NBC is adding six new series to its lineup for next season, and has confirmed new seasons for "Heroes," "Southland" and "Parks and Recreation" — but there's no word yet on "Chuck," which has been the subject of a fierce lobbying campaign from critics and fans in the past couple weeks.
Hope is not lost, though: In announcing the new shows, NBC says "additional series pickups" will be announced on May 19. The network will also unveil its 2009-10 schedule that day.
The network is adding four dramas — "Parenthood," "Trauma," "Day One" and "Mercy" — and the comedies "Community" and "100 Questions" to its lineup for next season. None of them has been given a spot on the schedule yet, although the network does say "Day One," which the network is calling an "event series" (read: probably a limited run), will premiere following the Winter Olympics.
"These new series will showcase fresh talent and bold, original concepts that are extremely well executed," says Angela Bromstad, NBC's entertainment president. "We are grateful to the producers, casts and crews — and our team — who have delivered incredibly compelling and entertaining new series."
One part of NBC's schedule for next season is already set: "The Jay Leno Show" (which is now its official title) will air at 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday starting in the fall. The network is also bringing back "The Office," "30 Rock," "Law & Order: SVU," "The Biggest Loser," "Friday Night Lights" and "The Celebrity Apprentice" and has previously announced the pickup of three new unscripted shows — the Jerry Seinfeld-produced "The Marriage Ref," "Breakthrough with Tony Robbins" and the celebrity genealogy show "Who Do You Think You Are?"
The network will also give "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" a six-episode run at some point next season.
Aside from "Chuck," the most notable absence from NBC's announcement is probably "My Name Is Earl." The comedy series, which is in its fourth season, has been the subject of speculation on whether it will stay at NBC or jump to another network, with FOX (sibling of the show's producer, 20th Century Fox TV) considered the most likely contender.
"Medium," which was earlier reported as picked up for a sixth season, is also missing from the announcement. So is the original "Law & Order," which is gunning for its 20th season to tie a record with "Gunsmoke" for the longest-running prime-time drama.