NBC premiered a new show on Saturday night following their Olympic coverage that is one of the best new shows I’ve seen in a long time. About a Boy starring Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting), David Walton (New Girl), and Benjamin Stockham (Sons of Tuscon). About a Boy is based on the 1998 novel of the same name by author Nick Hornsby. It was turned in to a Hugh Grant romantic comedy in 2002 so it might seem odd that it is now being turned in to a TV show 12 years later. If it’s odd, I don’t care because the premiere blew me away.
I don’t know why NBC chose to wait for the mid-season to premiere About a Boy. The mid-season is where you keep your bench warmers who are waiting for their turn to get in the game after the starters get their legs broken by shows on CBS. In the case of About a Boy, apparently NBC felt it was best to wait to use this show to fill in for The Biggest Loser after its season wrapped. After watching the premiere, I have to ask why. The show was a good mix of touching and funny. Two of the three stars (Walton and Stockham) were great and make me want to watch more of them. I don’t know why NBC chose to not use this show in the fall. They must have had quite a fall line-up on their hands that this show had to wait it’s turn. Let’s take a look at what NBC was doing last fall.
Here was NBC’s fall 2013 line up that they ran with (all caps were brand new series):
7 pm The Biggest Loser
8 pm The Voice
9 pm Chicago Fire
7 pm Dateline NBC
8 pm Grimm
9 pm DRACULA
Notice anything? I’m not talking about the number of these shows that are already canceled. Notice anything else? How many comedies do you see in NBC’s line-up? Apparently Thursday night is the only place that NBC will try a sitcom and when they do try, they are completely terrible at choosing what to put on. Not one of those comedies is still alive. Welcome to the Family (which was the best thing they had) only survived three episodes.
So my question then for NBC after watching the premiere of About a Boy is, what are you guys thinking over there? You were once the network that was the home for TV’s best comedies. Now the funniest thing about your network is watching you try to find things that are funny.
About a Boy should have been on with the fall line-up but ok, you screwed up as usual and it didn’t premiere until February 22. NBC gave the premiere an Olympics lead-in which is quite a boost. The premiere drew over 8 million viewers and retained 75% of the viewers that were watching the Olympics. That’s pretty respectable for regular TV and for NBC, it is a flippin’ miracle. The only issue here is that they put the premiere on Saturday night when it’s main time slot will be Tuesdays at 8:00. It will be getting a lead in from The Voice which has been one of NBC’s few decently rated shows. If About a Boy doesn’t do the numbers that NBC expects, then it will quickly be canceled I’m sure. NBC pulls the plug on sitcoms faster than I can put down the two Big Mac for $5 special at McDonald’s (that’s pretty fast).
About a Boy will be moving to it’s regular night on Tuesdays at 8:00. I highly recommend this show as an alternative sitcom that deals with the complex situation of what happens to boys who are being raised by just women and their need to find a male figure to bond to in their life. I’d tell you that I love this show but that would only make NBC cancel it all the faster.
About a Boy airs on NBC Tuesdays at 8:00.