Mysteries of Laura, yes, Marry Me, no. Predictions for every new show on NBC this fall.

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NBC–the network that brought us “Must See TV” throughout the 80s and 90s–has almost entirely given up on the sitcom. And looking at the meager comedy offerings the network scrounged up for the fall, it’s not hard to see why. Instead, the peacock is contenting itself with a small number of just-good-enough dramas to add to its okay-I-guess returning lineup. Ambition be damned.

Here are the official Happy Nice Time People predictions for the new additions to the NBC lineup:

Bad Judge

Description:

Kate Walsh plays it fast and loose with the law and in the bedroom as the titular bad judge. Kind of like Night Court if John Larroquette had been behind the bench instead of Larry Anderson.

Analysis:

Like Bad Santa and Bad Teacher before it, this concept has a lot of potential for laughs… as a movie. As a sitcom, it threatens to wear out its premise very quickly. Also, there are no less than six exec producers—including Will Ferrell and show creator Anne Heche—so there’s a good chance the end product will be a confused mess. On the other hand… NBC only has four sitcoms in its entire lineup. FOUR. And three of them are brand new.

Prediction:

This show survives only because NBC has no plan B. Instead of cancellation, expect NBC to step in a clean house at some point during or after the season.

 

A to Z

Description:

Cute, charming, attractive white people search for their soulmates at an online dating company.

Analysis:

Do you like sitcoms about quirky people in their late 20s hanging out with their friends, making witty observations about interpersonal relationships, and overcoming various contrived obstacles before finally pledging their eternal love to their perfect romantic companions? Yes, this show is unabashedly trying to pick up the torch Friends passed to How I Met Your Mother. It’s got a pretty good shot at succeeding at it, too.

Prediction:

Earns a second season; doesn’t just get renewed by default.

 

Marry Me

Description:

An uptight girlfriend and an easy-going boyfriend (original!) finally decide to get married after six years together, only to be stymied by various unfortunate and contrived coincidences and bad luck.

Analysis:

I’m bored with this show already, and I’ve only written one sentence about it. Yes, it’s not like there’s every really any suspense about whether the two leads of a sitcom will get together by the end of the show, but to start out six years into the relationship and expect us to care whether they officially tie the knot or just continue to live together happily ever after unwed? Fuck you. The creator is the same guy who did Happy Endings, and this one’s going to bomb too.

Prediction:

Cancelled midseason, even if NBC has to start airing old Seinfeld reruns.

 

State of Affairs

Description:

“Described as Scandal meets The West Wing.” Seriously, Google that phrase and you’ll find seventy fucking billion articles about this show. I thought at least one Madam Secretary article might show up, but no. NBC totally OWNS that phrase. Katherine Heigl stars as the CIA officer assigned to be President Alfre Woodard’s daily briefer on threats to America.

Analysis:

How much self-righteousness can you stand? Heigl and Woodard promise to be so bold and principled that it’s tiresome. But the biggest problem is centering this drama so heavily around one person (especially if that one person is Katherine Heigl) rather than a West Wing-like ensemble. And yet, a CIA operative inside the White House dealing with a lot sleazy, sexy secrets still sounds fun. It’s probably the exact right time for a series like this to come along.

Prediction:

Ho-hum ratings will be blamed on a killer timeslot (opposite Castle and NCIS: Los Angeles). Renewed for a second season.

 

The Mysteries of Laura

Description:

Despite the Hallmark Channel title (which is a direct translation of the Spanish original), Debra Messing is the perfect choice for a dramedy about a quirky cop dealing with messy murders and a messier home life as the divorced mom of two twins.

Analysis:

There’s not much to complain about other than the title.

Prediction:

Easy renewal.

 

Constantine

Description:

Based on the noir comic book series, John Constantine dabbles in dark magic and self-loathing as he fights the demonic forces of Hell without every really coming to terms with God.

Analysis:

The fact that Constantine doesn’t smoke or kiss dudes in this incarnation is pretty lame, but the fan boys will get over it quickly enough. The Friday night time slot means mediocre ratings are all it takes to be considered a success. With a lot of groundbreaking stories from the comics to pilfer, this show should be an easy win for the peacock.

Prediction:

Easy renewal.

 

Waiting in the wings for a spot on the schedule are Odyssey and Allegiance, which NBC swears are separate shows. Both are about convoluted international conspiracies that threaten to tear families apart. And both went to the same school of boring, undescriptive show titles. (Neither sounds promising, but Allegiance with its Russian sleeper agents premise sounds especially stupid.)

Check out the official HNTP predictions for CBS’s new additions.

Then take a look at our forecast for ABC’s fledgling shows.

And come back tomorrow for Fox.

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