Sunday, May 10, 2015

2015 Fall Schedule: NBC


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

Even though The Voice is the best lead-in NBC can give to a show, they have had little-to-no success moving successful shows in the Monday 10:00 timeslot to other places on the schedule. Revolution bombed in its second season after a strong start, State of Affairs never really even got off the ground, and now The Blacklist is lower rated than Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. after moving to Thursdays. So while this shows a vote of confidence in Blindspot, it doesn't bode well for its future.


8:00 - The Voice
9:00 - Heartbreaker (NEW)
10:00 - Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris (NEW)
10:00 - Chicago Fire (beginning in November)

I'm not surprised NBC axed the Tuesday comedies, but I am surprised they're putting Heartbreaker in the 9:00 timeslot. If they're going to put a medical drama there, why not the Chicago Fire spin-off Chicago Med? I completely forgot about Neil Patrick Harris's variety show, which preempts Chicago Fire until sweeps, but this is as good a place as any to put an experimental series like that, considering how weak all the networks have been on Tuesday nights.


8:00 - The Mysteries of Laura
9:00 - Law & Order: SVU
10:00 - Chicago P.D.

Shockingly, there's not a single change to the Wednesday night line-up. Perhaps NBC assumed Fox would try to get Empire back on the air for the fall and didn't want to risk throwing a new show up against it? Wednesdays are relatively stable for NBC, even though Laura is very low-rated, so I suppose NBC is focusing on building up other nights.


8:00 - Heroes: Reborn (NEW)
9:00 - The Blacklist
10:00 - The Player (NEW)

So despite their all-drama Thursdays not exactly panning out this spring, NBC is trying again in the fall. I don't exactly agree with the decision for the Heroes reboot to kick off the night, especially since it will be going head-to-head with Thursday Night Football (and is similarly male-skewing), but what do I know? It's at least higher profile than The Slap was this season. I'm nervous for The Player, since The Blacklist is at crazy lows right now (and it will likely be facing ABC's highly rated How to Get Away with Murder).


8:00 - Undateable (New Timeslot)
8:30 - People Are Talking (NEW)
9:00 - Grimm
10:00 - Dateline 

Fridays used to be a haven for sitcoms, and this is a decent experiment for NBC. Tuesdays didn't work out very well, and Thursdays aren't really an option for them right now (though they could conceivably try Thursday comedies again at midseason when the Coach revival debuts, possibly with the Eva Longoria vehicle Hot & Bothered). So Fridays are a low-key, low-stress way to try something new. It will be an interesting battle if ABC keeps their multi-camera block in the same timeslot. Undateable was a good choice to try this with, especially since the third season will be all live episodes, a much cheaper option than traditionally-produced episodes. It'll keep costs down to increase the potential for success. And maybe Grimm can climb a bit if it gets a decent lead-in.


Sunday Night Football


On tap for midseason, NBC has a handful of new comedies in Coach, Hot & Bothered (formerly Telenovela), Crowded, and Superstore. New dramas coming midseason include Chicago Med, Game of Silence, Emerald City (which was, oddly, not part of the announcement), Shades of Blue, and You, Me and the End of the World (formerly Apocalypse), as well as miniseries The Reaper. Shows returning at midseason include The Celebrity Apprentice, The Biggest Loser, and The Night Shift. NBC also announced the first in a series of films to be produced by Dolly Parton, titled Coat of Many Colors. Hopefully they can figure out a way to successfully program their Sunday nights post-football that doesn't involve a bunch of dramas destined for the trash heap (maybe Shades of Blue, starring Jennifer Lopez, would be a good place to start there).

This is a frustratingly stagnant schedule. The only returning show moved around the schedule is Undateable, with the low-rated Wednesday night lineup still in tact and The Blacklist still on Thursdays at 9:00 despite hitting lows I would never have predicted it would hit this early in its run. I think the Thursday lineup, in general, is destined to crash and burn, unless some truly heavy promotion for Heroes: Reborn can breathe life into everything... but considering how low the show was when it went off the air five years ago, coupled with its direct competition in Thursday Night Football (and likely The Big Bang Theory come October when the Thursday night games are over), I'm not exactly optimistic. But I've been wrong before and could easily be wrong again.

Read descriptions of all the new shows after the jump.


Coach - Craig T. Nelson (Parenthood) reprises the iconic role that earned him an Emmy in this follow-up to the beloved series that ran for nine seasons. With original creator Barry Kemp at the helm, Hayden Fox’s story picks up 18 years later when the retired coach gets back in the game to assist his son, who was just hired as head coach at an Ivy League university in Pennsylvania… where they know nothing about sports. Between dealing with the eggheads on campus and his hostile daughter-in-law at home, Coach will soon learn that he’s not in Minnesota anymore. Talk about a Hail Mary! Barry Kemp serves as writer and executive producer. Craig T. Nelson also executive produces.

Crowded - No more sex, booze, and paying the bills naked. After 20 years of parenting, empty nesters Mike (Patrick Warburton, Seinfeld) and Martina (Carrie Preston, True Blood) are finally reclaiming their wild side. Yet when their two grown daughters both unexpectedly move back in, and Mike’s parents scratch their plans to spend their golden years in Florida, their roost is full again. From executive producer Sean Hayes, this new (and very timely) family comedy proves that life is crazy with a full house, especially the second time around. The cast includes Patrick Warburton, Carrie Preston, Stacy Keach, Carlease Burke, Mia Serafino and Miranda Cosgrove. Suzanne Martin serves as writer and executive producer. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner also executive produce. James Burrows will direct.

Hot & Bothered - If you think the steamy sex, sensational scandals and wrenching heartbreak on Latino soap operas are a little extreme, just wait until you see what happens behind the scenes. Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) stars in this new comedy about Ana Sofia, a sizzling TV superstar and her lively family of cast and crew all competing to steal the spotlight. When the cameras turn off, the drama turns up as Ana battles pesky network execs, drunken script writers, narcissistic co-stars, and an unfortunately familiar new onscreen love interest. The cast includes Jencarlos Canela, Diana Maria Riva, Jose Moreno Brooks, Alex Meneses, Amaury Nolasco, Jadyn Maria and Izzy Diaz. Chrissy Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein serve as writers and executive producers. Eva Longoria, Ben Spector, Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener also executive produce.

People Are Talking - If you can think it, they will say it. From producer Will Packer (Ride Along) and director Pam Fryman (How I Met Your Mother) comes this unabashed new comedy about two diverse couples who are both neighbors and best friends. As they go through life side-by-side, they can’t help but analyze and obsess about everything. From topics like sex and race, to the fact that the trusted new babysitter might just be a porn star, nothing is out of bounds for this wildly outspoken foursome. The cast includes Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tone Bell and Bresha Webb. DJ Nash serves as writer and executive producer. Will Packer and director Pam Fryman (pilot) also executive produce.

Superstore - America Ferrara (Ugly Betty) and Ben Feldman (Mad Men, A to Z) star in a hilarious workplace comedy (from the producer of The Office) about a unique family of employees at a super-sized megastore. From the bright-eyed newbies and the seen-it-all veterans to the clueless summer hires and in-it-for-life managers, together they hilariously tackle the day-to-day grind of rabid bargain hunters, riot-causing sales and nap-worthy training sessions. The cast includes Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Bloom and Nico Santos. Justin Spitzer serves as writer and executive producer. David Bernad and director Ruben Fleischer also executive produce.


Blindspot - From executive producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, The Mysteries of Laura) comes Blindspot: A vast international plot explodes when a beautiful Jane Doe, completely covered in mysterious, intricate tattoos, is discovered naked in Times Square with no memory of who she is or how she got there. But there’s one tattoo that is impossible to miss: the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller, emblazoned across her back. “Jane,” Agent Weller and the rest of the FBI quickly realize that each mark on her body is a crime to solve, leading them closer to the truth about her identity and the mysteries to be revealed. The cast includes Sullivan Stapleton, Jaimie Alexander, Audrey Esparza, Rob Brown, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ukweli Roach and Ashley Johnson. Martin Gero serves as writer and executive producer. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and director Mark Pellington also executive produce.

Chicago Med - Executive producer Dick Wolf delivers the newest installment of the compelling Chicago franchise, an emotional thrill ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city’s most explosive hospital and the courageous team of doctors who hold it together. They will tackle unique new cases inspired by topical events, forging fiery relationships in the pulse-pounding pandemonium of the emergency room, and through it all, familiar faces from the Chicago police and fire departments will intertwine as this third team of Chicago heroes hits the ground running. The cast includes Oliver Platt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurie Holden, Nick Gehlfuss and Yaya Dacosta. Dick Wolf, Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas serve as writers and executive producers. Danielle Gelber, Peter Jankowski and director Joe Chappelle (pilot) also executive produce.

Game of Silence - Carol Mendelsohn, executive producer and veteran of the CSI phenomenon, and David Hudgins (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) present a gripping new drama about a successful Atlanta attorney (David Lyons, Revolution) whose long-lost childhood friends unexpectedly reappear after 25 years. When a dark secret they thought they had buried resurfaces, the brotherhood bands together to right the wrongs of their shared past — a journey that will push the limits of their loyalty and quench their thirst for revenge. The cast includes David Lyons, Michael Raymond-James, Larenz Tate, Bre Blair, Conor O’Farrell, Deidrie Henry, Demetrius Grosse and Claire Van Der Boom. David Hudgins serves as writer and executive producer. Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz and director Niels Arden Oplev also executive produce.

Heartbreaker - Based on the real life and achievements of Dr. Kathy Magliato, this unique character-driven medical drama follows Dr. Alex Panttiere (Melissa George, The Slap), an outspoken world-renowned heart-transplant surgeon and one of the few women in her field. Stubborn and fearless, Alex always operates on her own terms. She revels in a racy personal life that’s a full-time job in itself, manages the daily demands of skeptical faculty and dutiful interns, and pushes the boundaries of medical science to impressive new heights. The cast includes Melissa George, Dave Annable, Don Hany, Shelley Conn, D.L. Hughley, Jamie Kennedy, Maya Erskine, J. Louis Mills and Joshua Leonard. Jill Gordon serves as writer and executive producer. Amy Brenneman, Brad Silberling and director Robbie Duncan McNeill also executive produce.

Heroes: Reborn -  From original creator Tim Kring, the supernatural phenomenon begins again with a fresh crop of inspiring heroes who take on the ultimate struggle between those with extraordinary abilities and those with nefarious motives to hunt and harness their powers. Epic adventures await these newly empowered allies as they cross paths with some of the original characters (such as the beloved “HRG” and fan-favorite time-traveler Hiro Nakamura), unlocking the mysterious fate of the universe and their place within it. The cast of Heroes Reborn includes Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Masi Oka, Judith Shekoni, Robbie Kay, Henry Zebrowski, Kiki Sukezane, Ryan Guzman, Danika Yarosh, Toru Uchikado, Eve Harlow and Gatlin Green. Tim Kring serves as writer and executive producer. Peter Elkoff and James Middleton also executive produce.

The Player - From the executive producers of The Blacklist and starring Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester (Strike Back, Fringe) comes an action-packed Las Vegas thriller about a former military operative turned security expert who is drawn into a high-stakes game where an organization of wealthy individuals gamble on his ability to stop some of the biggest crimes imaginable from playing out. Can he take them down from the inside and get revenge for the death of his wife, or is it true what they say: The house always wins. The cast also includes Charity Wakefield and Damon Gupton. John Rogers serves as writer and executive producer. John Davis, John Fox and director Bharat Nalluri also executive produce.

Shades of Blue -  In a provocative new drama, the iconic Jennifer Lopez stars as sexy New York detective (and single mother) Harlee Santos, who fell in with a tight-knit group of dirty cops, taking bribes and protection money that she uses to provide the best life for her honest and talented daughter. When she’s trapped by the FBI, however, and forced to inform on her own “brothers,” she’ll have to walk the fine line between love, loyalty, honor and betrayal, and try to keep it together for her daughter’s future. The cast also includes Ray Liotta, Warren Kole, Dayo Okeniyi, Drea De Matteo, Hampton Fluker, Vincent Laresca and Sarah Jeffery. Jack Orman and Adi Hasak serve as writers and executive producers. Jennifer Lopez, Barry Levinson (pilot), Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Ryan Seacrest and Nina Wass also executive produce.

You, Me and the End of the World - In this bold adrenaline-fueled new one-hour comedy drama, the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course with Earth sets in motion the most hilariously unexpected chain of events imaginable. Set against the backdrop of apocalyptic chaos and starring Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation), Jenna Fischer (The Office), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) and Mathew Baynton (Yonderland), the story follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters around the world as their lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways. When we say eclectic, we mean a rebellious priest, an unhinged white supremacist, a mild-mannered bank manager, a germ-phobic cyber-terrorist and an American five-star general. Some of these misfits are destined to make it to a bunker deep beneath the English suburbs of Slough and, as a result, will become the hugely unlikely (and totally unsuitable) future of mankind. Wouldn’t that be a disaster! The cast also includes Joel Fry, Paterson Joseph, Gaia Scodellaro, Pauline Quirke, Fabian McCallum and Kyle Soller. Executive producers are Juliette Howell, Lynn Horsford, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Cameron Roach, Lizzie Gray and Andrew Conrad.


Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris - Five Emmy Awards and a Tony Award make multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris the perfect star for this live one-hour show that is unlike any other currently on American television. Complete with stunts, skits, pranks, audience interaction, musical numbers, giveaways and unlimited surprises, this show proves that anything can happen, and it can happen to you. Based on the wildly popular British hit Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, the modernized variety show format and its fearless, multi-talented star will make for one of the best nights ever on TV week after week. Neil Patrick Harris, Orly Adelson, Siobhan Greene, David A. Hurwitz, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly executive produce.


Coat of Many Colors - Based on the inspiring true story of living legend Dolly Parton’s remarkable upbringing, this once-in-a-lifetime movie special takes us inside the tight-knit Parton family as they struggle to overcome devastating tragedy and discover the healing power of love, faith, and a raggedy patchwork coat that helped make Dolly who she is today. Pamela K. Long serves as writer. Sam Haskell and Dolly Parton will executive produce.

The Reaper - Based on the best-selling memoir The Reaper by Nicholas Irving, this event miniseries recounts the 100-day Afghanistan deployment of Sgt. Nicholas Irving, nicknamed ‘The Reaper.’ The first African-American sniper, Irving tallied 33 official kills during this single deployment, a record that still stands today. The Reaper is a boots-on-the-ground thrilling and raw account of modern warfare and how it changes, shapes, and sometimes destroys the people who fight in it. Tom Donnelly and Josh Oppenheimer serve as writers and executive producers. Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein also executive produce.

The Wiz Live! - NBC embarks on its latest musical holiday tradition with a live television production of the groundbreaking Tony Award-winning musical that brought the vivid world of Oz to the streets of New York in a fresh, funky, sing-a-long journey down the yellow brick road.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Sound of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live!) serve as executive producers. Kenny Leon will direct with Harvey Fierstein providing new written material.

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