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Thursday, March 20, 2014

RENEWAL ALERT: Grimm, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD

NBC handed out renewals today to three dramas that were obvious pickups: Grimm, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD.

Grimm was renewed for a fourth season. Talk about a little show that could, the show should have been quickly forgotten with a Friday night slot in its first season (2011-12). Instead, it carved out a niche audience and has been solid ever since. NBC has tried to find it a partner this year with both Dracula and Hannibal but neither can hold on to much of Grimm's audience, which is decent by Friday standards. NBC has tried it on Mondays and Tuesdays for short time periods in the past but it didn't work so they have finally realized it belongs (and should stay) on Fridays.

Chicago Fire was renewed for a third season. Another little show that could, this one was low on NBC's priority list in 2012-13 with big premieres like Revolution and Go On to worry about. But it quietly surprised on Wednesday nights, often building on its Law & Order: SVU lead-in. NBC realized what they had and upgraded it to a better timeslot this year airing after The Voice in the fall. That helped a little bit but it has been remarkably steady even without a direct lead-in from The Voice. The show has also spawned a successful spinoff...

Chicago PD was a midseason spinoff this year from Chicago Fire. It took Fire's old Wednesday night timeslot and has done fairly well. It had one very impressive night crossing over with Law & Order: SVU and building on the lead-in. Most of time it is just very compatible. This is a franchise NBC is establishing so they probably had a low threshold for renewal, but it has done pretty well so it's renewal was a sure thing from pretty early on. Look for many more crossovers between the Chicago shows.

These dramas join previously announced NBC renewals The Blacklist, The Voice, Celebrity Apprentice (which has not aired this season), and Parks and Recreation. Other sure or likely renewals include About a Boy, The Biggest Loser, Hollywood Game Night, and Law & Order: SVU. Bubble shows are Community, Dracula, Growing Up Fisher, Parenthood, and Revolution. It's not looking promising for Hannibal and the new Believe and Crisis.

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