Undercovers

For years now NBC has laid dormant in fourth place behind CBS, ABC and FOX. The decline was slow and gradual, but once it became the butt of every Leno/Conan joke and started showing in the networks programming, it became clear that NBC was in a bad place. Then a glimmer of hope shined through, after years of mismanagement at the hands of Jeff Zucker, the network president was kicked out by new parent company Comcast who took over the majority share of NBCUniversal from General Electric this past year. The new bosses first move? Hire people that won’t just seal the cracks in the wall, but instead will take a sledgehammer to the house and build a new one from the ground up. The result? The hiring of former Showtime president Robert Greenblatt. Greenblatt is the man responsible for shows like Weeds, Dexter and Nurse Jackie. So for the first time in years, it looks like NBC has someone behind the wheel who has mastered the art of precision driving. And that bring us today and the recently announced fall 2011-2012 schedule. A schedule that is a… re-tooling to put it lightly. As new Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert said at the upfront on Monday, the schedule is “a little less reinvention of the wheel and a lot more Broadcasting 101″ which is probably the best way to describe it. Because what it appears is that the fourth place network is finally embracing the two words they have avoided for years “counter-programming.”

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With premiere week over I’ve compiled a list of the week’s top premieres from each night. The winner of each night is based upon the quality of the writing, the shows entertainment value and if it’s a new series, the shows sustainability. This year had some extremely heavy hitters and some of the best performances we have seen on the small screen. So without further ado, here are the winners of the FSR Fall 2010 Watch List (please note that this list only applies to shows that started before or during the week of September 19th). Sunday: Boardwalk Empire In what should come as no surprise, Boardwalk Empire was top dog on Sunday. I’m not big into period pieces which is why I really never got into Mad Men, but Scorsese has made me fall in love with the 20′s and Atlantic City. Steve Buscemi is a great lead and a guy I can’t wait to watch every week. If only Scorsese could direct every episode and not just the pilot.

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Well, we’ve reached the middle of the week. Wednesday night has been home to many beloved series over the years. A night filled with shows that range from the hysterical to the dead serious, Wednesday is one of the best nights for television. This year is no exception. With more of the same coming down the pipeline from all networks. So put the kids to bed, break out that week old Outback Steakhouse left over, and refresh the DVR batteries because here comes Part IV of the FSR Fall 2010 Watch List.

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