NBC Preaches Stability With New Schedule

After several years of schedule upheaval, a group of strong performers means fewer holes to fill
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NBC brass shared its 2016-2017 strategy in advance of its upfront presentation May 16, talking up stability and emphasizing that the network, after years of underperforming prime, is operating from a position of strength.

“It’s the first time in a long time we’re not running around throwing shows against the wall, and hoping for the best,” said Robert Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman.

NBC’s Summer Olympics telecasts will lead into the fall season. Mondays will feature Timeless, the time-travel adventure drama, in the 10 p.m. slot after The Voice. On Tuesdays, drama This Is Us comes out of The Voice.

Wednesdays, Blindspot airs at 8 p.m. and leads into Law & Order: SVU and Chicago P.D. Thursdays, comedy Superstore kicks off prime, then Mike Schur’s The Good Place airs. Chicago Med leads into The Blacklist.

Fridays feature Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon, Grimm and Dateline NBC.

On Saturdays, NBC will air Saturday Dateline Mysteries and Saturday Night Live reruns in prime.

On Sundays, variety show Little Big Shots airs when Sunday Night Football ends in January. Chicago Justice and Shades of Blue run after LBS.

NBC’s new Thursday Night Football package, shared with CBS, begins Nov. 17.

“Coming off another winning season where we managed to substantially stabilize our entire year-round schedule, the NBC 2016 fall lineup introduces some of our best development in years. In addition to adding three new shows, we’ve moved only four existing shows to different time periods, as well as welcoming NFL football on Thursday,” said Greenblatt. “The level of creative talent and stars who come to NBC is reflective of our leadership position in broadcast television, our sophisticated and upscale approach to all genres of programming, and our stable lineup.”

NBC is holding dramas Taken, Midnight, Texas, Emerald City and The Blacklist: Redemption until mid-season. Freshmen comedies Great News, Trial & Error, Powerless and Marlon are mid-season bound, as is unscripted series The Wall, produced by LeBron James and hosted by Chris Hardwick.

The network will divulge more about its 2016-2017 plans at NBCU’s joint upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall.

NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke played up the balance in NBC’s schedule. “From the expansion of the powerful Chicago family of dramas, to the return of great comedy on Thursdays and a potent lineup of strong midseason shows, we’re continuing to expand a well-balanced programming portfolio that reaches a broad audience,” she said.

In terms of special events, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, Hairspray Live! and A Few Good Men Live! will air this season.  

The New Celebrity Apprentice, as the rebooted reality show, with Arnold Schwarzenegger hosting, is now called, debuts in the mid-season.

Paul Telegdy, NBC Entertainment president of alternative and late night programming, said the network’s established unscripted shows will help build a platform for new ones. “With Better Late Than Never, The Wall and First Dates, plus the return of The New Celebrity Apprentice, we can honestly say we’ve never been more excited about a new slate of alternative series than we are this year,” he said.

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