NBC to Feature Football, Laughs, Drama ... and Trump

Trump won't run for president, will be back for "Celebrity Apprentice"

By Greg Wilson and Scott Ross
|  Monday, May 16, 2011  |  Updated 3:15 PM CDT
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NBC will debut 12 new series this fall.

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NBC will debut 12 new series this fall.

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NBC's new fall lineup promises heavy doses of comedy, drama and football, a formula the network unveiled Monday to a packed house of advertisers. Oh, and Donald Trump isn't going anywhere.

The "Celebrity Apprentice" host and real estate mogul let the network suits know he won't run for president in 2012.

"After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency," Trump said. "This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country."

The announced made big news even as the network laid out its programming plans. NBC is holding back its newest hit, "The Voice," until midseason, but the fall will feature "Sunday Night Football," the 1960s-era drama "The Playboy Club" and three new sitcoms.

"I have to say, things are better already," said "Saturday Night Live" Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers, who warmed up the audience. "Seriously, I have to say that."

And in addressing accusations that the network's new hit, "The Voice," was nothing more than a rip-off of "American Idol," said, "If you have a better idea, we'd love to hear it."

"30 Rock" will also come back at midseason, and The Donald will be back to helm "Celebrity Apprentice," having announced he won't seek the White House. But the network, which owns this site, is banking on its mix of drama and comedy to make a splash under the new management team installed by Comcast after it acquired NBC Universal in a deal that closed at the beginning of the year. Meyers got off a few more quips before handing off to NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt, who ran down the new offerings.

Here are the new shows set for fall, click on their titles to see clips and learn more:

The Playboy Club - Mondays @ 10 pm: Drawing inevitable comparisons to "Mad Men," producer Brian Glazer's"sophisticated soap"  depicts Chicago politics and mob activity through the early 1960s Chicago Playboy Club. Stars Eddie Cibrian and Amber Heard.

Up All Night - Wednesday @ 8 pm: "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels is behind this comedy starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett as a couple whose partying ways are interrupted by the arrival of a new baby.

Free Agents - Wednesday @ 8:30 pm: Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn star in a workplace sitcom, inspired a British hit show, about a pair of co-workers who keep sleeping together despite their best efforts to the contrary.

Whitney Thursday @ 9:30 pm: Whitney Cummings stars in an edgy sitcom about relationships and commitment.

Prime Suspect - Thursdays @ 10 pm: Maria Bello takes on the Helen Mirren role in a New York-based remake of the beloved PBS movie series.

Grimm - Friday @ 9 pm: The title describes the task of trying to summarize a show about a detective who learns that he's descended from special hunters who have been fighting forever to save the world from supernatural creatures that the rest of us believe exist only in fariy tales.

Of the new shows, six are dramas and six are comedies, with half debuting in the fall and half coming at midseason.

Greenblatt was candid that Job No. 1 is continuing to build NBC's newest hit, "The Voice," into a juggernaut. To that end, it will be brought back with maximum hype in early 2012, providing a lead-in to promising "Smash," a "Glee"-style musical drama starring Debra Messing and Katharine McPhee.

"We're taking the full-season view of the schedule next year," Greenblatt said. "'The Voice' is an enormous lead-in for any show."

NBC is dropping last year's experiment of all-comedy Thursdays, putting "Prime Suspect" into a lineup that includes the comedy troika of "Community," Parks and Recreation" and "The Office." The network will bring award-winning "30 Rock" back in midseason, using the fall to launch "Whitney."

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