NBC Riding Momentum as it Announces New Fall Lineup
New York, NY
NBC augments its stable schedule with ambitious new dramas, high-concept comedies and unpredictable, unscripted series. NBC announced on May 16 a new fall lineup for the 2016-17 primetime television season. Included are shows like new fall drama, Timeless, pictured above.
With an unrivaled class of five sophomore series returning to the schedule next season, NBC is introducing three highly-anticipated new series to the lineup, including powerful dramas, a smart new comedy and the introduction of a potent Thursday night NFL package, which begins Nov. 17 with great gridiron matchups.
NBC is poised to finish No. 1 for the full 52-week September-to-September 2015-16 primetime season in adults 18-49, to claim its third consecutive Nielsen crown. NBC is also expected to finish the traditional September-to-May primetime season within 0.1-0.2 of a point of Super Bowl-boosted CBS in adults 18-49, and will likely rank No. 1 in 18-49 viewers when excluding that network’s boost from Super Bowl Sunday.
NBC’s lineup during the successful 2015-16 season has included primetime’s #1 broadcast series in 18-49 and total viewers, "Sunday Night Football"; television’s No. 1 alternative series in 18-49 and total viewers, "The Voice"; the season’s No. 1 new series on the broadcast networks in 18-49, "Blindspot"; the season’s No. 1 new series in total viewers, "Little Big Shots"; NBC’s No. 1 new comedy, "Superstore"; and NBC’s most-watched first-year Thursday drama in 21 years, "Shades of Blue."
"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 Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. "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 line-up. Coming off the Rio Olympics in August, we can't wait to get the fall underway."
Drama highlights on the newly announced fall schedule include "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 ("Revolution") 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.
Ambitious new dramas that launch in midseason include "Taken," which will air at 10 p.m. Mondays in the prime post-"Voice" timeslot following the run of the network’s new fall drama "Timeless." "Taken" follows former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen, "Vikings") as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world.
Other midseason dramas include "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.
On the comedy side, this fall Emmy Award winner Mike Schur returns to NBC with "The Good Place," starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, about an ordinary woman who mistakenly finds herself in the afterlife. Midseason will bring more smart new comedies to the schedule, including the Tina Fey- and Robert Carlock-produced "Great News," from Emmy Award-winning writer Tracey Wigfield, 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.
"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," said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke. "Our new series, integrated with an already strong lineup, give us a great chance to sustain and grow our successes of the past few years."
Rounding out NBC’s robust schedule are big unpredictable, unscripted series such as "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, of course, one of the most anticipated shows of the new season is the return of NBC’s "The New Celebrity Apprentice" with twice-elected governor and international movie superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger taking control of the boardroom. In its eighth season, "The New Celebrity Apprentice" 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.
Said Paul Telegdy, NBC Entertainment President of Alternative and Late Night Programming: "It’s difficult to imagine topping this past season when we delivered both the biggest new alternative series on television with ‘Little Big Shots’ and the biggest returning alternative series with ‘The Voice.’ To add to that, we also had huge summer successes with "America’s Got Talent’ and ‘American Ninja Warrior.’ Going forward, with ‘Better Late Than Never,’ ‘The Wall’ and ‘First Dates,’ plus the return of ‘The New Celebrity Apprentice’ — with the boardroom being run by one of the biggest stars in the world, Arnold Schwarzenegger — we can honestly say we’ve never been more excited about a new slate of alternative series than we are this year."
Continuing NBC’s emphasis on event programming, the 2016-17 season will feature one-time-only special events, including "Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love," the sequel to the 2015 holiday hit "Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors; "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," "The Carmichael Show," "Chicago Fire," Chicago Med," "Chicago P.D.," "Grimm," "Hollywood Game Night," "Law & Order: SVU," "Little Big Shots," "Shades of Blue," "Superstore" and "The Voice."
"Superstore" will benefit from a special original episode that will be televised during NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games from Rio de Janeiro. Date and time of the special Olympic telecast of "Superstore" will be announced at a later date.
Said Ralph Oakley, President/CEO of Quincy Media, Inc., and Chair of the NBC Affiliate Board, "We appreciate the investment NBC has made in the upcoming broadcast season, especially the late-news lead-in time periods in the fall and enthusiastically look forward to another winning primetime season."