school “Melrose Place,” “The X-Files” and “The O.C.” Alas, nothing from “Drexell’s Class.”
– “The Biggest Loser” will switch up its format slightly in the fall: The new season will pit younger contestants vs. their older counterparts. Greenblatt also says the identity of the trainer replacing Jillian Michaels will be revealed during the May 24 season finale.