NBC’s fall schedule for the 2016-2017 TV season looks a lot like last year’s.
Network executives were very proud of that fact on Sunday when they revealed the news, boasting that NBC is bringing back an “unrivaled class” of five breakout sophomore shows, from drama “Blindspot” to workplace comedy “Superstore” to Dick Wolf procedural “Chicago Med.”
NBC’s announcement marks the beginning of Broadcast Upfront Week, in which five networks (NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS and the CW) will unveil their new schedules. On a conference call, the NBC brass said the fall lineup displays “extraordinary and remarkable stability” in a TV era where midseason and summer seasons have become just as important. Still, a few reporters on the call seemed suspicious that the network ordered many new series but is only airing three of them in the fall, especially given that NBC will air the summer Olympics in August, an excellent promotional platform.
“Just because we have the Olympics doesn’t mean we should upend the schedule that’s working and add more shows, which are such a difficult thing to launch one after the other, anyway,” NBC Entertainment President Robert Greenblatt said.
Among the trio of NBC’s new fall series includes comedy “The Good Place” (Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.), about an everyday woman (Kristen Bell) who accidentally winds up in the afterlife and finds a wise mentor (Ted Danson). On the drama side, “Timeless” (Mondays at 10 p.m.) centers on a scientist, a soldier and a history professor who team up to capture a dangerous criminal who steals a time machine. “This is Us” (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.), starring Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia, follows a web of random people whose lives mysteriously intersect.
While NBC did hand out many renewals, there are a few timeslot tweaks: “Blindspot” moves to Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., where it will lead into “Law & Order: SVU” and “Chicago P.D.” James Spader’s “Blacklist” moves an hour to Thursdays at 10 p.m., making room for a second season of “Chicago Med” at 9 p.m. And no, NBC execs said, that isn’t a move to compete for the medical drama audience, even though ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” airs the same night.
As usual, NBC’s hit singing competition “The Voice” will anchor the lineup on Monday and Tuesday, with Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys joining as judges for this cycle.
Meanwhile, the network has lined up lots of shows for midseason, including “Chicago Justice,” the fourth in Dick Wolf’s endless Chicago franchise; “The Blacklist: Redemption,” a “Blacklist” spin-off that follows undercover operative Tom Keen; “Emerald City,” a new take on “The Wizard of Oz”; and “Midnight, Texas,” based on a book series about a cadre of vampires, witches and psychics.
As for comedy, look for “Great News,” produced by “30 Rock” team Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, about a young TV producer whose mom becomes the office intern; “Marlon,” based on the life of Marlon Wayans; “Powerless,” starring Vanessa Hudgens as an insurance adjuster who deals with damage done by superheroes; and “Trial & Error,” with John Lithgow as a New York attorney who moves to a wacky, small Southern town.
Going into NBC’s announcement, many critics were wondering about the fate of the acclaimed “Carmichael Show,” starring stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael: Later on Sunday afternoon, the network announced it had renewed the series for a 13-episode third season.
FALL 2016 PRIME-TIME LINEUP ON NBC
New shows are in bold
8 p.m.: “The Voice”
10 p.m.: “Timeless”
8 p.m.: “The Voice”
9 p.m.: “This is Us”
10 p.m.: “Chicago Fire”
8 p.m.: “Blindspot”*
9 p.m.: “Law & Order: SVU”
10 p.m.: “Chicago P.D.”
8 p.m.: “Superstore”*
8:30 p.m.: “The Good Place”
9 p.m.: “Chicago Med”*
10 p.m.: “The Blacklist”*
8 p.m.: “Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon”
9 p.m.: “Grimm”
10 p.m.: “Dateline NBC”
7 p.m.: “Football Night in America”
8:20 p.m.: “Sunday Night Football”
* Moved to a new time slot