NBC announces its new schedule: Get ready to watch Chuck Fridays

NBC got the jump on all the networks this week by announcing its 2011-2012 fall and midseason television schedule today. As expected, the network picked up new shows Grimm and Awake, along with renewing Chuck for a fifth and final season of 13 episodes.

However, there were some surprises. Chuck has been moved to Fridays at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the fairy-tale-laden Grimm at 9 p.m. As for Inception-esque Awake, it's planned for midseason.

"We wanted to do some reinvigorating on Friday night," said NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, during a conference call with journalists. "We really wanted to get more scripted dramas on Friday night. We liked Grimm a lot. We didn't want to put it out there with nothing leading into it, and I personally like Chuck. I know it's been on the bubble, you know, perennially, but I thought if we had a chance of transporting an audience to Friday night, it might be with something that has a real loyal following. We'll see what we can do in that two-hour block."

Greenblatt added: "Chuck is a good show which gets bad rap from always being on the cancellation line. ... We're giving the show a sendoff with a final season. That's what the fans want."

So the good news is that Chuck's back and NBC has picked up two additional genre shows. The bad news is that if Fox puts Fringe on Friday at 9 p.m., that means it's going up against Grimm. Additionally, The CW has had success with the canceled Smallville and the returning Supernatural on Fridays, so it's entirely possible that Supernatural will be back at 9 p.m. up against BOTH Grimm and Fringe.

If Friday night does indeed become the dumping ground for low-rated sci-fi and fantasy shows for three of the five networks—and remember ABC has a couple of new genre shows they might want to stick on Friday as well—that could end up being a big dilemma for viewers. We'll know by Thursday, when the last of the networks, The CW, makes its upfront announcement.

Here are the official descriptions of Grimm and Awake, with clips, so you can get a look:

"Grimm is a new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm's Fairy Tales. Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Those weren't stories—they were warnings. Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli Turn The Beat Around) thought he prepared himself for the realities of working as a homicide detective until he started seeing things he couldn't quite explain. When his ailing Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton, Grey's Anatomy) arrives, Nick's life turns upside down when she reveals they are descendants of an elite group of hunters, also known as Grimms, who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. As Nick digs deeper into her past, he realizes that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of his ancestors—and contend with a larger-than-life mythology of the Brothers Grimm that is now all too real. Russell Hornsby ( Lincoln Heights ), Bitsie Tulloch (Quarterlife), Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break), Reggie Lee (Persons Unknown) and Sasha Roiz (Caprica) also star. Grimm is a production of Universal Media Studios and Hazy Mills Productions. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (Hot in Cleveland) serve as executive producers, Jim Kouf (National Treasure, Angel) and David Greenwalt (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) are the creators/executive producers and Marc Buckland (My Name Is Earl) is the director."

"Awake is an intriguing drama about a detective (Jason Issacs, Harry Potter, Brotherhood) who finds he is leading an arduous double life that defies reality. When Detective Michael Britten (Issacs) regains consciousness following his family's car accident, he is told that his wife Hannah (Laura Allen, Terriers) perished but that his teen son, Rex (Dylan Minnette, Saving Grace), has survived. As he tries to put the pieces of his life back together, he awakens again in a parallel reality in which his wife is very much alive—but his son Rex died in the accident. In order to keep both of his loved ones alive at one time, he begins living two dueling realities in parallel worlds, which churns up confusion—in one moment, Michael and his wife debate about having another child to replace their son, while in the other reality, he is attracted to his son's tennis coach, Tara (Michaela McManus, The Vampire Diaries), to fill the void from the loss of his wife. Trying to regain some normalcy, Michael returns to police work and solves crimes in both worlds with the help of two different partners—Detective Isaiah Bird Freeman (Steve Harris, The Practice) and Detective Efrem Vega (Wilmer Valderrama, That '70s Show). Also starring are Emmy Award winner Cherry Jones (24) and BD Wong (NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) as therapists in each respective world. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Kyle Killen (Lone Star) and Howard Gordon (24) are executive producers. David Slade (Twilight: Eclipse, 30 Days of Night) also serves as executive producer and directed the pilot written by Killen."

Here's a clip of Grimm:

Here's a clip of Awake:

(*New programs in UPPERCASE; all times ET)

8-10 p.m. - The Sing-Off
10-11 p.m. - THE PLAYBOY CLUB

8-10 p.m. - The Biggest Loser
10-11 p.m. - Parenthood

8-8:30 p.m. - UP ALL NIGHT
8:30-9 p.m. - FREE AGENTS
9-10 p.m. -- Harry's Law
10-11 p.m. -- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
8-8:30 p.m. - Community
8:30-9 p.m. -- Parks and Recreation
9-9:30 p.m. - The Office
9:30-10 p.m. - WHITNEY
10-11 p.m. - PRIME SUSPECT

8-9 p.m. - Chuck
9-10 p.m. - GRIMM
10-11 p.m. - Dateline NBC

Encore programming

7- 8:15 p.m. -- Football Night in America
8:15-11:30 p.m. -- NBC Sunday Night Football

(*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)

7-8 p.m. - Dateline NBC
8-10 p.m. - The Celebrity Apprentice
10-11 p.m. - THE FIRM

8-10 p.m. - The Voice
10-11 p.m. - SMASH

As was previously announced, The Event, The Cape and Undercovers have been canceled.

So Chuck on Fridays? Grimm and Awake? What do you think?

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