NBC on Friday picked up more of its modestly-rated comedies: “Parks and Recreation,” “Up all Night,” and “Whitney.”
Also picked up: what’s left of “The Office.” The network’s most watched comedy series — a major player for NBC with young viewers — is losing several key people for next season: Mindy Kaling is defecting to Fox, which picked up her new comedy series. Rainn Wilson is leaving, to star in a spinoff for NBC, and showrunner Paul Lieberstein is going with him. James Spader, who joined “The Office” as a regular after Steve Carell left, is out after this season too.
Amy Poehler starrer “P&R” has been ordered for a full season, which is a vote of confidence in that show. That, in contrast to “30 Rock” which, on Thursday, was given one final 13-episode renewal; “Community” also snared a 13 episode pickup that day. Those orders mean the two series will share their timeslots with other programs in the course of the TV season, as they did this season.
Meanwhile, say goodbye to NBC comedy “Are you There, Chelsea?” , and to the six-epidoes-and-out comedies “BFF” and “Bent” — all canceled. Likewise, NBC’s ultra-convoluted cop drama “Awake” and David. E. Kelley lawyer drama “Harry’s Law.”
Earlier in the week, NBC ordered a fourth season of “Parenthood,” even though it lost momentum when it took a six-week break this season, and it has a large (read, “pricey”) ensemble cast — maybe because it’s the youngest-skewing 10 p.m. drama on any broadcast network, and it refreshingly breaks the stranglehold that cops/docs/lawyers/desperate women have on the genre.
And, in addition to the already mentioned order for a new Dick Wolf drama series called “Chicago Fire” about fires in Chicago and the brave men and women who put them out, and the new JJ Abrams drama “The Revolution,” about people trying to reunite with family in a post-apocalyptic America where no technology is available because all forms of energy have ceased to exist, NBC just ordered a Jekyll & Hyde doc drama called “Do No Harm” — brilliant neurosurgeon with dangerous alter ego. On the flip side, NBC has ordered what sounds to be a super campy -rich-folks soap called “Infamous.”
NBC officially unveils its new primetime schedule to the press on Sunday; it makes its presentation to advertisers Monday morning at Radio City Music Hall.