On Sunday, NBC unveiled the sweeping changes hitting its 2013-14 primetime schedule, which includes several night and time changes to pre-existing shows: Parenthood will move to Thursdays at 10 p.m., following the network's traditional two-hour block of comedies (though there was no word on when Community would be returning to the lineup), Chicago Fire will get relocated to Tuesdays, and freshman hit Revolution will be moving to a new Wednesday programming block with an emphasis on dramas, including Law & Order: SVU and the new Ironside reboot.
Those aren't the only changes afoot at NBC, however. Critical darling Parks and Recreation will move to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, while The Biggest Loser will move to Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
Elsewhere, two of the potentially strongest new entries, J.J. Abrams' Believe (pictured above) and Rand Ravich's Crisis, are being held for midseason launches. Also on tap for midseason: Crossbones and comedies About a Boy and The Family Guide.
“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," said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt in a prepared statement. "I’m pleased to say that our development groups—headed by Jennifer Salke (scripted) and Paul Telegdy (alternative/reality)—really delivered. This is the most robust and highest-testing slate of new shows we have had in years.”
“And aside from our Olympics planning, we also wanted to create better flow and compatibility on each night," he continued, and deploy our strongest lead-in (The Voice) to maximum effect."
Read on for a look at NBC's new primetime schedule for fall and midseason 2013-14 and read what Greenblatt had to say about each night. Details for each of NBC's new shows can be found here.)
NBC FALL 2013-14 SCHEDULE
8-10 p.m.: The Voice 10-11 p.m.: The Blacklist
“Monday and Tuesday will again dominate with The Voice," said Greenblatt. "Our highly anticipated new James Spader drama The Blacklist deserves to go into the 10 p.m. slot on Monday."
8-9 p.m.: The Biggest Loser (New Day and Time) 9-10 p.m.: The Voice (New time) 10-11 p.m.: Chicago Fire (New Day and Time)
"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," Greenblatt said. “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."
8-9 p.m.: Revolution (New Day and Time) 9-10 p.m. Law & Order: SVU10-11 p.m.: Ironside
“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," said Greenblatt.
8-8:30 p.m.: Parks and Recreation (New time) 8:30-9 p.m.: Welcome To The Family9-9:30 p.m.: Sean Saves The World 9:30-10 p.m.: The Michael J. Fox Show10-11 p.m.: Parenthood (New Day and Time)
“Thursday will have a family theme," said Greenblatt, "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."
8-9 p.m.: Dateline NBC9-10 p.m.: Grimm10-11 p.m.: Dracula
“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.
7:00-8:15 p.m.: Football Night in America8:15-11:30 p.m.: NBC Sunday Night Football
“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," Greenblatt said. "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."
NBC MIDSEASON 2013-14 SCHEDULE
8-10 p.m.: The Voice10-11 p.m.: The Blacklist
8-9 p.m.: The Voice9-9:30 p.m.: About a Boy9:30-10 p.m.: The Family Guide10-11 p.m.: Chicago Fire
8-9 p.m.: Revolution 9-10 p.m.: Law & Order: SVU10-11 p.m.: Ironside
8-8:30 p.m.: Parks and Recreation8:30-9 p.m.: Welcome To The Family9-9:30 p.m.: Sean Saves The World9:30-10 p.m.: The Michael J. Fox Show10-11 p.m.: Parenthood
8-9 p.m.: Dateline NBC9-10 p.m.: Grimm10-11 p.m.: Crossbones
8-10 p.m.: Encore and specials programming10-11 p.m.: Saturday Night Live (Encore)
7-8 p.m.: Dateline NBC8-9 p.m.: American Dream Builders9-10 p.m.: Believe10-11 p.m.: Crisis
Whatever you might feel about NBC, it appears as though the Peacock is trying. Or at least attempting to learn from some of its mistakes this past season. One smart move: despite attempting to move Grimm to a new night late in the season, the fantasy drama will return to its berth on Friday nights, leading in to a new take on Dracula.
It's no surprise that NBC would give buzzy new drama The Blacklist the key Monday at 10 p.m. timeslot, given that Revolution launched so strongly there a year ago, though I am surprised by the fact that NBC would try to make a tenuous connection between its Thursday comedies in order to go for a "family" feel to four very disparate sitcoms (with Parks leading off the night in its new timeslot at 8 p.m.) and then Parenthood at 10 p.m. (I'm the most shocked about Parenthood, if I'm honest, given that it's been a strong performer for NBC on Tuesdays.)
I’m not sure I buy into Greenblatt’s comments about using The Voice to launch two new comedies—About a Boy and Family Guide—at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, given how terribly Go On and The New Normal performed in those same timeslots this past season. Will these shows prove to be anything but cannon fodder? Only time will tell.
Parks and Recreation will now be at 8 p.m. on Thursdays? Color me jaded, but I don't have a good feeling about that. Sorry, Pawnee.
As mentioned earlier, Community is not on the fall or midseason lineups at the moment, but that will likely change as NBC reevaluates the strength of its half-hours this fall. (Fans will remember that this past season, Community's return was delayed significantly.) And, given the eleventh hour reprieve for the show, it's no surprise that NBC brass may be waiting until things shake out before assigning it a new timeslot. (Having said that, it's not the only show that got benched for now: Chicago Fire's spin-off, the unimaginatively titled Chicago PD, is currently without a spot on the schedule, as are new medial drama The Night Shift and new comedy Undateable.)