Chuck was lucking. The NBC action comedy was one of the few modestly rated series that survived last week, as broadcast executives axed shows with a vengeance, clearing their schedules to make room for new ones this fall. Fox’s Human Target and Lie to Me? Gone. NBC’s The Event? Gone. CBS’ $#*! My Dad Says and ABC’s Brothers & Sisters and V? Gone, gone, gone. ”For us, this was an opportunity to start fresh,” said Fox’s exec VP of scheduling Preston Beckman.
ABC could end up looking like a whole new network this September, having dumped its deadweight to make way for a reboot of Charlie’s Angels and sudsy series like Good Christian Belles and the airline drama Pan Am. And welcome back to TV, Tim Allen! The Home Improvement star will return to ABC in the family-com Last Man Standing, opposite Nancy Travis. NBC’s decision to houseclean may have broken the hearts of Law & Order: Los Angeles fans, but it made it possible to pick up The Playboy Club, a period piece about the famed Chicago hangout; Up All Night, a comedy starring Christina Applegate as a hard-partying mom married to Will Arnett; and Smash, a musical dramedy for midseason starring Debra Messing. Just don’t confuse that last show with Glee. ”Smash is a real look at life in New York as an actor, producer, composer,” the actress tells EW. ”Glee does music that was already made, and we have original music being composed for us.” Speaking of Glee, the Fox hit will help launch New Girl, a sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel. (Kiefer Sutherland’s drama Touch and J.J. Abrams’ prison thriller Alcatraz will likely air midseason.)
Not all of the buzzy projects made the cut: After much blogosphere hand-wringing over Adrianne Palicki’s costume, Wonder Woman was nixed by NBC.
(Additional reporting by Sandra Gonzalez)