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May 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It is that time of year when the networks unveil their plans for the coming season to advertisers in hopes that they’ll be impressed enough with many to buy a schedule of commercials in them in advance (or “upfront”). NBC, the lowest rated network, was first out of the gate and is likely to be the network with the most new shows being presented — many of them unscripted talent-competition and other reality programs (the type that sets off loud grumbling at the offices of the Writers Guild of America). The Sing Off, which drew some decent ratings when it was given a showcase last December will take over two hours on Mondays between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. When mid-season arrives, NBC will bring back The Voice and introduce Smash, in which it plans to create a new Broadway musical. The network also plans to launch a second comedy night on Wednesdays (joining Thursdays’), with high hopes being pinned on Up All Night, starring Christina Applegate and Free Agents, with Hank Azaria. In addition, the network confirmed that it will launch a new news magazine featuring Brian Williams sometime during the season. (NBC often plugs an edition of Dateline into a gap created by a show that fails to attract an audience. As for the big question: Will Celebrity Apprentice continue next season without Donald Trump if he decides to run for president?, NBC brought on Trump himself to reply: “I will not be running for president, as much as I’d like to,” he said.