NBC unveils 2015-16 season schedule

NBCEmphasizes drama; only one hour of comedy on the fall sked for the first time in 37 years

NBC released its 2015-16 schedule Sunday, with six new comedies, seven new dramas, and one new short-term variety hour emceed by Neil Patrick Harris. The sked also features two revival efforts: Coach, which ran on ABC from 1989-96 and Heroes, which ran on NBC from 2006-10.

There are only two sitcoms airing on the fall schedule: Friday’s Undateable and People Are Talking, the smallest number on the schedule since 1978, when NBC aired forgettable sitcoms The Waverly Wonders (a Joe Namath vehicle which lasted only three episodes) and Who’s Watching The Kids, both also airing on Friday.

Wonders was replaced in November 1978 with Diff’rent Strokes, which would become one of NBC’s few hits of the era.

Canceled shows include Bad Judge, A to Z, Constantine, and About A Boy. The network has not said anything about Sunday dramas A.D. and American Odyssey, which is strange. If I were a betting man, these two shows would not return.

Here’s the night-by-night blowdown:

– Mondays leads off with a returning Voice followed by new drama Blindspot, which has the FBI investigating a women’s tattoos.

– Tuesdays features an hour of Voice followed by medical new drama Heartbreaker, and variety hour Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, filling in until Chicago Fire returns in November.

– Wednesdays remains unchanged with The Mysteries of Laura, Law and Order: SVU, and Chicago P.D.

– Thursdays leads off with Heroes Reborn, followed by The Blacklist and new thriller The Player.

– In addition to the relocated comedies on Fridays, Grimm and Dateline return intact.

– Weekends remain unchanged, with the return of Sunday Night Football.

Analysis: NBC’s 2015-16 schedule seems quite interesting to say the least – many of their midseason comedies look interesting. Applaud NBC for a few innovative concepts – the megastore comedy, the show featuring behind-the-scenes turmoil at a telenovela and new dramas Blindspot and Player.

On the other hand, there are some moves that leaves you scratching your head. Heroes Reborn? Seriously? Read this piece I wrote last year on why a reboot of this series is a dumb idea. At least it’ll get walloped by The Big Bang Theory and Grey’s Anatomy, so you won’t have to worry about it hanging around. Another head scratcher is a Coach revival, slated for midseason. Shit, is Hollywood finally out of original ideas? Can’t wait for the revival of Gimme A Break.

And while its great Neil Patrick Harris is bringing back variety to primetime, that should have been Maya Rudolph’s job.

Overall, a decent 2015-16 season lineup for NBC, despite the presence of Heroes and Coach.

For a complete description of all of NBC’s new shows and specials, click here.