Sunday, May 11, 2014

BREAKING: NBC Unveils Aggressive 2014-2015 TV Schedule, Including Big Moves for "The Blacklist" and Farewells to "Parks & Rec," "Parenthood"


"The Blacklist" is on the move. NBC unveiled an aggressive 2014-2015 lineup using the freshman hit as a linchpin of both its fall and midseason strategy. "The Blacklist" will continue to air on Mondays behind "The Voice" in the fall, before taking a break in November.

When "The Blacklist" returns after the holidays, it will get the biggest showcase of them all: The plum slot behind Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1. It then moves to Thursdays (as many had predicted) at 9/8c starting Feb. 5. Also, NBC confirmed that "Parenthood" will return for one final season this fall, while "Parks and Recreation" will get a final sendoff in midseason.

"The overall goal was to maintain stability from our growing number of anchor shows, while, at the same time, striving to make every show an event — a guiding principle of our development strategy," says NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. "And reinvigorating Thursday was a top priority, made possible by moving 'The Blacklist' there in the 9 p.m. timeslot after exposing it to the audience watching the Super Bowl.

"The multi-pronged strategy behind moving 'The Blacklist,' which has shown enormous linear ratings and record time-shifting, is to not only enliven our Thursday night lineup but also create two desirable timeslots — lead-outs from ‘The Voice’ (8-10 p.m. Monday) and 'The Blacklist' (9-10 p.m. Thursday)."

Coming off a successful rebound season, NBC is planning to reload next year with a whopping five new dramas and seven new comedies – in addition to the limited-run event series "Emerald City," "Aquarius," "A.D." and "Heroes Reborn." New dramas are are "Allegiance," "Constantine," "The Mysteries of Laura," "Odyssey" and "State of Affairs." New comedy additions are "A to Z," "Bad Judge," "Marry Me," "Mission Control," "Mr. Robinson," "One Big Happy" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

"We had a stellar year in scripted programming development that resulted in the unprecedented number of new series joining the lineup during the coming year," says Greenblatt, who stresses that NBC will be in year-round originals from September 2014 to September 2015 – which means some new series may not launch until next summer. "About a Boy" is the only returning comedy on NBC's fall schedule, as "Parks and Recreation" will sit on the bench until midseason.

NBC will use "The Voice" (featuring new judges Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani) to launch the new Katherine Heigl drama "State of Affairs" on Mondays at 10/9c starting Nov. 17, after "The Blacklist" starts its hiatus. On Tuesdays, "Marry Me," the new comedy from "Happy Endings" creator David Caspe, will enjoy "The Voice" lead-in at 9/8c (followed by "About a Boy").

Facing tough Thursday Night Football competition on CBS, NBC has decided to play it safe and air "The Biggest Loser" at 8/7c – the first time NBC hasn't entered the fall with comedies on Thursdays at 8/7c since 1982. At 9/8c, the Peacock network will launch two new sitcoms: "Bad Judge," starring Kate Walsh and from executive producers Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, and "A to Z," a romantic comedy starring Ben Feldman ("Mad Men") and Cristin Milioti ("How I Met Your Mother") from exec producers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.

NBC's entry into next year's DC Comics derby is "Constantine," which will air at 10/9c behind "Grimm." Also new: On Wednesdays at 8/7c, Debra Messing stars as an NYPD homicide detective in "The Mysteries of Laura." Paired with "Law & Order" SVU" at 9/8c and "Chicago P.D." at 10/9c, that gives NBC a night of crime-and-punishment TV. That leaves a lot of TV waiting for midseason. After "Parenhood" completes its run, new spy thriller "Allegiance" will air Thursdays at 10/9c behind "The Blacklist."

NBC also announced that "A.D.," Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's follow-up to "The Bible," will premiere on Easter Sunday, April 5.

Returning scripted programming includes "About a Boy," "The Blacklist," "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D.," "Grimm," "Hannibal," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Parenthood" and "Parks and Recreation." Returning alternative series include "America Ninja Warrior," "America’s Got Talent," "Celebrity Apprentice," "Hollywood Game Night" and "The Voice."

"Comedy is very important to this network, which is why we are launching new series on Tuesdays following 'The Voice' and on Thursdays in the fall as CBS frees up some of the comedy audience when it turns to NFL football," says NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. "Furthermore, we have several of our strongest comedies by some of our best auspices being held for midseason, including the final season of ‘Parks and Recreation.'"

Here's NBC's 2014-2015 schedule:

MONDAY: 8 – "The Voice"; 10 – "The Blacklist" / "STATE OF AFFAIRS" (beginning Nov. 17)

TUESDAY: 8 – "The Voice"; 9 – "MARRY ME"; 9:30 – "About A Boy"; 10 – "Chicago Fire"

WEDNESDAY: 8 – "THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA"; 9 – "Law & Order: SVU"; 10 – "Chicago P.D."

THURSDAY: 8 – "The Biggest Loser"; 9 – "BAD JUDGE" / "The Blacklist" (Feb. 5); 10 – "Parenthood" / "ALLEGIANCE" (midseason)

FRIDAY: 8 – "Dateline NBC"; 9 – "Grimm"; 10 – "CONSTANTINE"

SATURDAY: 8 – Repeats

SUNDAY: 7 – "Football Night in America"; 8:20 – "NBC Sunday Night Football" / "A.D." (April 5)




ALTERNATIVE TBD: "American Ninja Warrior"; "Celebrity Apprentice"; "Hollywood Game Night"; "America's Got Talent"

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