Last Year: It was the best of times for NBC (when it had The Voice and football), it was the worst of times for NBC (when it didn’t). While the peacock didn’t leave the basement, it gained a little bit of ground on it’s competitors. Unfortunately, the network’s new shows (especially on the comedy side) didn’t quite pan out as planned, so NBC was forced to fill a ton of holes on it’s schedule.
This Year: For the second straight year on NBC, we see a large number of new comedy options. Coming off of a year in which two of it’s flagship series (in 30 Rock and The Office) left the airwaves, NBC was really relying on some of it’s new shows to slip right in. So when NBC canceled every new comedy (and put Community on the bench in order to stabilize should one of it’s newer shows flop), we knew it was going to be a chaotic fall.
This is most seen in its’ Thursday comedy lineup. Parks and Recreation, the last holdout from last year, opens the night (starting 9/26). From there, we get three newcomers: Welcome to the Family (10/3), focused around two teenagers who find out they’re having a kid, and their families whom have to deal with the consequences, Sean Saves The World (10/3), a Sean Hayes vehicle, and NBC’s most hyped comedy option: The Michael J. Fox Show. The former “Must See” lineup is rounded out by network darling “Parenthood”.
Mondays and Tuesdays remain the purview of The Voice, and again the post-Voice slots go to shows that the network wishes to push, with newcomer The Blacklist and the returning Chicago Fire getting the Monday and Tuesday 10p.m. slots respectively. Leading into the results show on Tuesdays is the returning Biggest Loser, now in its’ 15th season. All of the aforementioned shows start the week of September 23rd.
Wednesday remains NBC’s big drama night, and unlike other networks, the Peacock tends to draw from a variety of genres for its’ dramas, putting long-running procedural Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (9/25), with sophomore drama Revolution (9/25) and debuting naval drama Ironsides (10/2). It should be interesting to see how Revolution fares, as last year it struggled without its’ Voice lead in and seems to be on a night where it doesn’t necessarily share the same audience as its’ lead-in.
We get an interesting mash-up of shows on Fridays this fall as well, with news-magazine Dateline flowing into NBC’s Friday night horror block of Grimm and newcomer Dracula. The block comes well after premiere week, debuting on 10/25. Personally, I am surprised to not see Hannibal mixed in there, as a Hannibal-Grimm-Dracula line up seems like a thriller fans murderer’s row (no pun intended).
Weekends on NBC are the domain of football, with the NFL taking the entirety of Sunday Nights for the fall and college sports slowly creeping into that Saturday slot. One interesting wrinkle is that the only show definitively programmed for Saturdays are reruns of SNL in the 10p.m. slot, a move that must be designed to get viewers to tune in after the cast overhauls of the last few seasons.
Tomorrow: It’s time to take a cursory glance at that other network, the CW.