NBC Plans a ‘Crisis’ Series for Fictitious Washington VIPs

Today at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NBC will unveil to advertisers its prime-time schedule for the 2013-14 television season. Among the new shows to be announced will be an action thriller set in Washington starring Dermot Mulroney (not to be confused with Dylan McDermott) and Gillian Anderson.

The premise of the show, titled Crisis, goes like this: There’s this bus on a field trip. It’s filled with District of Columbia students.

But not just any Washington students - they’re students from Ballard High School, institution of higher learning for the children of “Washington, D.C.’s elite.”

And by “Washington, D.C.’s elite,” the network means “top-of-their-industry CEOs, international diplomats, political power players and even the president’s son.”

Yet despite Secret Service protection for POTUS’ son, the bus driver decides to take a cruise down a rural road. But not just any rural road. A secluded rural road. Which is just asking for it. And sure enough, the teens of top-of-their-industry CEOs, international diplomats, political power players and POTUS are taken hostage, as are their chaperones.

That, NBC says, ignites a national crisis, with “some of the country’s most powerful parents at the mercy of one vengeful mastermind.”

What will the country’s Most Powerful Parents do to ensure the safe return of their children?

How many factual mistakes will CNN make as it covers this national crisis?

How many Washington Ladies Who Lunch will pester poor NBC and the show creator in hopes of getting characters named for them, and of getting children cast as the elite offspring?

We pity poor Rand Ravich ( Life, The Astronaut’s Wife ), the guy behind this new drama series and whose life is about to become a living hell.

Anyway, NBC assures us that, with nowhere to turn and no one to trust — really? — this “unthinkable scenario” grows until it places “an entire nation at risk.”

If that one doesn’t keep you up at night, NBC has also ordered Believe, a drama about a little orphan girl named Bo. Since Bo turned 2, she has mastered levitation, telekinesis and the ability to control nature and even predict the future. She’s been raised by a small group known as True Believers, who safeguarded her from “harmful outsiders who would use her forces for personal gain.”

You know, like the producers of America’s Got Talent.

Anyway, little Bo is now 10, which is old enough that it’s not creepy that the True Believers have decided to spring from death row a wrongfully convicted felon (Tate) because he’s the only person they see fit to be Bo’s full-time protector.

Initially, Tate is reluctant to leave death row, NBC insists. We’d like to learn more about that, but it’s going to air on NBC, so there probably won’t be enough episodes before it’s canceled.

So we’re just going to have to take it for granted that Tate witnesses Bo in action, levitating or telekinesis-ing or whatever, and decides he will leave death row and take Bo on the road, traveling from city to city, because it’s the only way to stay one step ahead of the sinister forces who are after Bo’s power.

Tate and Bo try to fly under the radar, changing forever the lives of everyone they meet in every city they stop. No wonder NBC assures us that it will take a miracle to keep them safe forever.

Did you guess that J.J. Abrams is involved with this one? You’re right! Ditto Alfonso Cuaron ( Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ).

Also joining NBC’s prime-time slate: About a Boy, a remake of the 2002 Hugh Grant flick of the same name, which, in turn, was adapted from the 1998 Nick Hornby novel of the same name.

This time, Jon Favreau (of Iron Man and Revolution fame) is directing, which may or may not be a good thing.

And in this version, the man-child, played by David Walton, isn’t living work-free thanks to royalties from a tacky Christmas tune his dad wrote a long time ago. This time, Man-Child has himself written a hit tune and is living off the royalties.

Minnie Driver’s got the Toni Collette role from the film, as the wacky and sometimes suicidal vegetarian mom of 11-year-old chick magnet Marcus, played here by Benjamin Stockham, whom you loved in NBC’s short-lived sitcom 1600 Penn.

In other news, NBC has renewed its Thursday comedy Parks and Recreation, because it can’t cancel them all. 30 Rock, The Office and Up All Night have already bit the dust.

Also, Whitney has been canceled because, duh.