NBC has released its 2014-2015 television schedule! They have made some solid moves, and with the Super Bowl, I think they are looking at yet another first place finish in this upcoming season. The Voice continues to be a force on NBC’s schedule, and the network will use it to launch a new drama in November, as well as a new comedy in the fall. It’s a smart move to try and use The Voice as a launchpad for a number of shows. Perhaps the biggest move is on Thursday nights, where the Must See TV / Comedy Night Done Right era is officially over. A reliable reality series leads off the night, with NBC’s number one new series, The Blacklist, taking over the tent-pole hour in February.
7 – Football Night in America
8 – NBC Sunday Night Football
Analysis: Nothing new to see here. Move along.
8 – The Voice
10 – The Blacklist / State of Affairs (effective November 17th)
Analysis: As we expected, The Voice remains a two hour option on Monday. I like that NBC is sticking with The Blacklist for a few weeks before moving it to Thursdays. It allows NBC to nurture the show a bit longer, and then proceed with a move to Thursdays (as expected). State of Affairs should do fine in the timeslot, as most dramas have in the post-Voice timeslot.
8 – The Voice
9 – Marry Me (new comedy)
930 – About a Boy (new time)
10 – Chicago Fire
Analysis: NBC kicks off the night with the one hour Voice results show. NBC is sticking with comedies in the 9 o’clock hour, going with new comedy Marry Me at 9pm. Good choice to use The Voice as a lead in for a new comedy again. About a Boy returns to the night, this time at 930. It will be interesting to see if it holds. Chicago Fire rounds out the night and should once again be a solid option in the hour.
8 – The Mysteries of Laura (new drama)
9 – Law and Order: SVU
10 – Chicago PD
Analysis: In no way do I see The Mysteries of Laura working here. Throwing a new drama to the wolves in the hour most likely will not work. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the first cancellations of the season. It could surprise, given the weak competition, but I’m not holding my breath. The combination of Law and Order: SVU and Chicago PD returns to the 9 and 10pm hours, so the typical 1.5-1.8 demo can be expected. Not great, but it allows NBC to focus elsewhere.
8 – The Biggest Loser
9 – Bad Judge (new comedy) / The Blacklist (new night and time; effective February 5th)
930 – A to Z (new comedy)
10 – Parenthood (final season) / Allegiance (new drama)
Analysis: NBC is finally abandoning the two hour comedy block…finally!!! The Biggest Loser is a very reliable player and should do well in the timeslot. Even if it does only a 1.5, its a vast improvement over the recent comedy options NBC has tried in the hour. It also allows new comedies Bad Judge and A to Z to have a chance at success with a solid lead in. It’s much better than trying four new comedies on the night, right? The Blacklist moves to Thursdays at 9, effective February 5th, after its post-Super Bowl airing. Had NBC not had the Super Bowl, its likely The Blacklist would have moved sooner. I really like the way they programmed it though, so kudos to NBC. My favorite NBC drama, Parenthood, returns to its 10 o’clock timeslot for its final 13 episodes. New drama, Allegiance will take over once Parenthood wraps its run. No official date has been set for Allegiance, but my guess is February 5th will be its premiere date. Overall, this is one of the best Thursday night lineups NBC has put together in awhile.
8 – Dateline
9 – Grimm
10 – Constantine (new drama)
Analysis: Everything is staying the same as last season, except NBC will try yet another new drama in the 10pm timeslot. This time they are going with Constantine, which should do well with a Grimm lead in. Similar to last season, I think NBC will air 13 episodes of Constantine, and then bring in Hannibal at midseason.
Overall grade: A-