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Sunday, May 14, 2017

UPFRONTS 2017: NBC's Official Fall Schedule

Here is the official NBC schedule!

Past NBC schedules: 2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011

MONDAYS
8:00 The Voice (13th Edition)
10:00 THE BRAVE
In a schedule with quite a few surprises, Monday night was the least surprising as The Voice will once again launch a new drama and it's one that sounds a lot like other post-Voice shows. The thriller military drama The Brave (formerly known as For God and Country) gets the coveted post-Voice slot and will try to do a better job than Timeless or Taken. Unlike last year, it appears to have a chance to be here all year if the ratings are good.




TUESDAYS
8:00 The Voice (13th Edition)
9:00 Superstore (3rd Season)
9:30 The Good Place (2nd Season)
10:00 Chicago Fire (6th Season)
Tuesdays turned out very surprising because NBC made the big move of sending This is Us to Thursdays (more on that below). So now Tuesdays have turned into a seemingly low priority night, at least for now (Rise could end up getting the 9pm slot after the Olympics). After The Voice, the Thursday 8pm hour moves to Tuesday at 9pm. Superstore has a built in audience but it's kind of surprising that the post-Voice slot goes to a sitcom now entering its third year. Still, it was a decent pairing with The Good Place last fall and that could happen again. Chicago Fire stays put at 10pm and I do like that. I liked the idea of This is Us leading into something new, but with it gone from the night, Fire definitely needed to stay.

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 The Blacklist (5th Season)
9:00 Law & Order: SVU (19th Season)
10:00 Chicago PD (5th Season)
Wednesdays are staying pretty conservative for NBC. They will bring The Blacklist over to the night after a couple years on Thursdays. It was once the This is Us making the big move, but it's not much of a priority anymore. That's why I'm surprised it's still on the fall schedule and not on Friday. But I guess NBC didn't want to mess too much with Wednesday and they will keep Law & Order: SVU and Chicago PD in their slots too. I would have at least considered Chicago PD taking over the 9pm slot because it has a lot more years left than SVU.




THURSDAYS
8:00 WILL & GRACE
8:30 Great News (2nd Season)

9:00 This is Us (2nd Season)
10:00 LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS
Thursdays are by far the biggest swing for NBC. They are officially reviving the "Must See TV" moniker as well to bring back one of their big hits from that era and the most popular new drama of this season. The much hyped reboot of Will & Grace comes back to 8pm. The show ran for many years on Thursdays but these reboots are always a question mark. As of now, it's only for 12 episodes, but it could be extended. Current struggling freshman Great News gets a big sign of faith with a great timeslot. NBC obviously wants this show to work in a big way and they are giving it all the tools for success they can. Then at 9pm, NBC makes a big move with TV's top new show This is Us moving from Tuesdays at 9pm to Thursdays at 9pm. This didn't work for The Blacklist a couple years ago but it famously worked for CSI and Grey's Anatomy back in the day. I understand what they're trying to do here, but it's also a big risk that needs to pay off for them or they are going to have a ton of trouble. They are blowing up an extremely successful Tuesday night to really make a play on Thursdays. This is Us will also get the coveted post-Super Bowl slot. This is Us is followed by the eight episode limited series Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders. I'm surprised NBC is using the This is Us lead-in for a brand name limited series instead of a new drama, but that is the plan. NBC will have football in November and December on Thursdays and the plan for now is that Chicago Med will take over the 10pm slot after that.

FRIDAYS
8:00 Blindspot (3rd Season)
9:00 Taken (2nd Season)
10:00 Dateline NBC (27th Season)
Unlike last fall, NBC is actually trying on fall this year, but it's still with low priority shows. Blindspot managed to snag a renewal after a steady spring, and it will be tasked with leading off the Friday night lineup. It will lead into this year's surprise renewal, Taken. I thought NBC might go with shows that skew older like Chicago Justice or Chicago Med or Law & Order True Crime, but they are going with shows that they hope might skew a little younger. It's a tall order for a couple of very modestly rated dramas. Dateline NBC continues at 10pm.



SATURDAYS
8:00 Dateline Saturday
10:00 Saturday Night Live (Encores)

SUNDAYS
7:00 Football Night in America (12th Season)
8:30 Sunday Night Football
NBC has football on Sundays in the fall as always. At midseason, the plan is for Little Big Shots and Shades of Blue to continue at 8pm and 10pm while unscripted show Ellen's Game of Games with Ellen DeGeneres takes over 9pm.

MIDSEASON: A.P. BIO, THE AWESOME SHOW, CHAMPIONS, ELLEN'S GAME OF GAMES, GENIUS JUNIOR, GOOD GIRLS, THE HANDMADE PROJECT, REVERIE, RISE, Chicago Med, Little Big Shots, Shades of Blue, Timeless, The Wall
NBC has the Winter Olympics in February so they will certainly use them to launch new shows, most notably Rise. There is not as much on the bench as some years and some unscripted properties like The Wall, The Handmade Project, The Awesome Show, and Genius Junior may end up as January filler or pushed to summer. As I mentioned, I could see Rise going to Tuesdays 9pm after the Olympics while Chicago Med is going to Thursdays at 10pm. There is no plan for Good Girls, Reverie, A.P. Bio, or Champions right now.

CANCELLED/ENDED: The Blacklist: Redemption, Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon, Emerald City, Grimm, The New Celebrity Apprentice, Powerless

FATE TBD: Chicago Justice, First Dates, Trial & Error
Chicago Justice and Trial & Error still have a chance for renewal, but nothing has been decided yet. I think NBC will renew Trial and cancel Justice. Nothing was announced on First Dates either, but I doubt it will be back even with steady Friday ratings.

TO SUM UP:
NBC has made some big changes, even while only premiering three new shows (and two are conceived as limited series). Aside from Mondays, there are risks on every night. No risk is bigger than Thursdays and NBC's whole season hinges on how things go there. If This is Us breaks out even more, it could make NBC even stronger. If it falters, they have messed up a lot of things. It will be interesting to see!

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