US broadcaster NBC is looking to take a “stabilising” 2016/17 season to another level with a new look Thursday night block for the upcoming season.
Announcing its new schedule at a New York upfront on Friday, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt pointed to a Thursday line-up of the returning comedy Will & Grace, Tina Fey comedy Great News and new season hit This is Us.
“Coming off another stabilising year, which included the launch of one of the great new dramas in a decade [This is Us], our upcoming fall schedule is both limited in the number of new series and aggressive in rebooting Thursday night,” said Greenblatt.
“To create another undeniable night of television, we’re aligning some of our most potent shows on Thursday in order to bring back ‘Must See TV.’ We are also strategically deploying strong new shows in choice time periods on other nights and nurturing our growing comedy lineup.”
Overall, NBC has commissioned five new dramas and three comedies for the 2017/18 season.
The dramas comprise elite military surveillance procedural The Brave (fka For God & Country), which is a Keshet Studios and Universal Television coproduction; Jason Katims’ latest series, Rise; suburban mum crime caper Good Girls; the high concept series Reverie, from Extant creator Mickey Fisher; and Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.
Sitting alongside sitcom Will & Grace on the comedy front is A.P. Bio, which is set for midseason and follows a scheming high school biology teacher; and Mindy Kaling-produced sitcom Champions, which is about a pair of gym owner brothers whose simple life is put on hold when one’s teenage son is dropped off on their doorstep.
“We have very promising new series that will join one of our strongest returning line-ups to date,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment.
“We’re proud of our roster of distinctive dramas that includes original concepts such as The Blacklist and Blindspot, not to mention the enduring legacy of Dick Wolf, who will also bring a new true crime series to the network next fall.
“This is Us has quickly become a defining moment for the NBC brand, and we look forward to launching bold new series such as The Brave, Rise, Reverie and Good Girls.”
NBC also took the surprising decision to reverse a choice to axe time-travel drama Timeless, and has cancelled The Blacklist: Redemption and comedy Powerless after one season.
On the alternative front, The Awesome Show is a Mark Burnett Productions series from host Chris Hardwick, and The Handmade Project is a craft-themed competition that reunites Parks & Recreation’s Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Ellen’s Game of Games and Genius Junior round off the new shows.
NBC fall 2017/18 weekday schedule (new shows in bold)
8pm-10pm – The Voice
10pm-11pm – The Brave
8pm-9pm – The Voice
9pm-9.30pm – Superstore
9.30pm-10pm – The Good Place
10pm-11pm – Chicago Fire
8pm-9pm – The Blacklist
9pm-10pm – Law & Order: SVU
10pm-11pm – Chicago PD
8pm-8.30pm – Will & Grace
8.30pm-9pm – Great News
9pm-10pm – This is Us
10pm-11pm – Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
8pm-9pm – Blindspot
9pm-10pm – Taken
10pm-11pm – Dateline NBC
Rise, Good Girls, Reverie, A.P. Bio and Champions will debut midseason