NBC Announces New Fall Schedule: Playboy Club In Among New Dramas, 30 Rock Out (For Now)

NBC has released next season’s schedule, one featuring six new series to debut in the fall (and six more for midseason). New shows are to include the Mad Men-alike The Playboy Club, a drama about Bunnies in the 1960s; Up All Night, a comedy about parenthood that is to feature the return of both Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph; and an American remake of the British crime serial Prime Suspect.

NBC has ended its experiment with a three-hour comedy block on Thursday nights–the maligned Indian-call-center sitcom Outsourced is off the air permanently, and 30 Rock is gone temporarily, replaced on Thursday nights by the ribald comedian Whitney Cummings’s sitcom Whitney (at midseason, Chelsea Handler’s new sitcom Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea will join 30 Rock). There will also be a comedy hour on Wednesday nights, leading into the had-been-on-the-bubble Harry’s Law. In light of the cancellation of Law and Order: Los Angeles, NBC now only runs one hour of Law and Order a week (Special Victims Unit)–and four hours of reality, divided between two-hour editions of The Sing-Off and The Biggest Loser. 

Two years after The Jay Leno Show fiasco was set into motion to avoid the need for new, expensive 10p.m. drama series, The Playboy Club (which follows the two-hour Sing-Off) and the returning Parenthood (which follows the two-hour Biggest Loser) mark attempts to define signature shows for the network in the vein of NBC’s 1980s and 1990s–despite their isolation from the rest of the schedule. Prime Suspect may be receiving the biggest push, following as it does the two-hour comedy block on Thursday (the old ER slot!), though that block may be weakened by the loss of The Office‘s Steve Carell. The coming Thursday sag (without the strongest component of that night’s most popular show) a situation that NBC will be under pressure to solve with a casting decision at its upfront presentation.

The fall schedule, as distributed by NBC, follows:

8-10 p.m. The Sing-Off
10-11 p.m. The Playboy Club (new)

8-10 p.m. The Biggest Loser
10-11 p.m. Parenthood

8-8:30 p.m. Up All Night (new)
8:30-9 p.m. Free Agents (new)
9-10 p.m. Harry’s Law
10-11 p.m. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

8-8:30 p.m. Community
8:30-9 p.m. Parks and Recreation
9-9:30 p.m. The Office
9:30-10 p.m. Whitney (new)
10-11 p.m. Prime Suspect (new)

8-9 p.m. Chuck
9-10 p.m. Grimm (new)
10-11 p.m. Dateline NBC

Encore programming

7- 8:15 p.m. Football Night in America 
8:15-11:30 p.m. NBC Sunday Night Football

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_ NBC Announces New Fall Schedule: Playboy Club In Among New Dramas, 30 Rock Out (For Now)