Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 Upfront Answers: NBC

With the schedule now official, here are the Upfront Answers!

NBC's upfront previews: Power Rankings | Upfront Questions

Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | CW


Fall 2016 Schedule
8-10 P.M. — “The Voice
10-11 P.M. — “TIMELESS”

Spot's Question: Which drama gets the best slot on the network?

Timeless continues NBC's long tradition of devoting this timeslot to genre/action dramas, and it seems like another worthy if unspectacular entry in that tradition. Moving Blindspot seemed obvious, but they do deserve a little bit of credit for doing it.

Celebrity Apprentice is slated for winter filler in The Voice's timeslot, while Taken is supposed to inherit the 10/9c hour late in the season.


Fall 2016 Schedule
8-9 P.M. — “The Voice”
9-10 P.M. — “THIS IS US”
10-11 P.M. — “Chicago Fire”

Spot's Question: Will NBC mess with Tuesday success?

Yep. NBC messed with it big time, throwing Chicago Med into potentially dangerous waters so they could shoehorn another drama into a post-Voice timeslot. This move seems to have created some rather awkward situations on other nights, so we're in kind of the same spot we were when we saw Heartbeat skedded for this night a year ago; a lot of the verdict here really hinges on the unconventional Tuesday choice. This is Us had really better be worth it.


Fall 2016 Schedule
8-9 P.M. — “Blindspot
9-10 P.M. — “Law and Order: SVU
10-11 P.M. — “Chicago PD

Spot's Question: Is there finally a better Wednesday option than The Mysteries of Laura?

Well, there's finally a... different option. NBC opted to give Blindspot the full-on Revolution treatment, putting it right were Revolution played out its second season as an OK but ultimately cancelled occupant. Blindspot is going to wind up with a very similar A18-49+ (maybe a teeny bit better) than Revolution had in season one. And Revolution fell to the low-70's in this slot for season two, which is about where Laura resided as well. Blindspot seems unlikely to do much better and could well be worse, especially if Empire is headed for the 8:00 hour. This is probably not the situation Blindspot was hoping for, especially since it actually seems more compatible with other NBC dramas than Revolution ever did. (Namely The Blacklist!)


Fall 2016 Schedule
8-8:30 P.M. — “Superstore
8:30-9 P.M. — “THE GOOD PLACE”
9-10 P.M. — “Chicago Med
10-11 P.M. — “The Blacklist

Spot's Question: Will NBC pair The Blacklist with more proven players?

Yes, but not much more proven, as a couple of sophomores are over to the night with The Blacklist bumped to 10/9c. Superstore will eventually have to run into The Big Bang Theory in this slot, but hopefully gets an early start to minimize that. And Chicago Med will become the first of the Dick Wolf series to take on TGIT head-to-head (though it does get to avoid CBS drama competition, at least). It should do OK, but it's still a tough ask for what seemed like the weakest of the Dick Wolf empire.


Fall 2016 Schedule
8-9 P.M. — “Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon”
9-10 P.M. — “Grimm
10-11 P.M. — “Dateline NBC”

Spot's Question: Will Friday get some help from NBC's deeper returnee roster?

Nope. Not remotely. Instead, NBC stuck with its late spring Friday arrangement, including the surprise return of low-rated Caught on Camera to the fall schedule. Makes me wonder if this was some kind of last-minute fix after The Mysteries of Laura's renewal fell through. It actually looked like NBC was headed back in the "pair Grimm with something compatible" direction after the pickup of Midnight, Texas, but both it and Emerald City missed out for some reason. Will be interesting to see how long this lineup sticks.


Fall 2016 Schedule
7-8:20 P.M. — “Football Night in America”
8:20-11 P.M. — “Sunday Night Football

Spot's Question: Will we learn anything about midseason Sunday?!

Yes! NBC promised a midseason lineup of Little Big Shots, Chicago Justice and Shades of Blue. With relatively few newbies on this schedule, it seems pretty likely the schedule won't blow up so much to call these shows into action early, so I give it a decent shot at coming to pass.


The network that had the best season often goes frustratingly conservative at the following upfront. NBC kinda continued that tradition (especially on Friday), but also had a Tuesday shake-up that seems to have rippled into some weirdness across the next two nights. Again, this may end up looking fine if This is Us delivers the goods, but it could be a big mess if not. But I have to say that I still would've preferred going with bunching up the Wolf dramas on Wednesday and giving Blindspot a shot alongside The Blacklist. So I'm not really sold on this, even if This is Us is a home run that fully warranted the shake-up.

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