NBC and FOX both announced their 2012-2013 schedules today, and the good news for comedy fans is that comedies are now being scheduled across all five days of the week, so conceivably comedy lovers will be able to find at least one show every night that will be to their taste (Monday nights are presumably going to remain the province of CBS's multicamera sitcoms).
On Tuesday nights, "Raising Hope" leads off the night on FOX at 8, followed by a new sitcom, "Ben & Kate" (formerly "Ben Fox is My Manny"), starring Dakota Johnson ("21 Jump Street") as the young mother of a 5-year-old whose slacker brother (Nat Faxon, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of "The Descendants") moves in with her to take care of her daughter. The show comes from writer/executive producer Dana Fox and executive producer/director Jake Kasdan, both of whom have worked on "The New Girl", which returns at 9 PM. The night finishes off with "The Mindy Project" (temporary title), starring Mindy Kaling ("The Office") as an OB/GYN and Bridget Jones-like single woman who, despite having a successful career, desperately needs to break bad habits in her personal life. Kaling's former "Office" co-star Ed Helms and SNL's Bill Hader make appearances in the pilot, but probably will not be regulars on the series (as both are contracted to return on their respective series next season).
On NBC, two new sitcoms, "Go On", starring Matthew Perry, and "The New Normal", from creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy ("Glee"), will follow "The Voice" at 9 PM and 9:30 respectively. The night finishes out with "Parenthood" at 10.
On Wednesdays, NBC will be doing some counter-programming to ABC's popular lineup of family-oriented sitcoms with two new sitcoms, "Animal Practice" at 8 and "Guys with Kids" at 8:30. "Animal Practice" comes from creator/executive producer Brian Gatewood ("The Sitter") and directors the Russo brothers ("Community", "Happy Endings"), and stars Justin Kirk ("Weeds") as a New York veterinarian with an unorthodox style of operating whose success comes from his undeniable gift with animals of all kinds- all but the human kind. "Guys with Kids" is a multi-camera sitcom (NBC's only multi-cam pickup this season) from Emmy winner and executive producer Jimmy Fallon. Chris (Jesse Bradford, "The West Wing"), Nick (Zach Cregger, "Friends with Benefits") and Gary (Anthony Anderson, "Law & Order") star as three thirty-something new dads who have each other to help navigate their survival, while still trying desperately to remain dudes.
On Thursdays, NBC's sitcom line-up remains for the most part in place, with "30 Rock", "Up All Night", "The Office" and "Parks & Recreation" all returning. Since "30 Rock" was only picked up for a 13-episode final seventh season, presumably one of the 3 other single-camera sitcoms picked up by NBC will replace it at midseason (either the White House-set "1600 Penn", the Dane Cook-starring "Next Caller" or "Save Me" with Anne Heche). On FOX, meanwhile, "Glee" moves to Thursday nights at 9, following "The X-Factor".
The real surprise this programming cycle is that "Community" will be moving to Friday nights at 8:30 on NBC, following "Whitney" at 8 PM. This pickup is only for 13 episodes, but NBC has allowed the option to remain open for the show to get picked up for the "back 9" episodes if the ratings for the show remain good. There are also rumors that creator Dan Harmon might not be returning as a showrunner next season, and may be falling back into a more behind-the-scenes role.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more information on ABC's fall schedule and Wednesday for CBS's schedule.