NBC unveils 2016-17 schedule

NBC Olympics logoOnly three new shows on fall schedule; Thursday Night Football to give another big boost

NBC released its new 2016-17 schedule to the public Sunday morning and to advertisers at its upfront presentation Monday.

Much like last year, the network is withholding the bulk of its new series until midseason, despite having an advantage of the Summer Olympics in Rio in August, barring a major catastrophe taking place (maybe not a well-thought out venue.) Fifteen series are scheduled to debut next season, but only three shows premiere this fall – two dramas, and only one comedy.

Mondays feature a new drama airing after The Voice called Timeless from Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan, which has a criminal stealing a time machine so he can go back in time and alter events. Tuesdays features another new drama, This is Us, sandwiched between The Voice and Chicago Fire.

Wednesdays starts off with a relocated Blindspot, followed by the ageless Law & Order: SVU, and Chicago P.D.

Comedy returns to Thursday with the second season of Superstore and new comedy The Good Place, featuring the return of Ted Danson to NBC after Cheers exited over 20 years ago. Chicago Med relocates here as the lead-in to The Blacklist. Keep in mind the Thursday night schedule is going to be interrupted for football late into the fall.

Friday nights’ schedule consists of Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon, Grimm, and Dateline NBC.

Sundays remains unchanged, of course with Sunday Night Football. Off-season Sunday programming will be announced at a later date, although it’s a good bet Little Big Shots will be back.

To see the entire schedule and read complete program descriptions, click here. 

NBC is keeping the status quo, making minimal changes as the network finally hit its stride after several years in the ratings basement in the Jeff Zucker era. Some people would say NBC scheduling only three series this fall is lazy; it is actually smart when nothing really needs fixing.

As for the new shows this fall, Timeless is a show facing a major burnout similar to Revolution – the premise seems limited to say the least. If you’re into family dramas, This is Us is for you. NBC not only has two new comedies on its fall schedule, it has only two comedies period, signaling NBC may not be the place for laughs this year. Many of its new comedies are midseason replacements, mere afterthoughts basically. One signal of this is the renewal of The Carmichael Show – after haggling with the studio who produces it, NBC renewed the multi-cam sitcom for only thirteen episodes for a third season – a far cry from the days when four seasons would get you 22-26 episodes each and 100 episodes for syndication afterward. It goes to show you how far the sitcom has fallen in stature.