NBC, home to many successful shows (which have ended) like Chuck, ER, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Law And Order, and Law And Order: Criminal Intent, have also had a mixed bag over the last few years. Shows like Harry’s Law, The Firm, Deception, Do No Harm, Awake, Smash, Go On, Up All Night, The New Normal, The Event and Prime Suspect have fallen by the wayside with only 1 or 2 seasons made, and that’s not even including this year’s cancellations, some of which are surprising. However, this past season NBC overall grew in viewers, thanks to The Voice, as well as probably the biggest breakout first season show this past season- The Blacklist with James Spader. A high stakes, action filled drama about a criminal who makes a deal with the FBI to solve high profile cases and help them catch ‘blacklisters’, in exchange for a lavished lifestyle away from prison, seems quite innocuous and run-of-the-mill (maybe something like a White Collar remake?) from first impressions…except for the fact that James’ character Red only wants to work with rookie criminal profiler Elizabeth Keen. What happens throughout the rest of the season involves the development of friendships Elizabeth has forged with her new colleagues as well as a rollercoaster ride through the deep and intense relationship between Elizabeth and Red, not to mention delving into the duplicitous and cunning nature of Elizabeth’s husband Tom, who is not who he appears to be. It was no surprise when the show was renewed for a full second season in December 2013, but the real talking point is where it will be on the schedule this season.
Last year The Blacklist (above) earned the post-Voice slot, however with Revolution earning that coveted spot the year before (in which aforementioned show has since relocated to 8pm Wednesdays, then was unscrupulously cancelled after 2 seasons less than 24 hours ago), the chances that this year the post Voice Monday 10pm slot goes to a freshman drama (I’m thinking either Mysteries Of Laura or Allegiance for the fall and the other for mid-season), is more than 50%; probably more like 90%. Thus leaving The Blacklist in most probably the Thursday 9pm slot. It’s probably really the only place where it can go that will enhance NBC’s numbers, ensuring that it does not lose the timeslot that was so elusive and troublesome for a while. Last year, Thursday s at 9 and 9:30 were The Michael J Fox Show and Sean Saves The World, which have since been pulled from the schedule, with both comedies not even allowed to finish their run of first season episodes; so it makes sense that the channel won’t risk 2 more new comedies here, and instead place a successful drama in this spot. I have no worries that The Blacklist can succeed without The Voice as its lead in, and though the viewers may decrease, I am sure it’ll find its core audience again.
Law and Order: SVU, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD (both Chicago shows above) are three cop/law enforcement dramas that could be on the network for a while yet, and since all of these three shows have been stable over the past year, there’s probably no need to change their episode orders (except for Chicago PD, which should debut in the fall). To help the timeslot of Thursday 10pm, which has been struggling of late, probably it would be best for L&O: SVU to be here, with the Chicago dramas on Wednesday, and two of the new shows on Tuesday at 10pm and Wednesday at 10pm (the 24-like Odyssey and the Scandal-like State of Affairs maybe?). It’s also a no-brainer to install the Jason Katims developed season 2 of About A Boy right after the Voice Results on Tuesday, while the other comedy spot could most likely be Tina Fey’s comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which was given a straight to series order back in 2013 (it’s sad that Growing Up Fisher was cancelled as I liked the show, but being the show after the show after the Voice results, and also debuting in the midseason, may have hurt its chances). Parks and Recreation is also almost a certainty to appear on Thursdays, and the shock cancellation of Community (to their fans, of which I am not one of them) means that one of the newer comedies such as Marry Me or A To Z may fit on the dreaded day where almost nothing has worked last year. Maybe there will be a comedy in 2014 that could be like Friends and last 10 years, only time will tell.
The DC comics series Constantine and Hannibal will most likely join Grimm and Dateline for Fridays, and Sundays after football is almost guaranteed to include the line-up of the freshman shows A.D. (the Bible themed Acts based event series), Emerald City (the Wizard of Oz inspired action/adventure fantasy limited series) and The Slap (remake of the Australian drama). However, the most perplexing decision that NBC has made is the ongoing decision of renewing Parenthood, which could result to be a sad cancellation if negotiations between actors and producers about pay cuts and actors only appearing in 9 out of 13 episodes, stall further. Even if Parenthood (below) is renewed for a short final season, the nature of the renewal talks has soured my tastes so to speak, and if negotiations stall further and the show is cancelled, would it have been better to be cancelled upfront anyway, since season 5 finale kind of could have doubled up as a series finale?
Let’s dive in and take a look below, and see what I predict the new NBC Schedule will be. Comment below with your thoughts and opinions as well.
Sundays (Midseason After Football):
9: Emerald City
10: The Slap
8: The Voice (Fall and Spring)
8: The Biggest Loser (Midseason)
10: The Mysteries Of Laura (Fall and Spring)
10: Allegiance (Midseason)
8: Voice Results
9: About A Boy
9:30: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
10: Odyssey (Fall)
10: Parenthood (Midseason)*
*still in renewal talks
8: Chicago Fire
9: Chicago PD
10: State of Affairs
8: Parks & Recreation
8:30: Marry Me
9: The Blacklist
10: Law and Order SVU
10: Constantine (Fall)
10: Hannibal (Midseason)
A to Z
One Big Happy
Crossbones (Summer, if renewed)
The Night Shift (Summer, if renewed)