Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Fantasy Schedule: NBC

ETA: In light of the fact that I posted this about an hour before NBC made further decisions, I've redone the schedule to reflect the most up-to-date cancellations and pickups.

It's that time of year again! NBC will officially announce its fall schedule on Monday, May 13 (though it will likely be released a day earlier), but for now it's time for TV bloggers to have fun making up schedules.


8:00 - The Voice
10:00 - The Blacklist (NEW)

Revolution is still a hit by NBC standards, but it's nowhere near where it was in September or even November. Now that NBC knows the potential the post-The Voice slot truly holds, they should be trying a new pilot at 10:00. Judging by early word, Blacklist is their best pilot and the most deserving of the coveted timeslot.


8:00 - The Voice
9:00 - Crisis (NEW)
10:00 - Parenthood

NBC has already ordered two new high-concept dramas which could feasibly go in the coveted post-The Voice slot: Believe and Crisis. I think that because Believe is a J.J. Abrams production, it will be saved for midseason to get a push from the Winter Olympics (plus they still have the Abrams-produced Revolution on air). Parenthood is a remarkably consistent performer, so I don't see it moving.


8:00 - Night Shift (NEW)
9:00 - Revolution
10:00 - Chicago Fire

NBC hasn't had much luck with its Wednesday night comedy block, so I'm not sure they will keep trying to make it work, especially since they have so many new dramas on the bench. NBC previously had a medical drama in this slot a few years ago (Mercy), but that doesn't mean they can't give it another shot with Night Shift. Moving Revolution could help revitalize the night (or it could crash and burn without The Voice as a lead-in), and Chicago Fire does well enough to warrant keeping its timeslot.


8:00 - About a Boy (NEW)
8:30 - Welcome to the Family (NEW)
9:00 - MJF (NEW)
9:30 - Parks & Recreation
10:00 - Law & Order: SVU

Now that only Parks & Recreation survives from the "workplace" comedy block, NBC will have to move in a new direction. I don't see that show moving, but it'll stick out like a sore thumb now surrounded by a bunch of family comedies. I think they will lead-off the night with two pilots starring recognizable faces (About a Boy has Minnie Driver, Welcome to the Family has Mike O'Malley). However, it is MJF that is the possible saving grace of NBC at this point, marking Michael J. Fox's return to television. I think the network will put more behind this series than any other, and giving it the tent pole 9:00 slot seems likely. Law & Order: SVU just has to be entering its final season at this point; it's limping along in the mid-to-low 1's in the 18-49 demo. Putting it in this slot likely wouldn't change much of its ratings, and it's a respectable slot for a show at the end of its run. It would also almost certainly be an improvement over the past few shows to occupy the slot.


8:00 - Dracula (NEW)
9:00 - Grimm
10:00 - Dateline

NBC ordered Dracula over a year ago, and it's just now filming. It has a 10-episode order, and they would be crazy not to air it next to Grimm, which is routinely still the highest-rated scripted show on Fridays. This past fall's Mockingbird Lane experiment proved that with a decent lead-in, Grimm can do even better.




NBC will have quite a few holes to fill at midseason, most notably Sunday night. I sincerely hope The Apprentice does not return; this season has been an exceptional bore, and the ratings reflect that. If it does return, I suspect it will be for one hour, especially since then other shows can be inserted. They'll have Crossbones ready by spring, the pirate drama with a 10-episode commitment starring John Malkovich, which I think will take over Dracula's timeslot. Then they have comedies Sean Saves the World and Undateable (both multi-cams, so likely to air as a block), plus The Family Guide (a single-cam), and dramas Believe, Chicago PD (a Chicago Fire spin-off), and Ironside to slot in, in addition to any other shows (reality, competition, etc) they may order. I think Community, the only returning comedy other than Parks & Rec, will again return at midseason to air its ordered 13 episodes.

Bottom Line Predictions

New Series - Dracula, Crossbones (both previously ordered to series), Believe, Crisis, The Blacklist, Ironside, Night Shift, Chicago PD, Sean Saves the World, About a Boy, The Family Guide, Undateable, Welcome to the Family

Canceled Series - Do No Harm, Deception, Smash, Hannibal, Up All Night, 30 Rock, The Office, 1600 Penn, Guys with Kids, Whitney, Next Caller, The New Normal, Go On

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