My Analysis: 2014/2015 Fall/Midseason TV Network Schedule

NBC:

nbc logo

In my opinion, one of the channels that suffered the most cancellations this past season out of all the networks (with us saying goodbye to The Michael J Fox Show, Revolution, Growing Up Fisher, Believe, Community, Crisis, Dracula and others) yet still came out with a strong 2014 schedule, was NBC. Mainly that is because of the success and reliability of veteran shows (Law And Order SVU, Chicago Fire, Grimm), the relevance and popularity of their reality shows (The Voice, The Biggest Loser), their medium term solution to fix the death slot of Thursday nights at 10pm (Parenthood) as well as strong freshman dramas (The Blacklist, Chicago PD) deserving of a second season; despite the numerous cancellations. Because of these shows that haven’t been cancelled from last season and have managed to hang onto their spots for this season too, many of the ratings success stories and veterans are most of the predicted timeslots. Thus the new fall 2014 schedule isn’t all that controversial, with only a couple of new shows in danger of being cancelled, assuming that their lead in tanks (which is unlikely). So what’s my general consensus of the schedule (and the midseason shows that I believe are too many!)?

The Good: First of all, let’s start off with Monday nights, which NBC won hands down last season! The Voice and The Blacklist were a formidable combination in 2013/14, and it definitely makes sense that these two programs stayed where they were for this coming season. While I have not seen the American version of The Voice, the concept of judges picking singers based on voice alone instead of on appearance also, which I have seen in the Australian version, is pretty cool; no wonder the show, now entering in its 7th season in 2014, is very popular! As for The Blacklist (kudos to James Spader for brilliantly portraying his role all throughout these past 22 episodes!); we all knew that it was departing the Monday 10pm slot quite a while ago, however the surprise was that it is only moving to Thursdays at 9pm in the midseason. Maybe it is because NBC wants to make sure that the new CIA/government thriller series State Of Affairs, which launches in mid-November in The Blacklists’ spot for a run of 16 episodes (unsure if it breaks around Christmas time or not), doesn’t fail or flop and rides the momentum that Red Reddington produces. Or maybe they would want to see how new comedies Bad Judge and A To Z turn out, with The Biggest Loser as the lead in. In any case, I believe that The Blacklist is such a great show, that come mid-season, the show can succeed without The Voice as its lead in (it’s done so in January 3 times in 2014!). Though the viewers may decrease, I am sure it’ll find its core audience again. And though it’s a gamble to place State Of Affairs after the Voice later on in the season; this brand new show had so much hype and buzz surrounding it, that it was a given that it would land such a prestigious spot. With cop/firefighter dramas Chicago PD and Chicago Fire (both in the same TV universe), the supernatural horror/fantasy show Grimm, the family drama Parenthood (renewed for a final shortened season), the long-running veteran Law And Order SVU and the Jason Katims developed heartfelt and feel-good dramedy About A Boy all garnering renewals (as expected, as they were the higher performers of the season); it’s also no surprise when NBC played it safe and put these shows in the same spots (except for About A Boy moving half an hour later…). I’m not sure if that will translate into similar high ratings this year- I am more than 50% hopeful though; however when you’re on a good thing, why would you want to change it?

The Indifferent: What happens when you have just cancelled a sci fi/action/drama/futuristic show with a very vocal and passionate fan base in Revolution after a far superior second season when comparing it to the struggling first season (in my opinion)? Well NBC has picked up The Mysteries Of Laura (TMOL), starring Smash alum Debra Messing, and is planning to launch the new show in Revolution’s spot at 8pm on Wednesday. A light hearted comedy/drama, about the private life of a modern day policewoman, I felt that the trailer gave just a bit too much away in terms of plot of the pilot, and possibly the show could be a bit too joyous and enthusiastic when tackling the themes of murders etc. Yet with a couple of reality shows, the intense DC comics inspired Arrow and a couple of comedies as its competition for the timeslot, the show may or may not succeed, we’ll just have to wait and see. In any case, NBC does have some shows, namely Emerald City, Odyssey, or comedies Parks and Recreation and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, to debut here if TMOL has a quick death. Bad Judge, starring Private Practice alum Kate Walsh; A to Z, starring How I Met Your Mother star and singer Cristin Milioti; and Marry Me, with Ken Marino from Veronica Mars; are the remainder of the comedies ordered for the fall, and despite the star power attached to them, scheduling may be not as strong as originally thought. How would The Biggest Loser fare on Thursdays at 8pm, where it hasn’t been before? If there’s a slide in ratings, how would that affect Bad Judge and A To Z, which seem to be quite strong and funny judging from the trailers? The Michael J Fox Show and Sean Saves The World debuted there last year and flopped; have NBC learnt their lesson? Personally I think About A Boy and Marry Me should have been swapped around, but at least NBC is taking risks, which it great. If these shows in fact do fail, it’s not entirely NBC’s fault, and I commend them for taking risks and scheduling shows in a very tough timeslot!

The Smart: Though The Biggest Loser would have appeared in the midseason just after The Voice in my fantasy schedule, Thursdays at 8pm is pretty good, considering that most of the midseason comedies are limited runs, as well as their dramas which seem to be mini-series as well, which may not fit the mould of an 8pm show. So rather than debuting a new series here, opposite Greys Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory and Bones, NBC have decided to ‘sacrifice’ a reality show instead of a drama. And while this is not ideal under any circumstance it’s clear that NBC wasn’t going to win the timeslot anyway, unless there’s a storyline in The Big Bang Theory which is universally hated (and even then it’s borderline); what this show does is motivate and inspire; hopefully those who love the show follow it wherever it goes. A reality show is cheaper to make, and isn’t that likely to be cancelled or pulled in the face of low ratings as opposed to a scripted series. So NBC have counted their losses, and stuck to their strengths, a very mature and welcome characteristic they have shown. Which brings me to Constantine, which debuts on Friday pairing with Grimm. Potentially winning the timeslot on Friday at 10pm, as this sci-fi/horror/supernatural drama faces Blue Bloods as its competition; Constantine has buzz, with people talking about it with excitement. NBC could have placed it on Mondays at 10pm, their most respected and coveted spot on the schedule however I think it’ll do quite nicely, maybe better on Fridays.

The Midseason Shows: Like with FOX, NBC have loaded up on more midseason shows than they could possibly handle. This past season, two of their midseason shows in Crossbones and The Night Shift have bled into summer; could this possibly happen this season again? With Mr Robinson, One Big Happy and Mission Control having 6 episodes ordered each, and 13 attributed to the final season of Parks And Recreation and the freshman run of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the problem in the midseason is not the scheduling of these comedies- in fact these shows can be on Tuesday (as I can’t really see About A Boy, and maybe Marry Me, as a 22 episode season), or on Sunday after the football to duel with the Sunday FOX comedies. Rather, it is the slew of limited event series of first season dramas like Emerald City, The Slap, Aquarius, Heroes Reborn and Odyssey that create a headache. With Allegiance being guaranteed the Thursday 10pm slot, possibly on February 5th when The Blacklist comes back at 9pm, and A.D on Sundays (not sure which time) starting on Easter Sunday 2015; there’s not a lot of space left on the schedule. What if all the new fall dramas succeed (highly unlikely, but possible)? Is Constantine guaranteed to be only 13 episodes, or will Hannibal have to move to the Summer? Maybe Emerald City and The Slap, both rumoured to be 10 episodes each, can timeshare? And what about Donald Trump’s show The Apprentice? The start of 2015 for NBC is like a blank slate, and guaranteed the schedule will change, and we’ll probably see a few of these shows before Christmas (just a fact of life…).

So overall, what do you think of the new NBC schedule (notice that I didn’t write about anything bad or puzzling, because there wasn’t anything bad or puzzling…)? Take a look below, and comment below with your thoughts and opinions.

Sundays:

8: Sunday Night Football

Mondays:

8: The Voice

10: The Blacklist (Fall)

10: State Of Affairs (Midseason)

Tuesdays:

8: Voice Results

9: Marry Me

9:30: About A Boy

10: Chicago Fire

Wednesdays:

8: The Mysteries Of Laura

9: Law And Order SVU

10: Chicago PD

Thursdays:

8: The Biggest Loser

9: Bad Judge (Fall)

9:30: A To Z (Fall)

9: The Blacklist (Midseason)

10: Parenthood (Fall)

10: Allegiance (Midseason)

Fridays:

8: Dateline

9: Grimm

10: Constantine

Unscheduled Midseason:

Mr Robinson

One Big Happy

Mission Control

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Parks And Recreation

The Apprentice

Heroes Reborn

Aquarius

Odyssey

Hannibal

A.D.

Emerald City

The Slap

Crossbones (Summer, if renewed)

The Night Shift (Summer, if renewed)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>