NBC Upfronts: The Playboy Club, Whitney, Smash, And Other New Series

It’s that time of year! Fan favorites get cancelled to make way for the new lineup of promising Fall Primetime. Sound a little bitter? I’m still hoping that The Event gets picked up by another network. But in the meantime, here’s a look at the brand new fall lineup for NBC.

——The Playboy Club———
An American icon is born. A provocative new drama about a time and place in which a visionary created an empire, and an icon changed American culture.

Once upon a crime. Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Well, those weren’t stories, they were warnings.

——Prime Suspect———
Not just a pretty face. Jane Timoney (Maria Bello) is an outsider who can be willful, rude and downright reckless. She’s also a brilliant cop.

Get a little too comfortable. They say marriage is the number one cause of divorce. For Alex and Whitney, it’s one of many reasons they’re determined not to take the plunge.

——Free Agents———
It’s so wrong, but it feels so… wrong. A workplace/romantic comedy that proves you can try to put yourself back out there, but sometimes what you need is right in front of you.


Dream big. There’s nothing more exciting than the opening night of a hit Broadway musical, except maybe what happens getting there.

——Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea———
Life, straight up or on the rocks? Based on the outrageous number one best-selling book by Chelsea Handler.


Rebound, remodel… what’s the difference? A new romantic comedy about two people who may be bent, but are definitely not broken.


Can you wake up from reality? Lots of people find themselves leading some kind of double life… but none quite like this.

——TRAILER: Up All Night———
Oh, baby. Life is all about balance. So what happens when you throw a new baby into it?

Ever watch trailers from the Upfronts and find it clear to pick out the series that will be marked for cancellation by the end of the year? I’m not overly excited about any of these new series hitting NBC, but there are a few that peak my interest – one of them being Whitney. Whitney stars Whitney Cummings, who is best known for her work on the Chelsea Lately roundtable. Out of the trailers above, this is the one that shows the most promise in my opinion in terms of comedies.

Speaking of Chelsea Lately, I had high expectations for Chelsea Handler’s comedy Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. Love Chelsea’s books (from which the series is based on) and I’m a huge fan of 70’s Show Laura Prepon, but the trailer for this series doesn’t have me sold. Laura (who plays a younger version of Chelsea Handler) just comes across as a b**** in my opinion. I’ll still give it a try, but so far – not sold.

Will Arnett and Christina Applegate’s new comedy looks less exciting to me than Will Arnett’s FOX comedy last year – Running Wilde (Truly wish he would do something as awesome as Arrested Development again – actually had hopes that he might be the one to fill Steve Carell’s shoes on The Office). And speaking of Arrested Development, you’ll recognize Jeffrey Tambor in Bent. When I first saw previews for this show, I instantly was taken back to WB’s Jack & Jill. Yes that is Amanda Peet, but no it’s not Ivan Sergei. Bent looks cute – but I’m not sure it’s a match for NBC’s viewership. It’ll definitely be one that I check out as it’s rare to find dramas that are reminiscent of the WB days.

In terms of dramas, I think one of the most promising is Awake. I have a feeling this series is going to be met with mixed feelings. One of the things you hear a lot with dramas like this, is that’s it’s too confusing or too difficult to follow. I heard this a lot with NBC’s The Event, and we see where that ended up. They took too much time trying to explain things in Season One – thus creating a lull that caused a lot of viewers to quit prematurely. Now it’s awesome – but too late. Awake looks like it could have some great substance to it, it’s just going to be a question of if the viewers of the pilot will stick with it – as it doesn’t look like a show you’re going to be able to jump in and out of easily.

Prime Suspect I would venture to say will probably be the most successful one of the dramas based on NBC’s viewership. That being said they let the best cop show they’ve ever had slip through their fingers when the cancelled Southland. Granted that show might have been a little too gritty for NBC. The Playboy Club I think could go either way – whereas the Grimm looks like it will develop a small cult fanbase which won’t be enough to sustain a full first season.

Then there’s Smash. I’m not sure why we keep trying to make a Glee 2.0. Off the bat, that’s exactly what Smash looks like to me. It’s got a fantastic cast including Anjelica Huston, Debra Messing, Katharine McPhee (American Idol), and even Coupling‘s Jack Davenport – but I’m just not sure that people will see anything other than Glee when they see the previews. That being said, I think the premise is great – I just don’t know if there’s room for another TV series which is heavily outfitted with music.

Do you see any must-see TV above? Any early fall favorites? Or do you see some series that will marked for cancellation before we are able to get any holiday episodes in? Sound off in the comments below! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Your Pop Culture Junkie,
Emma Loggins


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. So far out of all of these, Grimm looks the best. Everything else is so so. But only time will as to whether these shows are worth watching.

  2. Yeah there’s nothing that really sticks out. Based on NBC’s history with shows like Grimm – I don’t think it’ll stick but I’d love to be wrong with it. I’d love to see more shows like that have a solid place on networks like NBC, ABC, or CBS. It’s just a rare thing. A lot of people were looking forward to Wonder Woman, and I’m still curious about it and why NBC decided to forgo it. There was a lot of hype – so something had to be pretty bad about it for them not to green-light it.