NBC is set to finish the 2015-2016 season as the number one television network for the third consecutive year (September to September) and will just be a fraction of a point behind CBS, which got a Super Bowl boost, in the traditional September-May primetime season.
But the network is not resting on its laurels as it prepares new series for the 2016-2017 season. To make room for the newcomers, the network has cancelled Crowded, Undateable, Telenovela, Heartbeat, Game of Silence and The Mysteries of Laura, a surprise last minute cancellation that was more a result of NBC’s lack of ownership in the show rather than ratings, which have been decent. The network is still crunching numbers with Fox to determine the number of episodes produced for another potential season of The Carmichael Show. The network had some success stories with mid-season series Little Big Shots, Superstore and Shades of Blue with Jennifer Lopez.
NBC’s fall schedule will feature new dramas This Is Us, an emotional and provocative series from Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) where seemingly disparate people’s lives intersect in the most curious ways, and Timeless, from Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and Shawn Ryan (The Shield), which features a scientist, soldier and history professor who must change the past while trying to capture a dangerous fugitive. New fall comedy The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, is about an ordinary woman who mistakenly finds herself in the afterlife.
Waiting in the wings for midseason are dramas Chicago Justice, the fourth installment of the hugely successful “Chicago” franchise, with stars Philip Winchester and Carl Weathers, Emerald City, a complete reimagination of The Wizard of Oz set in a mystical land of dark magic, lethal warriors and a bloody battle for supremacy, The Blacklist: Redemption, which follows undercover operative Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) as he joins forces with the cunning Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen) to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life, and Midnight, Texas, based on the hit book series from author Charlaine Harris (True Blood), about the vampires, witches, psychics and hit men who inhabit this small town.
Midseason comedies include Great News from producers Tina Fey & Robert Carlock, about a young TV producer who finds out her mom (Andrea Martin) has accepted an internship at her workplace; Powerless which is set in the DC Comics universe and stars Vanessa Hudgens as a “heroic” insurance adjuster specializing in coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes; Trial & Error, a mockumentary following a bright-eyed New York lawyer who arrives in a quirky small Southern town to defend a professor (Emmy Award winner John Lithgow) accused of murdering his wife; and Marlon, loosely inspired by the real life of Marlon Wayans, an update on the classic family comedy about a father committed to co-parenting his two kids with his very-together ex-wife.
Unscripted series coming to NBC include The Wall, from executive producer LeBron James and hosted by Chris Hardwick, where the game centers on a colossal 40-foot wall and involves quick thinking, shrewd strategy and a little luck with giant swings of fortune and millions of dollars changing on every ball, Better Late Than Never, which will air following NBC’s Rio Olympics coverage in late summer, follows cultural icons Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman on their greatest adventure yet — the journey of a lifetime traveling across Asia, and the Ellen DeGeneres-produced and Drew Barrymore-narrated First Dates, where viewers can experience a couple’s first date: the promise of potential love when it goes well and the hilariously awkward moments if it crashes and burns.
And one of NBC’s most popular celebrity reality shows returns with some new faces as Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes the head of a new board room in The New Celebrity Apprentice. The show moves to Los Angeles where 16 celebrities will compete for their favorite charities. Among those serving as advisors will be investment guru Warren Buffett; former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer; Tyra Banks, a supermodel, actress, TV host, producer, accomplished businesswoman and CEO of the Tyra Banks Company and cosmetics brand, TYRA Beauty; actress, author and entrepreneur Jessica Alba, the founder and chief creative officer of The Honest Company and Honest Beauty; and Schwarzenegger’s trusted confidante and nephew, prominent entertainment attorney Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger.
NBC will also continue to offer event programming including Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors, a sequel to the hit TV movie Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, the musical Hairspray Live! starring Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short and Derek Hough, and Aaron’s Sorkin’s A Few Good Men Live!, which will mark NBC’s first live drama since the network began reinvigorating live programming in 2013.
Returning shows for the 2016-17 season include The Blacklist, Blindspot, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Grimm, Hollywood Game Night, Law & Order: SVU, Little Big Shots, Shades of Blue, Superstore and The Voice.
Here is a look at NBC’s announced Fall 2016 schedule (which is subject to change). New programs highlighted in bold:
8:00 P — The Voice
10:00 P — Timeless
8:00 P — The Voice
9:00 P — This Is Us
10:00 P — Chicago Fire
8:00 P — Blindspot
9:00 P — Law & Order: SVU
10:00 P — Chicago P.D.
8:00 P — Superstore
8:30 P — The Good Place
9:00 P — Chicago Med
10:00 P — The Blacklist
8:00 P — Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon
9:00 P — Grimm
10:00 P — Dateline NBC
8:00 P — Saturday Dateline Mysteries
10:00 P — Saturday Night Live (encores)
7:00 P — Football Night in America
8:20 P — NBC’s Sunday Night Football
THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION
In this thrilling new spin-off of NBC’s breakout hit series, undercover operative Tom Keen joins forces with Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen), the brilliant and cunning chief of Grey Matters, a covert mercenary organization that solves problems governments don’t dare touch. While on the hunt for Liz’s attacker, Tom secretly discovered that Scottie is actually his biological mother. Now, as they team up to employ their unique skills and resources in a dangerous world of deadly criminals, Tom begins his own covert mission to find out more about his shadowy past.
Powerhouse creator Dick Wolf delivers a captivating new installment to the hit “Chicago” franchise. Just like their brethren in the Chicago P.D., the State’s Attorney’s dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators navigate heated city politics and controversy head-on while fearlessly pursuing justice. As they take on the city’s high stakes and often media-frenzied cases, they must balance public opinion, power struggles within the system and their unwavering passion for the law. It all starts with a gut-wrenching case when one of Chicago’s finest is shot in the line of duty. The cast includes Philip Winchester, Carl Weathers, Nazneen Contractor, Joelle Carter and Ryan-James Hatanaka.
In the blink of a tornado’s eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and a K9 police dog are swept into a world far removed from our own — a mystical land of competing realms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. Starring Vincent D’Onofrio as the guileful Wizard, and directed by the visionary Tarsem Singh across three European countries, this is Oz completely reimagined — a place where familiar characters show up in fresh, unexpected ways, and where an unsuspecting young woman holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands. As Dorothy navigates this dangerous world and uncovers her true destiny, we’ll see there’s no place like … Oz.
The cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Adria Arjona, Ana Ularu, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jordan Loughran, Gerran Howell, Mido Hamada, Joely Richardson, Isabel Lucas, Stefanie Martini, Suan-Li Ong, Florence Kasumba and Roxy Sternberg.
Welcome to a place where being normal is really quite strange. From Niels Arden Oplev, the visionary director of Mr. Robot, and based on the hit book series from author Charlaine Harris (True Blood), comes a journey into a remote Texas town where no one is who they seem. From vampires and witches to psychics and hit men, Midnight is a mysterious safe haven for those who are different. As the town members fight off outside pressures from rowdy biker gangs, ever-suspicious cops and their own dangerous pasts, they band together and form a strong and unlikely family.
The cast includes François Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Ramos, Peter Mensah, Yul Vazquez and Sean Bridgers.
From executive producer Luc Besson comes a modern-day, edge-of-your-seat thriller that follows the origin story of younger, hungrier former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world. As he fights to overcome the incident and exact revenge, Mills is pulled into a career as a deadly CIA operative, a job that awakens his very particular, and very dangerous, set of skills. In 30 years, this character became the Bryan Mills that we’ve come to love from the Taken films.
The cast includes Clive Standen, Jennifer Beals, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Gaius Charles, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.
THIS IS US
Sometimes life will surprise you. Starring Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown, this refreshingly honest and provocative series follows a unique ensemble whose paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways. We find several of them share the same birthday, and so much more than anyone would expect. From the writer and directors of Crazy, Stupid, Love. comes a smart, modern dramedy that will challenge your everyday presumptions about the people you think you know.
The cast also includes Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan and Ron Cephas Jones.
From Eric Kripke, Shawn Ryan and the producers of The Blacklist comes this thrilling action-adventure series in which a mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. Our only hope is an unexpected team: a scientist, soldier and history professor who must use the machine’s prototype to travel back in time to critical events. While they must make every effort not to affect the past themselves, they must also stay one step ahead of this dangerous fugitive. Can this handpicked team uncover the mystery behind it all and end his destruction before it’s too late?
The cast includes Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit.
THE GOOD PLACE
From Michael Schur, executive producer of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation and The Office, comes a smart, unique new comedy that follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), an ordinary woman who, through an extraordinary string of events, enters the afterlife where she comes to realize that she hasn’t been a very good person. With the help of her wise newfound afterlife mentor (Ted Danson), she’s determined to shed her old way of living and discover the awesome (or at least the pretty good) person within. Directed by Drew Goddard, the Oscar-nominated writer of The Martian.
The cast also includes William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden.
Getting along with some colleagues can be rough, but working with your mom? That’s a whole other story. When Katie, an up-and-coming news producer, finds out her overbearing mom (Andrea Martin) has rejoined the workforce as an intern at the station where Katie works, it might just be the worst news ever. But, with her biggest cheerleader at her side, Katie might finally get the recognition she deserves. The laughs hit close to home in this new office comedy from executive producers Tina Fey, Robert Carlock and the producers of 30 Rock.
The cast also includes Briga Heelan, Adam Campbell, Kimrie Lewis-Davis, John Michael Higgins and Horatio Sanz.
Loosely inspired by the real life of star Marlon Wayans, this update to the classic family comedy centers on a loving (but immature) father committed to co-parenting his two kids with his very-together ex-wife. While his misguided fatherly advice, unstoppable larger-than-life personality and unpredictable Internet superstardom might get in the way sometimes, for Marlon family really always does come first — even if he’s the biggest kid of all.
The cast includes Essence Atkins, Notlim Taylor, Amir O’Neil, Bresha Webb and Diallo Riddle.
In the first comedy series set in the universe of DC Comics, Vanessa Hudgens plays Emily, a spunky young insurance adjuster specializing in regular-people coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes. It’s when she stands up to one of these larger-than-life figures (after an epic battle messes with her commute) that she accidentally becomes a cult “hero” in her own right … even if it’s just to her group of lovably quirky co-workers. Now, while she navigates her normal, everyday life against an explosive backdrop, Emily might just discover that being a hero doesn’t always require superpowers.
The cast includes Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi and Christina Kirk.
TRIAL & ERROR
In this outrageous fish-out-of-water comedy, bright-eyed New York lawyer Josh Segal heads to a tiny Southern town for his first big case. His mission? To defend an eccentric, “rollercizing” poetry professor (John Lithgow) accused of the bizarre murder of his beloved wife. Settling into his makeshift office behind a taxidermy shop and meeting his quirky team of local misfits, Josh suspects that winning his first big case will not be easy, especially when his client is always making himself look guilty. “Making a Murderer” can be funny!
The cast includes Nicholas D’Agosto, Jayma Mays, Sherri Shepherd, Steven Boyer and Krysta Rodriguez.
NEW ALTERNATIVE SERIES
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Based on a popular Korean format, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy/reality show follows cultural icons Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman on their greatest adventure yet. Deciding it’s better late than never, these four national treasures embark on the journey of a lifetime, traveling across Asia on their own with no schedule and no itinerary. The only help will come from Jeff Dye, a young tech-savvy comedian with an agenda of his own and who isn’t above leading the men off track. Each stop is packed with hilarious cultural experiences, heartwarming spectacles and unexpected twists as our legends take on this unforgettable adventure.
Everyone can relate to the experience of a first date: the promise of potential love when it goes well and the hilariously awkward moments if it crashes and burns. From executive producer Ellen DeGeneres, narrated by Drew Barrymore and based on the hit U.K. format, this new series offers a voyeuristic look at a variety of real first dates happening throughout one night at the same restaurant in Chicago. The daters are of all ages, backgrounds and from across the U.S. The audience will be along for the ride in a refreshingly authentic viewing experience that plays like a real-life romantic comedy. At the end of each episode, we will find out if the participants want to see each other again for a second date or if they head back to love’s drawing board.
Packed with drama and action, this is a game that the entire family can root for together. Executive producer LeBron James presents a challenge infused with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, where regular people can achieve their dreams with one bounce of the ball. Hosted by comedian Chris Hardwick and set in a large glossy arena centering on the colossal 40-foot wall, the gameplay involves quick thinking, shrewd strategy and a little luck. Played by contestant pairs, this is an unpredictable journey with giant swings of fortune and millions of dollars passing through the contestants’ hands throughout the hour.