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Thursday, October 20, 2016

QUICK HITS: Midseason Schedule Suggestion for NBC

Here are my thoughts on NBC's midseason schedule!

NBC had a conservative fall with The Voice, football, and just three new shows. One of those new shows is a big hit (This is Us) and they have had no outright flops along with plenty of solid returning dramas. They also have the most shows on the bench. I don't actually expect them to air all of the new shows during the season as I think they will save some for summer, but this is what I would do if I was in charge:

8:00 Celebrity Apprentice
10:00 Timeless

(late Feb)
8:00 The Voice
10:00 Midnight, Texas
The new incarnation of Celebrity Apprentice (sans Donald Trump) is slated to be the bridge series for The Voice and I think that's a good choice as there might be interest in new host Arnold Schwarzenegger and possibly renewed interest in the brand. I would extend the Timeless order to maybe 16 or so episodes and let it air with Apprentice and then let The Voice come back with a new show. I'm not totally sold that Taken is that show and it's a limited one anyway. I think Midnight, Texas is a bigger swing but also a show with bigger upside. That's the show I would choose. I would also use The Voice in December and again in the spring to launch some of their shows premiering during on other nights as they did last year.

(Jan-late Feb)
8:00 Little Big Shots: Forever Young
9:00 Trial & Error
9:30 Great News
10:00 Chicago Fire

(late Feb)
8:00 The Voice
9:00 This is Us
10:00 Chicago Fire
I have heard the plan is for This is Us to air without The Voice but I'm not sure I agree with that decision. It is their biggest new hit in awhile and I think they should protect it for this year and let it come back with The Voice to finish off its season. I would leave Chicago Fire at 10pm all season as it has proven it can do that just fine. For 8-10pm in January and February, I would go with Little Big Shots: Forever Young in a limited 8pm run and then new comedies at 9pm that could possibly get a December Voice preview like Superstore and Telenovela did last year. I think Trial & Error has some potential and Good News sounds interesting as well. NBC needs to keep throwing comedies out there and seeing what sticks.

8:00 (Jan) Blindspot/(late Mar) Marlon & The Carmichael Show
9:00 Law & Order: SVU
10:00 Chicago PD
I would mostly leave Wednesdays alone but maybe let Blindspot end its season early and bring two multi-cam comedies that don't really fit anywhere else to the night at the end of the season. It could be a contrast to the single cam comedies on ABC. Marlon is the newbie and The Carmichael Show is low rated but acclaimed and possibly on its final chance.

8:00 Superstore
8:30 (Jan) The Good Place/(Feb) Powerless
9:00 Chicago Med
10:00 The Blacklist
I would mostly leave Thursdays alone. They're not great but they are far better than the disasters NBC has had on this night for a couple years. The Good Place has a limited episode order so I would eventually replace it with superhero comedy Powerless, which has always seemed like a good fit with Superstore on paper. I suppose it's conceivable that The Blacklist could end its season a little bit early and make way for The Blacklist: Redemption in April or even May.

8:00 Grimm
9:00 Emerald City
10:00 Dateline NBC
This is the plan for NBC for the winter and I'm on board with it. Genre nights seem the way to go and the final season of Grimm and the new Emerald City should do OK. I think it's quite possible Midnight, Texas will arrive on this night at some point though I suggested it for Monday.

7:00 Dateline NBC
8:00 Little Big Shots
9:00 Chicago Justice
10:00 Shades of Blue
This is the NBC plan for Sunday and I really like this lineup. Little Big Shots was a hit last year, Chicago Justice has the Chicago franchise to bring in viewers, and Shades of Blue was a steady performer last year. I think this makes a whole lot of sense and I hope they follow through on the plan. The question is when to start this lineup with so many Sunday interruptions in January and February. Will they air specials and delay this lineup until March or air it and preempt it at times?

SAVE FOR SUMMER/FILLER: The Blacklist: Redemption, Taken, World of Dance, The Stream

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