The Only 7 Takeaways From NBC, FOX’s UpFronts That Anyone Will Care About

”There’s STILL broadcast network upfronts?” Our thoughts exactly at LAMag, but its still our duty to report relevant TV news
296

The broadcast television UpFronts are once again upon us. It’s that time of year when network execs pitch their planned program slates for the coming year to potential advertisers. NBCUniversal and Fox kicked off the week with presentations on what to expect for the 2022 – 2023 programming season.

It’s tradition for networks to release their full fall schedules before starting their upfronts. Unlike NBC, which released its fall lineup, Fox kept its plans close to the vest, leaving premiere dates for highly-anticipated programs like the Susan Sarandon-starring country drama, Monarch, or Dan Harmon’s new animated series Krapopolis up to speculation. Considering the fact that Fox’s presentation was mostly pre-recorded (after the event has celebrated its return to in-person attendance), it seemed like the network was struggling to solidify its fall strategy.

Here are 7 takeaways from Monday’s network upfront presentations:

The Quantum Leap reboot is getting a quantum lead-in.

The network’s reboot of Quantum Leap has received a prized spot on NBC’s Tuesday night lineup, with The Voice acting as the sci-fi show’s lead-in. The singing competition guarantees a large audience for the series, which will star Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Seoung, but concerns remain over its 10 p.m. time slot. That’s the final hour of TV’s primetime for the night, which may translate to less live viewing. Of course, we’re living in the age of On-Demand and streaming, now, which means multi-platform next-day viewing will probably make up for that detail.

Did NBC just turn heel on Young Rock?

Can NBC smell what The Rock is cooking? We’re unsure. But the network’s decision to relocate Dwayne Johnson’s hit comedy, Young Rock, to Friday nights raises an eyebrow or two. When a series is relocated to Fridays, it doesn’t typically bode well for the production. Can season 3 prove itself still worthy? The network’s explanation for the decision is that Lopez vs. Lopez, George Lopez’s upcoming sitcom, would pair well with the former pro-wrestler’s semi-biographical comedy.

No new NBC laughs till November.

They did in 2021 and they’re doing it again. NBC has no comedies listed on its fall schedule. It’s possible the network considers the November premieres of Lopez vs. Lopez and Young Rock to be the fall, but in our eyes, that’s pushing it. Then again, when you’ve got The Voice airing on Monday and Tuesday, Dick Wolf’s One Chicago lineup on Wednesdays, and three different Law & Order series on Thursdays, along with Sunday Night Football taking up the network’s entire Sunday night air-time, it becomes a difficult maneuver to squeeze in the chuckles.

The Night Court sequel series is adjourned, for now…

The Night Court sequel series will not be in session in the fall, unfortunately. John Larroquette’s return as Dan Fielding stoked all sorts of excitement from fans of the original sitcom, which starred Harry Anderson, Markie Post, Marsha Warfield, and Richard Moll.  That said, the new project is well into its production and it seems that NBC’s got a lack of room for the show for its fall slate. While that sounds like an antiquated argument to make in the age of streaming, it’s worth reminding you that this is linear television we’re referring to here.

Gordon Ramsay’s Next Level time slot.

Fox has deeply invested in its partnership with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and by the looks of things, that relationship is stronger than ever. Gordon Ramsay’s Next Level Chef tackled the highly-coveted post-Super Bowl time slot in February. It goes without saying that the big game is the biggest TV event of the year, so Mr. Hell’s Kitchen lucked out on having it as his lead-in for Next Level Chef this year.

No regrets about that Rudy Giuliani Masked Singer casting decision.

During Monday’s conference call with Fox’s alternative chief Rob Wade, the question arose regarding Rudy Guiliani’s involvement in the current season of The Masked Singer. Does he have any regrets in casting the disgraced attorney and former Mayor of New York City for the hit singing competition?

“Absolutely no regrets,” Wade stated. “The marketing is all about delivering jaw-dropping moments, which is exactly what the casting accomplished.”

When the Jack in the Box was unmasked in the April 20 episode, revealing Guiliani underneath, judges Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke walked off stage in protest.

Where oh where is Fox’s fall schedule?

As we mentioned above, Fox came to the party and forgot to bring the goods. Sure, the network absolutely announced the shows it plans on airing for the 2022 – 2023 season, but we have absolutely no inkling of the days or times that anything will premiere. It seems the network is still moving the proverbial chess pieces around the board as it has yet to renew hit drama 9-1-1 and the future for medical drama The Resident is currently up in the air. Once those decisions are made, the missing schedule should *cough* fall *cough* into place.

NBC Fall 2022-23 Schedule
(New programs in bold; all times ET/PT)

Monday
8-10 P.M. — The Voice
10-11 P.M. — Quantum Leap

Tuesday
8-9 P.M. — The Voice
9-10 P.M. — La Brea
10-11 P.M. — New Amsterdam

Wednesday
8-9 P.M. — Chicago Med
9-10 P.M. — Chicago Fire
10-11 P.M. — Chicago P.D.

Thursday
8-9 P.M. — Law & Order
9-10 P.M. — Law & Order: SVU
10-11 P.M. — Law & Order: Organized Crime

Friday
8-9 P.M. – Capital One College Bowl
8-8:30 P.M. – Lopez vs. Lopez (November)
8:30-9 P.M. – Young Rock (November)
9-11 P.M — Dateline NBC

Saturday
8-9 P.M. — Drama Encores
9-10 P.M. — Dateline Weekend Mystery
10-11 P.M. – SNL Vintage

Sunday
7-8:20 P.M. — Football Night in America (also live on Peacock)
8:20-11 P.M. — NBC Sunday Night Football (also live on Peacock)

Fox’s new season roster to include:

  • Country music family dramas Monarch, starring Susan Sarandon, Trace Adkins and Anna Friel.
  • Missing persons drama Alert from executive producers Jamie Foxx and John Eisendrath (The Blacklist).
  • Crime anthology series Accused from Homeland and 24 executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa and House creator David Shore.
  • Brand-new competition series Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars.
  • Season 2 of Gordon Ramsay’s Next Level Chef.
  • All-new animated comedies Grimsburg, starring and executive-produced by Jon Hamm; and Krapopolis from Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon.
  • Fantasy Island and Lego Masters will air in-season; Lego Masters will also air a multi-night event, Lego Masters: Celebrity Holiday Bricktacular.

2022-23 season renewals include 9-1-1: Lone Star, The Cleaning Lady, Call Me Kat, Welcome to Flatch, The Masked Singer, Crime Scene Kitchen, and Hell’s Kitchen.


Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.