Adding “The Voice” to the fall lineup is part and parcel of a plan to focus on Monday through Wednesday nights, said Greenblatt, whose network barely managed to escape a fourth-place finish among 18- to 49-year-old viewers (the currency of TV ad sales), thanks to its broadcast of this year’s Super Bowl.
“We’re trying to build a schedule that has lead-ins and flow — which is something we have been sorely lacking,” Greenblatt told The TV Column.
“We reconfigured Monday with ‘The Voice,’ which puts us in a really solid position there. We’re really focused on Tuesday and Wednesday. The further you get from Sunday and Monday, the harder it is to keep the momentum going — you can’t do it all at once,” Greenblatt said.
To that end, of the 10 comedies, the two deemed promising enough to make Tuesday’s lineup, following “The Voice” results show, are “Go On,” in which “Friends” alumnus Matthew Perry plays a grieving widower sportscaster in therapy — yes, it’s a comedy — and “The New Normal” about a gay couple having a child via a surrogate, from Ryan Murphy of “Nip/Tuck,” “Glee” and “American Horror Story” fame.
And what new drama won the lottery for the post-“Voice” but-in-the-teeth-of-Monday-football time slot? Abrams’s apocalyptic drama “Revolution.”
On Wednesdays at 8 p.m., where NBC had tepid results with two new comedies during this nearly ended season, the network will try again with two more new comedies in the fall. Justin Kirk stars as a hot-shot New York veterinarian who can’t stand humans in “Animal Practice,” while “Guys With Kids,” about 30-something dads trying to hold on to their youth, is executive produced by NBC late-night star Jimmy Fallon.
Those comedies are the warm-up act for Dick Wolf Theatre: “Law & Order: SVU,” returning for its 14th season, and new firefighter drama “Chicago Fire” at 10.
Familiar comedies with rabid fan bases and upscale audiences are returning to NBC on Thursday: “30 Rock,” “Up All Night,” “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.” And, although much has been written about the coming season being the last for “30 Rock” and “The Office,” Greenblatt insisted Sunday that there had been no end dates set. “We haven’t definitely said that on any of them yet.”
On the other hand, Greenblatt said, he’s adding several comedies that portend the network’s future: broader, more accessible shows that, in theory, will garner bigger audiences.