Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the end of an era. A welcome end, in my procedural-averse opinion but the end of one nonetheless. After 20 seasons and 453 episodes, TV's second longest-running drama of all time will finally end this year; Law & Order is no more.
NBC will be announcing its full fall schedule, sans L&O, at their upfront presentation on May 17th but here's what we know already:
- Thursday night comedy will return 100% in tact with full season pickups for next year already doled out to The Office, 30 Rock, Park & Recreation and (most excitingly) My TV's favourite new comedy Community. That said, reports say that Office star Steve Carrell is looking to move on after his contract is up at the end of season 7 (next year), which leaves the show in tricky "do we retool or cut and run" territory.
- Hour-longs Chuck, Parenthood and Friday Night Lights will all be making another appearance next season. Chuck just got a 13 episode season 4 pickup this afternoon to the cheers of avid fans everywhere. The "we desperately want to be Brothers & Sisters" ensemble family drama Parenthood will also be back next year for its second season, so I suppose I should actually watch more than the pilot. And the tiny-but-brilliant Direct TV gem Friday Night Lights was picked up last year for its final season (#5), which will air on NBC next spring.
- The network already has 6 new shows on the roster for next season: The Event, a conspiracy thriller starring Jason Ritter (a My TV favourite actor); something called Outsourced which is apparently about a call-center in India and a charming-looking sitcom called Perfect Couples (I'm going to predict that neither of these will go far); JJ Abrams' spy comedy Undercovers, which I'm sure will do pretty well; a new Jerry Bruckheimer vehicle about US Marshals called Chase, which I don't think I'll like very much; and one of My TV's most anticipated shows of the new season, Love Bites starring My TV obsessions Becki Newton (Ugly Betty) and Jordana Spiro (My Boys).
- The Dermot Mulroney reboot of The Rockford Files, produced by Steve Carrell and House's David Shore is off to a shaky start with an ill-received pilot, according to NY magazine but still seems poised for a possible pickup.
- Things aren't looking good for ratings-challenged current series Heroes, Trauma and Mercy either, so I wouldn't expect them back. But I'm sure you can place a safe bet or two on the return of The Biggest Loser and The Apprentice, though no announcements about any of these 5 series have been made yet.
Check back throughout the week as the 2010 upfronts roll around.