Conan/Leno Brouhaha Overshadows NBC’s New Shows

In the wake of the Conan vs. Leno battle royale, perhaps you missed NBC’s announcement of eight pilots already given the go-ahead for the 2010-11 season. The new shows are mostly procedural dramas, but there’s also a sci-fi/detective show, a romantic comedy, and an Adam Corolla project. It seems that the Peacock’s remedy for lackluster ratings is to pump out derivative (read: pre-tested) material and spend lots of money on big-named executive producers. There are some potentially-promising projects in the mix (we’re looking at you  J.J. Abrams), and some that just don’t make sense — no disrespect, but does the world really need a fictional version of Dog the Bounty Hunter?

Peep the details after the jump.

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Prime Suspect
What It Will Remind You Of: The Closer

A BBC knock-off about a female detective who investigates mysterious cases in a “politically explosive big city.” Produced by Hank Steinberg (Without a Trace) and Erwin Stoff (The Blind Side), this could be a good concept if cast and written well. We remain skeptical.

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The Rockford Files
What It Will Remind You Of: The Rockford Files

NBC has become so desperate for a hit show, that they’ve decided just to re-make one of their hit shows from the ’70s. The executive producers are David Shore (House) and Steve Carell, who also executive produced and starred in the 2008 film re-make of Get Smart, which was surprisingly funny. Finding a lead who is as charming as James Garner was is critical, as is the quality of the writing.

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The Event
What It Will Remind You Of: Lost

Executive produced by Steve Stark (Medium) and co-executive/writer Nick Wauters (The 4400), this sounds like more of the same from these two: it’s a story about a guy “who battles against mysterious circumstances that envelope a larger conspiracy” that is told from multiple points of view. Sounds vague and confusing to us.

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Undercovers
What It Will Remind You Of: Mr. and Mrs. Smith

The main characters are a retired husband and wife team who are “re-activated” (are they robots?) to join the CIA, which digs up dirt from their past and “re-ignites their passion for each other.” This is executive produced by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek), Bryan Burk (Star Trek), and Josh Reims (Dirty Sexy Money), and written by Abrams and Reims. It has been announced that Abrams will direct the pilot, which bodes well.

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Chase
What It Will Remind You Of: Dog the Bounty Hunter

Yet another police/detective show! This one is about a real-life group of U.S. Marshals in the American Southwest who track down fugitives. Perhaps Dog can guest. The fact that it’s executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer should mean CSI-style ratings.

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Kindreds
What It Will Remind You Of: Ally McBeal

All we could glean from the press release is that this one is about a law firm made up of an ex-patent lawyer and his “misfit” associates, and that it’s executive produced by law show extraordinaire David E. Kelley (Boston Legal, The Practice,  LA Law). Bring back the Dancing Baby!

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Love Bites
What It Will Remind You Of: Lipstick Jungle

This sounds like a campy name for something vampire-centric. Instead it’s a romantic comedy with a dream team of executive producers: Cindy Chupak (Sex in the City), Timothy Bevan, Eric Fellner (both Love Actually and Bridget Jones’s Diary), and Shelley McCrory. It sounds like a slam dunk on paper, but will it be cursed by the fact that this is network TV and not cable?

TWO AND A HALF MEN

Untitled Adam Corolla Project
What It Will Remind You Of: Two and a Half Men

Corolla is a contractor who wants to re-build his life after a divorce in this single-camera comedy. (Get it?) The only other thing the press release tells us is that there are eight producers, including Corolla, Jon Pollack (30 Rock), and Jimmy Kimmel. Sounds like a crowded creative kitchen, no?

Do you think the 2010-11 NBC line up sounds promising or are they playing it too safe? Tell us your thoughts in comments.