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NBC Surprises: ‘Heroes’ Gets Budget Cut, ‘Day One’ May Be DOA

Network doesn’t seem all too impressed with its own lineup this year … nor its audience


Don’t count your eggs before they hatch is a cliche as tired as Prince Valium in “Spaceballs,” but NBC seems to already know what the prognosis is for its upcoming show “Day One.”

NBC Entertainment President Angela Bromstad has pretty much declared the 13-episode life after a catastrophe series doomed during the Television Critics Association tour in Los Angeles, and is not really even considering giving the show a future.

“We’ve always looked at ‘Day One’ as a big event for us and not necessarily a show that would be returning for a second season,” Bromstad said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Because of “Day One’s” “serialized nature,” shows like it “become tougher to sustain on broadcast.”

And this is being said months before the first minute of the show is set to air. Alex Graves, the director behind the pilot episodes of “Fringe” as well as “Journeyman,” is helming “Day One,” which has pretty much been kept under a shroud of secrecy since it was first announced. It stars Julie Gonzalo, Derek Mio, Addison Timlin, Adam Campbell, Catherine Dent, David Lyons and Carly Pope.

“Day One” is expected to debut in March, around the same time NBC will finally pull “Chuck” off the dusty shelf to start its third season.

While that takes care of “Day One,” what exactly is going on with what was once a signature show for the network “Heroes?”

Bryan Fuller, who left the show after the first season to create “Pushing Daisies” for ABC, was heralded on his return to “Heroes” at the end of last season, only to depart again.

“I think he was there to get them back on track … and everybody decided where they are going creatively,” Bromstad said.

Fuller hasn’t left the network, but instead will be looking to do some development work for NBC Universal. At the same time “Heroes” is getting a little cheaper to produce this year, getting chopped up by $300,000 per episode.

Finally, NBC is not willing to admit its failure with “Kings,” instead saying the show is just too smart for its audience. It’s a line NBC has used for decades, including back in in the 1960s when it called the first “Star Trek” pilot “too cerebral.”

“It was an amazingly big swing and a great production, and Michael Green is a phenomenal writer,” Bromstad said of the show, which starred Ian McShane in an alternate reality universe that was inspired by the David and Goliath story from the religious texts.

“In a really crowded marketplace, people want to know what something is about” and “Kings” was “too difficult to sell in a 30-second spot.”

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