The message from NBC's new 2007-08 schedule is pretty clear: The network wants another Heroes. Badly.

Entertainment president Kevin Reilly picked up three fantasy/sci-fi-type shows that all could have been compatible with Heroes and thrive the 10 pm on Monday time slot, now the most attractive piece of real estate for a new NBC series.

Journeyman got the nod, thanks to being the network's highest-testing drama pilot in five years. Chuck - about a geeky guy who has government secrets planted in his head - will do battle on Tuesday at 9 pm because it didn't seem to boast the same broad appeal.

Oddly enough, it was Bionic Woman - which had terrible buzz during the development season - that looked best when it was presented to advertisers at NBC's presentation at Radio City Music Hall. Although clips can be deceiving, the lavishly produced remake of the '70s fave looked intriguingly dark (though not depressing), and had great action sequences. The network placed it on Wednesday at 9 pm directly opposite ABC's Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice. Bionic Woman will target viewers 18 to 34, while ABC will pick up the 35-plus crowd. That's a smart piece of scheduling for NBC - if it's right.

Following Bionic Woman is an early candidate for the worst-titled show of the season: Life. Is it about a cereal? A board game? No, it's about a cop who was in jail for a crime he didn't commit, but now he's out and back on the job.

Those four hours are all NBC is adding in the fall, wisely avoiding the challenge of launching a lot of new shows at a time when its ratings are in trouble. But it sounds like execs didn't have a lot to choose from. NBC's comedy development was rumored to be a disaster, and its pick up of only one back-up series - The IT Guys - confirms that gossip. Every single returning series in the new lineup, with the exception of Scrubs, is coming off a season of ratings decline. To be kind, it's going to be an uphill battle out of fourth place.

Reilly is clearly hoping that patience with the critically lauded 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights - renewed for second seasons despite shaky ratings - can turn them into sophomore hits. Some fans of Friday Night Lights were bemoaning the move to Friday as a death sentence, but it's actually not a bad idea. If you're going to have a show with a day of the week in its title, it's got to air on that day. (Reilly says he was constantly asked what day Friday Night Lights was on.) It has a better chance of surviving with modest ratings on a Friday than it would on other weeknights. Besides, the networks have to put good programs on Friday or risk having that day turn into a receptacle for reruns à la Saturday.

One last note about NBC's presentation: There was a lot of talk about added online content for the net's shows across various platforms. We know that the presentation is for advertisers who currently have a fetish with new technologies and the Internet, but a lot of this stuff makes watching TV seem like work. - Stephen Battaglio

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