UPDATED WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21
Continuing with the oddness that has been NBC's scheduling department, Taken has been removed from the fall schedule. Following a massive overhaul which includes a new showrunner (Person of Interest's Greg Plageman replaces Emmy winner Alex Cary) and an almost entirely new cast (six of the eight regulars from season one were fired, with only leads Jennifer Beals and Clive Standen remaining), Taken has been pushed to midseason and replaced with a second hour of Dateline. Blindspot remains at 8:00pm.
About two weeks after announcing their fall schedule, NBC has changed their minds and released a heavily revised lineup for two nights: Tuesday and Thursday. In this new schedule, This Is Us stays put on Tuesday, moving Superstore and The Good Place back to their fall 2016 timeslots and displacing Chicago Fire, which will now air on Thursday nights. This decision is odd, considering NBC is citing football as the reason for This Is Us retaining its former slot. I'm not buying that, though... they knew football would be airing on Thursdays when they announced their schedule. Why suddenly is that a problem? This Is Us was often preempted last season for election coverage, and it did fine, so why the sudden concern that interruptions will erode viewership? I'm not pretending to understand the real reason here, except maybe that they got cold feet about Tuesdays with their comedies going up against other comedy blocks and/or not being strong enough to withstand the move. Either way, it undoes all the big moves NBC was poised to make this fall.
8:00 - The Voice
9:00 - This Is Us
10:00 - Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (NEW)
8:00 - Superstore
8:30 - The Good Place
9:00 - Will & Grace (NEW)
9:30 - Great News (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Chicago Fire (New Timeslot)
The rest of the lineup remains as announced on May 14.
8:00 - The Voice
10:00 - The Brave (NEW)
Once again, a new drama is slotted into the 10:00 timeslot after The Voice, which has begun to fade this past year. This time it's the military drama The Brave following the singing competition, which will introduce two new judges this fall: Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson.
8:00 - The Voice
9:00 - Superstore (New Timeslot)
9:30 - The Good Place (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Chicago Fire
NBC's moderately successful pairing of Superstore and The Good Place remains intact, just now on a different night. They'll likely be going head-to-head with ABC comedies (barring any big shakeups in that network's Tuesday night schedule), but This Is Us proved last season that NBC can successfully launch a new show in the timeslot... maybe they can boost some existing ones too.
8:00 - The Blacklist (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Law & Order: SVU
10:00 - Chicago P.D.
The Blacklist is on the move yet again, to its earliest hour yet in the troublesome 8:00 timeslot. Blindspot occupied the spot this past season and crashed, so an established show like The Blacklist is at least a bit less of a gamble, but it's not going to help rebuild the night either.
8:00 - Will & Grace (NEW)
8:30 - Great News (New Timeslot)
9:00 - This Is Us (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Law & Order: True Crime - The Menendez Murders (NEW)
Thursday Night Football (November 9 - December 14)
NBC is touting this as "the return of Must See TV," and I can't really disagree with that. After more than a decade off the air, Will & Grace becomes the latest nostalgia renewal on broadcast television, leading off what could be a really big night for NBC. Last year's breakout hit This Is Us moves to the 9:00 anchor, and barely-renewed freshman Great News (which will feature producer Tina Fey as a guest star in season two) gets the plum spot between a returning favorite and the biggest drama on TV. Dick Wolf also debuts the limited series off-shoot of his Law & Order franchise, an American Crime Story-esque docudrama about the Menendez brothers. Left out of the party is his other Chicago series, Chicago Med, which gets evicted from the fall schedule entirely.
8:00 - Blindspot (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Taken (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Dateline
I fully anticipated Blindspot moving to Fridays, and it should pair well with Taken, as both are action-driven series, but this is a rather unexciting night, yet again, for NBC.
Sunday Night Football
At midseason, NBC has new dramas Good Girls, Reverie, and Rise; new comedies A.P. Bio and Champions; new alternative series The Awesome Show, Ellen's Game of Games, Genius Junior, and The Handmade Project; plus returning dramas Chicago Med, Shades of Blue, and Timeless, as well as returning alternative series Little Big Shots and The Wall. Additionally, their annual December live musical will be Bye Bye Birdie Live!, starring Jennifer Lopez. At Easter, NBC will also air the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar Live!
It's interesting to note that, once again, NBC is debuting very few new shows in the fall. Aside from the 8-episode Menendez Murders limited series, NBC ordered four new dramas, but only one made the cut for fall, and there are no new comedies either (not counting Will & Grace, which is technically the show's ninth season). I don't know if this is a trend across all networks that we'll see, with fewer and fewer new series making it to the schedule, or if NBC is just playing it safe in the fall, as they did in 2016. But with football taking up three hours of the entire fall schedule each week, plus another three hours for five weeks during November sweeps, I guess you don't need to screw around too much. NBC will additionally have the Winter Olympics to help promote its returning and new midseason series, though that didn't work out too well for the new shows of midseason 2014 (only About a Boy managed a second season, which never completed airing). Also interesting to me is the potential state of the Chicago franchise: only two of the four series made the fall lineup. NBC made no mention of Chicago Justice at all during its renewal/cancellation announcements, and it's left off both the fall and midseason schedules; are we to assume it's been silently canceled, or are negotiations ongoing for its return? Chicago Med was renewed last week and is mentioned as a returning series in NBC's schedule press release, but there are no concrete plans announced for it. Will it be getting a shortened order or simply a late start? Something clearly happened this season that made NBC rethink its commitment to the franchise, though their relationship with Dick Wolf is clearly thriving: he has a new limited series on the fall schedule next to Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and the nineteenth season of Law & Order: SVU.
As expected, NBC is seriously high on the success of This Is Us, trusting it to launch an entirely new lineup on Thursdays against Thursday Night Football on CBS before taking a six-week hiatus while the NFL airs on NBC, returning January, and then airing after the Super Bowl on February 4 (it looks to be a lot of on-off, off-on for the Thursday night lineup on NBC because of the dates the NFL games fall on). They're hedging their bets on it and the return of Will & Grace (which, I suppose, could become another regular series rather than a 12-episode limited run) to boost what is a notoriously difficult night for the network to program. I'm interested to see what happens with Thursdays at midseason when W&G, This Is Us, and Menendez Murders complete their seasons and will have to be replaced by a totally (or nearly so) schedule.
Click after the jump for descriptions of NBC's new shows for the 2017-2018 season.
A.P. Bio - When a philosophy scholar loses out on his dream job and goes to work as
a high school Advanced Placement biology teacher, he makes it clear he
will not be teaching any biology. Realizing he has a room full of honor
roll students at his disposal, he decides instead to use the kids to his
own benefit. The cast includes Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt, Lyric
Lewis, Mary Sohn, Aparna Brielle, Jacob McCarthy, Nick Peine and guest
star Vanessa Bayer. Mike O’Brien will write and executive
produce. Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, Andrew Singer and Mike Shoemaker
also executive produce. Osmany Rodriguez will direct. A.P. Bio is
produced by Universal Television, Broadway Video and Sethmaker
Champions - Vince, a charismatic gym owner with no ambition, lives with his younger
brother Michael, a gorgeous idiot. Their simple life of women and
working out is put on hold when the teenage son of Vince is dropped off
on their doorstep by Priya (Mindy Kaling), one of his old high school
flings. The cast includes Anders Holm, Andy Favreau, J.J. Totah, Mouzam
Makkar, Nina Wadia and guest star Mindy Kaling. Charlie Grandy and Mindy
Kaling will write and executive produce. Michael Alan Spiller will
direct and executive produce. Howard Klein also executive produces. Champions is produced by Universal Television, 3 Arts Entertainment,
Eyes Up Productions and Kaling International.
Will & Grace - That’s right, honey! A decade after their unforgettable eight-season
run, comedy’s most fabulous foursome is back. Debra Messing, Eric
McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally reprise their infamous roles as
Will, Grace, Jack and Karen in this exclusive 12-episode event. The
legendary James Burrows, director of every original Will & Grace
episode, returns along with a slew of razor-sharp jabs and dirty
martinis. Behold once again, from the minds of Max Mutchnick and David
Kohan, TV’s wittiest ensemble ever. Max Mutchnick and David
Kohan will write and executive produce. Alex Herschlag, Tracy Poust
& Jon Kinnally also executive produce. James Burrows will direct and
executive produce. Will & Grace is produced by Universal
The Brave - From Keshet Studios and Avi Nir (executive producer of Homeland) comes a fresh, heart-pounding journey into the complex world
of America’s elite undercover military heroes. While D.I.A. Deputy
Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts wield
the world’s most advanced surveillance technology from Washington, D.C.,
Adam Dalton and his heroic Special Ops squad of highly trained
undercover specialists use their unbreakable bond and commitment to
freedom to save lives of innocent people and execute missions in some of
the most dangerous places in the world. The cast includes Anne Heche,
Mike Vogel, Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, Natacha Karam, Demetrius
Grosse, Noah Mills and Hadi Tabbal. Dean Georgaris will write and
executive produce. Brad Anderson will direct and executive produce the
pilot. Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan also
executive produce. The Brave is produced by Universal Television and
Good Girls - When three suburban moms get tired of trying to make ends meet, they
decide it’s time to stick up for themselves by robbing the local
supermarket at (toy) gunpoint. But when the manager catches a glimpse of
one of them and the loot is far more than they expected, it doesn’t
take long for the three best friends to realize the perfect getaway will
be harder than they think. From executive producer Jenna Bans
(Scandal) comes this comedy-infused drama that mixes a little Thelma & Louise with a bit of Breaking Bad. The cast includes Retta, Mae
Whitman, Reno Wilson, Manny Montana, Lidya Jewett, Izzy Stannard and
Matthew Lillard. Jenna Bans will write and executive produce. Dean
Parisot directs and executive produces the pilot. Jeannine Renshaw also
executive produces. Good Girls is produced by Universal Television.
Law & Order: True Crime: The Menendez Murders - Starring the incomparable Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Edie Falco
(The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie), this new eight-episode true-crime
installment of the powerhouse Law & Order franchise delivers a
gripping in-depth dramatization of the notorious murder case that
changed America forever. When the Menendez brothers were tried on
national TV for brutally killing their parents in Beverly Hills, their
story became a national obsession. Now, the first edition of this
anthology series delves into the players, the crime and the media
circus, detailing the day-to-day battles of the trial and unveiling the
shocking truth of what really went down when the cameras stopped
rolling. Rene Balcer will write and executive produce. Lesli Linka
Glatter will direct and executive produce. Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski
and Arthur W. Forney also executive produce. Law & Order: True
Crime: The Menendez Murders is produced by Universal Television and
Reverie - From Mickey Fisher, the creator of Extant, this grounded new thriller
follows Mara Kint (Sarah Shahi), a former hostage negotiator and expert
on human behavior who became a college professor after facing an
unimaginable personal tragedy. But when she’s brought in to save
ordinary people who have lost themselves in a highly advanced
virtual-reality program in which you can literally live your dreams, she
finds that in saving others, she may actually have discovered a way to
save herself. The cast includes Sarah Shahi, Dennis Haysbert, Jessica
Lu, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Kathryn Morris. Mickey Fisher will write and
executive produce. Jaume Collet-Serra will direct and executive produce
the pilot. Brooklyn Weaver, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey also
executive produce. Tom Szentgyorgyi is a consulting producer. Reverie
is produced by Universal Television and Amblin Television.
Rise - From Jason Katims, writer and executive producer of Friday Night
Lights and Parenthood, and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller comes a
heartening new drama about finding inspiration in unexpected places.
When dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor)
sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater
department, he galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the
entire working-class town. Inspired by a true story. The cast includes
Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez, Marley Shelton, Auli’i Cravalho, Damon J.
Gillespie, Amy Forsyth, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Casey Johnson,
Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk. Jason Katims will
write and executive produce. Mike Cahill will direct and executive
produce the pilot. Michelle Lee, Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez also
executive produce. Rise is produced by Universal Television, True Jack
Productions and Seller Suarez Productions.
The Awesome Show - From executive producer/host Chris Hardwick (The Wall), executive
producer Mark Burnett (The Voice) and Silicon Valley’s Singularity
University, comes a new series that will showcase the groundbreaking
scientific and technological advances that are shaping the future, as
well as celebrate the pioneers and communities at the forefront of this
golden age of unprecedented discovery, innovation and opportunity. Each
episode of The Awesome Show will be a rollercoaster ride through the
world of innovation as told by the people who are shaping it and whose
lives are affected by it. The series will highlight stories of
revolutionary scientific and technological advances and will marvel at
mankind’s tremendous feats, both now and in the future. Mark Burnett,
Chris Hardwick and Alex Murray executive produce. The Awesome Show is
produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with
Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Fish Ladder.
Ellen's Game of Games - The one and only Ellen DeGeneres returns to primetime to host an
exciting new game show that’s one big party! Featuring super-sized
versions of some of the most beloved games from The Ellen DeGeneres
Show, as well as new ones, contestants will be pulled from the studio
audience to maneuver massive obstacles while answering trivia questions,
all under the pressure of Ellen’s mischievous and hilarious antics.
With DeGeneres’ witty and comedic sensibility plus fun-filled games,
each episode is sure to entertain the entire family and deliver lots of
laughs. One lucky contestant will get the chance to win the grand prize,
but everyone will have a blast! Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Ed
Glavin, Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, Kevin Leman and David A. Hurwitz
executive produce. Russell Norman directs. Ellen’s Game of Games is
produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted in association with A Very Good
Production and Telepictures.
Genius Junior - No stranger to young geniuses, Neil Patrick Harris hosts an exciting new
game show that celebrates the smartest kids in America. These talented
“genius juniors” will team up to take on mind-blowing tests of logic,
math, memory, spelling and more. Through escalating rounds, they will be
tested in each area of the brain, culminating in an ultimate challenge
to be crowned the smartest and brightest. The winning team will take
home a life-changing prize — setting the stage for a big, bright future
ahead. Neil Patrick Harris, Pam Healey, John Hesling, Phil Parsons and
Ed Egan executive produce. Genius Junior is produced by Shed Media in
association with Prediction Productions.
The Handmade Project - From executive producer and host Amy Poehler and co-host Nick Offerman
comes a lighthearted competition celebrating the creativity and
craftiness in all of us. Each week, eight amateur makers will take on a
series of projects they must complete in their own unique way. As the
competition escalates, the amateurs will be challenged to master
progressively difficult skills, culminating in a final craft-off between
the most creative and tenacious contestants. Shot in a serene outdoor
setting, this friendly competition will focus on the character and
camaraderie of DIY culture – and through it all, Poehler and Offerman
will provide encouragement, guidance and plenty of laughs. Amy Poehler, Brooke Posch, Nicolle Yaron, Nick Offerman, Dave Becky and
Anthony Dominici executive produce. The Handmade Project is produced
by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Paper