Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Midseason Schedule: NBC

UPDATED JANUARY 22 with additional Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday scheduling

NBC has yet to firm up many of its midseason plans, including what will air on Sunday nights when the NFL season ends. But plans are in place for January, at least, with more to come soon.

Monday

8:00 - Superstore (NEW - Beginning January 4)
8:00 - The Voice (Beginning February 29)
8:30 - Telenovela (NEW - Beginning January 4)
9:00 - The Biggest Loser (New Timeslot - Beginning January 4)
10:00 - Blindspot (Beginning February 29)

New comedies Superstore and Telenovela, both of which received double-episode previews this month, will take the early Monday timeslot while The Voice is on hiatus. The pairing of these two shows could be good, since CBS has abandoned comedy in the same slot so there's no direct sitcom competition and since both have Latina leads (though their tones seem much different). But any new comedy on NBC is going to have an uphill climb, as evidenced by Telenovela's disappointing preview numbers from December 1. It doesn't help matters that the network cut both series' episode orders to 11 before they even debuted. Further, Blindspot will not return until after February sweeps so that it never has to air without a lead-in from The Voice.

Tuesday

8:00 - Hollywood Game Night (New Timeslot - Beginning January 5)
8:00 - The Voice (Beginning March 1)
9:00 - Chicago Med (Beginning January 5)
10:00 - Chicago Fire (Beginning January 5)

Chicago Med has been a moderate success for NBC in the 9:00 hour, despite an indifferent response from critics. It recently received a 5-episode backorder, sending it through to the end of May, with a three-week break in March for two-hour episodes of The Voice. It'll be interesting to see how it fares without The Voice as a lead-in for the eight weeks Hollywood Game Night airs.

Wednesday

8:00 - The Mysteries of Laura (Beginning January 6)
8:00 - Heartbeat (NEW - Beginning March 23)
9:00 - Law & Order: SVU (Beginning January 6)
10:00 - Chicago PD (Beginning January 6)

The Mysteries of Laura has been a steady but underperforming drama for NBC. Unfortunately, that's about good as they can do at the moment, so the show received an order for additional episodes in its second season. Those episodes run until March 2, with Heartbeat (formerly Heartbreaker), which was delayed from fall due to star Melissa George's pregnancy, assuming the slot March 23 after a special preview airing on March 22 after The Voice.

Thursday

8:00 - Heroes Reborn (Beginning January 7)
8:00 - You, Me and the Apocalypse (NEW - Beginning January 28)
9:00 - The Blacklist (Beginning January 7)
10:00 - Shades of Blue (NEW - Beginning January 7)
10:00 - Game of Silence (NEW - Beginning April 7)

Heroes Reborn will air its final three episodes in January before the British co-production You, Me and the Apocalypse, starring Rob Lowe and Jenna Fischer, takes over; it aired this past fall in the UK and received some good notices, but NBC has had very limited (if any) success with "event" series in the timeslot. The new Jennifer Lopez vehicle Shades of Blue hopes to bring some competition to How to Get Away with Murder, of which the now-canceled The Player provided none. With that cast (Lopez, Ray Liotta) and team (director Barry Levinson, producer Ryan Seacrest), it's probably NBC's best bet for the hour, especially since it will have five weeks to establish itself before Murder returns for the backend of its season. Game of Silence, a remake of an Israeli format, begins its 10-episode run when Shades of Blue wraps.

Friday

8:00 - Undateable (Beginning January 8)
8:00 - Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon (Beginning January 22)
9:00 - Grimm (Beginning January 29)
10:00 - Dateline (Beginning January 29)

Truth Be Told airs its final two episodes on Christmas night, and Undateable wraps its season on January 29. Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon will lead-off the night beginning in late January.

Sunday

8:00 - Little Big Shots (NEW - Beginning March 13)
9:00 - The Carmichael Show (New Timeslot - Beginning March 13)
9:30 - Crowded (NEW - Beginning March 20)
10:00 - TBA

The new reality series from Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres about talented kids, Little Big Shots (hosted by the former), premieres as a special preview on Tuesday, March 8 behind The Voice. The Carmichael Show also gets a special preview that night before they both head off to Sunday nights. Not to be left out, new multicamera comedy Crowded will air two preview episodes back-to-back on March 15 before relocating to its permanent spot the following Sunday. The preview trick worked well for Superstore in November, but it didn't really do much for Telenovela, so perhaps these new airings will clear up whether it's a worthwhile stunt.

NBC still has a few timeslots to fill (Sundays at 10:00 beginning in March, possibly Fridays at 8:00 depending on Camera's episode order, Thursdays at 8:00 in April), and they have a few options for them. The net has returning drama The Night Shift (which could go back to being a summer series) and new drama Emerald City still awaiting scheduling, as well as alternative series Better Late Than Never, First Dates, Strong and The Wall, some of which will obviously need to be summer fare. They also picked up a six-episode miniseries, The Reaper, back in May, but there hasn't been any movement on it since.

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