After finishing in first place in the adult 18-49 demo for the first time in years, NBC hopes to keep the momentum going next season with a revamped schedule.
Not everything worked of course; sitcoms featuring Michael J. Fox and Sean Hayes bombed this season on Thursday nights past season; its one of the reasons why NBC is revamping Thursday nights, which by midseason, won’t feature a sitcom on the night since the 1980-81 season, when it aired Buck Rogers and Thursday Night At The Movies.
In the fall, reality series Biggest Loser moves to Thursday to 7 p.m. (8 ET), marking the first non-sitcom program in the slot since Fame in 1982. After Loser are comedies Bad Judge and A to Z, but will be replaced by The Blacklist in mid-season, which moves off Mondays. The 9 p.m. (10 ET) slot is filled with a final season of Parenthood.
Mondays remains unchanged, with The Voice and Blacklist, until February when Blacklist’s slot will be taken over by State Of Affairs in February.
Blacklist also gets the post-Super Bowl slot on February 1.
Tuesdays has new comedy Marry Me getting the post-Voice slot, paired with the returning About A Boy, followed by Chicago Fire.
Wednesdays has The Mysteries of Laura replacing the canceled Revolution. That’s followed by Law & Order: SVU, and Chicago P.D.
Fridays leads-off with Dateline, followed by Grimm and new drama Constantine, which is based on DC’ Comics Hellblazer.
Saturdays and Sundays remain unchanged, though NBC has yet to announce what programs would air after Sunday Night Football wraps up for the season in December.
On tap for mid-season include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, One Big Happy, Mission Control, the final season of Parks and Recreation, and event series Heroes: Reborn, Aquarius, and and A.D., a sequel to miniseries The Bible.
To see the 2014-15 NBC fall press release and schedule, which contains descriptions of all the new series, click here.
Thoughts: While NBC has a huge challenge in keeping its 18-49 demo crown (remember, no Olympics this year), it isn’t going down without a fight.
NBC made a smart move with The Blacklist, first shifting it to Thursday nights from Mondays midseason, and giving it the post-Super Bowl slot on February 1. The Voice will have two new occupants in those chairs – Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, though if The Voice declines, it would likely be from singing competition fatigue.
For those mourning the loss of Must See TV, it died quite some time ago – there was nothing must-see about last season’s Thursday night sitcom occupants. The two sad sack comedies slotted for fall between Biggest Loser and Parenthood are nothing but time-filler, throwaway shows until The Blacklist arrives in February.
If you come to watch Mysteries of Laura thinking it would be a Veronica Mars clone, think again – the only mystery Laura will solve is why her life is so hectic. And the new Constantine pairs up nicely with Grimm on Fridays, given both are from the fantasy genre.
Overall, not a bad fall schedule from NBC – but it does have a potential to get worse as the season prgresses. Outside of Mr. Robinson (whose School Of Rock premise I like), there isn’t one mid-season entry worth talking about – and that includes the unnecessary return of Heroes.