Primetime Preview: NBC Unveils 2013-14 Schedule
New York, NY
New family comedies, action-driven dramas and quality returning series highlight a diverse fall and midseason NBC primetime schedule.
NBC has announced a new lineup of primetime shows for the 2013-14 season that provide a winning combination of popular returning series, fresh new comedies, compelling new dramas and the latest season of "The Voice," the top reality program on television.
Highlights of the year-round schedule — which will be bolstered in February on the heels of the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia — include Believe, a new drama from J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron; the return of three-time Emmy winner James Spader in action thriller The Blacklist; and a comedy lineup that includes new series from Friday Night Lights and Parenthood executive producer Jason Katims, Will Ferrell, Bill Lawrence, Sean P. Hayes, and a return to NBC of one of the biggest TV stars of any generation, Michael J. Fox.
The new comedy additions are Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World, and The Michael J. Fox Show as well as midseason comedies The Family Guide and About A Boy. The new dramas are The Blacklist, Ironside, and Dracula, plus mid-season dramas Believe, Crisis and Crossbones.
NBC has also ordered dramas Chicago PD and The Night Shift and comedy Undateable as unscheduled midseason series.
New alternative series premiering during the 2013-14 season include The Million Second Quiz and American Dream Builders. Returning to the schedule are The Biggest Loser and The Sing-Off. Food Fighters has been ordered as an unscheduled midseason show.
Scripted series returning include Grimm, Parenthood, Law & Order: SVU, Revolution, Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation and Community.
Pick-up decisions on Celebrity Apprentice and Hannibal are still to be made in the next few weeks.
The Voice will kick off its fifth season in September on Mondays (8-10 pm. ET). The current cycle of The Voice has been primetime’s #1 show of the week on the Big Four networks, excluding sports, for four of six weeks thus far in adults 18-49.
The announcements were made by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment.
"The overriding strategy this year was to develop enough strong comedies and dramas to take advantage of the promotional heft of the Winter Olympics and devise two schedules for the upcoming season: one for fall and a slightly different one for midseason. I’m pleased to say that our development groups — headed by Jennifer Salke (scripted) and Paul Telegdy (alternative/reality) — really delivered," Greenblatt said. "This is the most robust and highest-testing slate of new shows we have had in years."
Greenblatt continued, "And aside from our Olympics planning, we also wanted to create better flow and compatibility on each night, and deploy our strongest lead-in (The Voice) to maximum effect.
"Sunday in the fall remains the night to beat with Sunday Night Football. After football and the Olympics are over, we will launch two classy, attention-getting dramas in February: Believe from J.J. Abrams, and Crisis starring Dermot Mulroney and Gillian Anderson. We think it’s time for big dramas again on Sunday nights. And leading into these dramas at 8 p.m. will be an exciting home renovation competition hosted by Nate Berkus called American Dream Builders.
"Monday and Tuesday will again dominate with ‘The Voice.’ Our highly anticipated new James Spader drama The Blacklist deserves to go into the 10 p.m. slot on Monday, and we’re moving Chicago Fire, a show we really believe in, to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays to benefit from ‘The Voice’ lead-in that will be at 9 p.m. in the fall.
"After the Olympics, however, The Voice moves back to 8 p.m. on Tuesday so that we can launch two of our strongest new family comedies in the 9 p.m. hour: About a Boy and The Family Guide. Landing more comedy on the schedule is important and using The Voice as a lead-in after the Olympics is the strongest way to do that.
"I believe we’ll have a more compatible Wednesday line-up with three dramas: Revolution, Law & Order: SVU and Ironside, starring Blair Underwood, which is another new show we’ve very high on.
"Thursday will have a family theme, starting with a two-hour comedy block from 8-10 p.m. anchored by strong stars: Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation, Mike O’Malley in Welcome to the Family, Sean Hayes in Sean Saves the World and the new Michael J. Fox Show. Then at 10 p.m. Parenthood moves in to top off the night with what I know is the best family drama on television.
"On Fridays, anchored by Grimm at 9 p.m., we will have a more fun genre night with the limited-series Dracula, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers at 10 p.m. In the spring, Crossbones — with John Malkovich as the infamous pirate Blackbeard — replaces Dracula," said Greenblatt.
Jordan Wertlieb, President of Hearst Television and Chair of the NBC Affiliate Board, commented, "This schedule is another example of NBC's continued commitment to restoring prime time to its traditional leadership position. I am sure the investment in partnering with some of the most recognizable names in television will be obvious and exciting to the affiliates."
Clips from the new NBC shows are available now at http://nbc.epk.tv/. The embeddable trailer for The Blacklist is now available at http://www.nbc.com/upcoming-shows/press Additional trailers will be available Monday, May 13 at 11 a.m. ET.
For the full lineup and release, click here.