NBC has been struggling for years. What was “Must See TV” has become “The Blacklist with a lot of shows about Chicago”. NBC has unveiled its fall schedule for 2016-2017, and what do you know? Another Blacklist and Chicago show (four now if you’re scoring at home). Coming Soon has a brilliant, in-depth summary of the announcement, new schedule and an analysis of each show that I’ll post after the jump. Of the proposed new shows, Emerald City intrigues me; the Taken series does not. There’s a show set in the DC Universe called Powerless, and NBC icons Ted Danson and John Lithgow return to the network in new comedies. The Blacklist is far and away the network’s best show. I’m afraid franchising it will weaken it, though as long as James Spader keeps spouting random monologues about places he’s been, I will continue to watch with rapt attention. Here’s Coming Soon’s breakdown:
NBC announced today a new fall lineup for the 2016-17 primetime television season. With five sophomore series returning to the schedule next season, NBC is introducing three new series to the lineup and the introduction of a potent Thursday night NFL package, which begins Nov. 17 with great gridiron match-ups.
Ambitious new dramas that launch in midseason include Taken, which will air at 10 p.m. Mondays in the prime post-“Voice” timeslot following the run of the network’s new fall drama Timeless. Taken follows former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen, “Vikings”) as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world.
Other midseason dramas include Chicago Justice, the fourth installment of the hugely successful “Chicago” franchise, with stars Philip Winchester and Carl Weathers; Emerald City, a complete reimagination of “The Wizard of Oz” set in a mystical land of dark magic, lethal warriors and a bloody battle for supremacy; The Blacklist: Redemption, which follows undercover operative Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) as he joins forces with the cunning Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen) to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life; and Midnight, Texas, based on the hit book series from author Charlaine Harris (“True Blood”), about the vampires, witches, psychics and hit men who inhabit this small town.
On the comedy side, this fall Emmy Award winner Mike Schur returns to NBC with The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, about an ordinary woman who mistakenly finds herself in the afterlife. Midseason will bring more smart new comedies to the schedule, including the Tina Fey- and Robert Carlock-produced Great News, from Emmy Award-winning writer Tracey Wigfield, about a young TV producer who finds out her mom (Andrea Martin) has accepted an internship at her workplace; Powerless which is set in the DC Comics universe and stars Vanessa Hudgens as a “heroic” insurance adjuster specializing in coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes; Trial & Error, a mockumentary following a bright-eyed New York lawyer who arrives in a quirky small Southern town to defend a professor (Emmy Award winner John Lithgow) accused of murdering his wife; and Marlon, loosely inspired by the real life of Marlon Wayans, an update on the classic family comedy about a father committed to co-parenting his two kids with his very-together ex-wife.
Rounding out NBC’s robust schedule are big unpredictable, unscripted series such as The Wall, from executive producer LeBron James and hosted by Chris Hardwick, where the game centers on a colossal 40-foot wall and involves quick thinking, shrewd strategy and a little luck with giant swings of fortune and millions of dollars changing on every ball; Better Late Than Never, which will air following NBC’s Rio Olympics coverage in late summer, follows cultural icons Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman on their greatest adventure yet — the journey of a lifetime traveling across Asia; and the Ellen DeGeneres-produced and Drew Barrymore-narrated First Dates, where viewers can experience a couple’s first date: the promise of potential love when it goes well and the hilariously awkward moments if it crashes and burns.
And, of course, one of the most anticipated shows of the new season is the return of NBC’s The New Celebrity Apprentice with twice-elected governor and international movie superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger taking control of the boardroom. In its eighth season, The New Celebrity Apprentice moves to Los Angeles where 16 celebrities will compete for their favorite charities. Among those serving as advisors will be investment guru Warren Buffett; former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer; Tyra Banks, a supermodel, actress, TV host, producer, accomplished businesswoman and CEO of the Tyra Banks Company and cosmetics brand, TYRA Beauty; actress, author and entrepreneur Jessica Alba, the founder and chief creative officer of The Honest Company and Honest Beauty; and Schwarzenegger’s trusted confidante and nephew, prominent entertainment attorney Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger.
Continuing NBC’s emphasis on event programming, the 2016-17 season will feature one-time-only special events, including Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, the sequel to the 2015 holiday hit “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors; Hairspray Live!, starring Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short and Derek Hough; and Aaron’s Sorkin’s A Few Good Men Live!, which will mark NBC’s first live drama since the network began reinvigorating live programming in 2013.
Returning shows for the 2016-17 season include The Blacklist, Blindspot, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Grimm, Hollywood Game Night, Law & Order: SVU, Little Big Shots, Shades of Blue, Superstore and The Voice.
NBC 2016-17 SCHEDULE (FALL)
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 P.M. — “The Voice”
10-11 P.M. — “TIMELESS”
8-9 P.M. — “The Voice”
9-10 P.M. — “THIS IS US”
10-11 P.M. — “Chicago Fire”
8-9 P.M. — “Blindspot”
9-10 P.M. — “Law & Order: SVU”
10-11 P.M. — “Chicago P.D.”
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”
8-9 P.M. — “Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon”
9-10 P.M. — “Grimm”
10-11 P.M. — “Dateline NBC”
8-10 P.M. — “Saturday Dateline Mysteries”
10-11 P.M. — “Saturday Night Live (encores)”
7-8:20 P.M. — “Football Night in America”
8:20-11 P.M. — “NBC’s Sunday Night Football”
THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION
In this thrilling new spinoff of NBC’s breakout hit series, undercover operative Tom Keen joins forces with Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen), the brilliant and cunning chief of Grey Matters, a covert mercenary organization that solves problems governments don’t dare touch. While on the hunt for Liz’s attacker, Tom secretly discovered that Scottie is actually his biological mother. Now, as they team up to employ their unique skills and resources in a dangerous world of deadly criminals, Tom begins his own covert mission to find out more about his shadowy past.
The cast includes Famke Janssen, Ryan, Edi Gathegi and Tawny Cypress.
Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath serve as writers and executive producers. John Fox and John Davis also executive produce. Michael Dinner directs. Produced by John Eisendrath Productions, Flatwater Scribe, Davis Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Powerhouse creator Dick Wolf delivers a captivating new installment to the hit Chicago franchise. Just like their brethren in the Chicago P.D., the State’s Attorney’s dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators navigate heated city politics and controversy head-on while fearlessly pursuing justice. As they take on the city’s high stakes and often media-frenzied cases, they must balance public opinion, power struggles within the system and their unwavering passion for the law. It all starts with a gut-wrenching case when one of Chicago’s finest is shot in the line of duty.
The cast includes Philip Winchester, Carl Weathers, Nazneen Contractor, Joelle Carter and Ryan-James Hatanaka.
Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski, Matt Olmstead, Derek Haas, Michael Brandt and Arthur Forney executive produce “Chicago Justice.” “Chicago Justice” is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Entertainment.
In the blink of a tornado’s eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and a K9 police dog are swept into a world far removed from our own — a mystical land of competing realms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. Starring Vincent D’Onofrio (“Daredevil,” “Jurassic World”) as the guileful Wizard and directed by the visionary Tarsem Singh across three European countries, this is Oz completely reimagined — a place where familiar characters show up in fresh, unexpected ways, and where an unsuspecting young woman holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands. As Dorothy navigates this dangerous world and uncovers her true destiny, we’ll see there’s no place like… Oz.
The cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Adria Arjona, Ana Ularu, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jordan Loughran, Gerran Howell, Mido Hamada, Joely Richardson, Isabel Lucas, Stefanie Martini, Suan-Li Ong, Florence Kasumba and Roxy Sternberg.
David Schulner and Shaun Cassidy are writers and executive producers. Josh Friedman, Matthew Arnold and director Tarsem Singh also executive produce. “Emerald City” is produced by Universal Television.
Welcome to a place where being normal is really quite strange. From Niels Arden Oplev, the visionary director of “Mr. Robot,” and based on the hit book series from author Charlaine Harris (“True Blood”), comes a journey into a remote Texas town where no one is who they seem. From vampires and witches to psychics and hit men, Midnight is a mysterious safe haven for those who are different. As the town members fight off outside pressures from rowdy biker gangs, ever-suspicious cops and their own dangerous pasts, they band together and form a strong and unlikely family.
The cast includes François Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Ramos, Peter Mensah, Yul Vazquez and Sean Bridgers.
Monica Owusu-Breen serves as writer and executive producer. David Janollari and director Niels Arden Oplev also executive produce. “Midnight, Texas” is produced by Universal Television and David Janollari Entertainment.
From executive producer Luc Besson (“Taken,” “The Fifth Element”) comes a modern-day, edge-of-your-seat thriller that follows the origin story of younger, hungrier former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen, “Vikings”) as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world. As he fights to overcome the incident and exact revenge, Mills is pulled into a career as a deadly CIA operative, a job that awakens his very particular, and very dangerous, set of skills. In 30 years, this character became the Bryan Mills that we’ve come to love from the “Taken” films.
The cast includes Clive Standen, Jennifer Beals, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Gaius Charles, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.
Alexander Cary serves as writer and executive producer. Luc Besson, Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vésinne, Thomas Anargyros and director Alex Graves also executive produce. “Taken” is produced by EuropaCorp TV and Universal Television.
THIS IS US
Sometimes life will surprise you. Starring Mandy Moore (“A Walk to Remember”), Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes,” “Gilmore Girls”) and Sterling K. Brown (“The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story),” this refreshingly honest and provocative series follows a unique ensemble whose paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways. We find several of them share the same birthday, and so much more than anyone would expect. From the writer and directors of “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” comes a smart, modern dramedy that will challenge your everyday presumptions about the people you think you know.
The cast includes Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan and Ron Cephas Jones.
Dan Fogelman serves as writer and executive producer. Jess Rosenthal, Charlie Gogolak and directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra also executive produce. “This Is Us” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television.
From Eric Kripke (“Revolution,” “Supernatural”), Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) and the producers of “The Blacklist” comes this thrilling action-adventure series in which a mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. Our only hope is an unexpected team: a scientist, soldier and history professor who must use the machine’s prototype to travel back in time to critical events. While they must make every effort not to affect the past themselves, they must also stay one step ahead of this dangerous fugitive. Can this handpicked team uncover the mystery behind it all and end his destruction before it’s too late?
The cast includes Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic, Paterson Joseph, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit.
Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan serves as writers and executive producers. John Davis, John Fox, Marney Hochman and director Neil Marshall also executive produce. “Timeless” is produced by Davis Entertainment, Kripke Enterprises and MiddKid Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.
THE GOOD PLACE
From Michael Schur, executive producer of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office,” comes a smart, unique new comedy that follows Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell, “House of Lies,” “Veronica Mars”), an ordinary woman who, through an extraordinary string of events, enters the afterlife where she comes to realize that she hasn’t been a very good person. With the help of her wise newfound afterlife mentor (Ted Danson, “Bored to Death,” “Cheers”), she’s determined to shed her old way of living and discover the awesome (or at least the pretty good) person within. Directed by Drew Goddard, the Oscar-nominated writer of “The Martian.”
The cast includes Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden.
Michael Schur serves as writer and executive producer. David Miner also executive produces. Drew Goddard directs. “The Good Place” is produced by Universal Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.
Getting along with some colleagues can be rough, but working with your mom? That’s a whole other story. When Katie, an up-and-coming news producer, finds out her overbearing mom (Andrea Martin, “SCTV,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) has rejoined the workforce as an intern at the station where Katie works, it might just be the worst news ever. But, with her biggest cheerleader at her side, Katie might finally get the recognition she deserves. The laughs hit close to home in this new office comedy from executive producers Tina Fey, Robert Carlock and the producers of “30 Rock.”
The cast includes Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, Adam Campbell, Kimrie Lewis-Davis, John Michael Higgins and Horatio Sanz.
Tracey Wigfield serves as writer and executive producer. Tina Fey, Robert Carlock and David Miner also executive produce. Beth McCarthy-Miller directs. “Great News” is produced by Universal Television, Little Stranger and 3 Arts Entertainment.
Loosely inspired by the real life of star Marlon Wayans (“In Living Color,” “Scary Movie”), this update to the classic family comedy centers on a loving (but immature) father committed to co-parenting his two kids with his very-together ex-wife. While his misguided fatherly advice, unstoppable larger-than-life personality and unpredictable Internet superstardom might get in the way sometimes, for Marlon family really always does come first — even if he’s the biggest kid of all.
The cast includes Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Notlim Taylor, Amir O’Neil, Bresha Webb and Diallo Riddle
Christopher Moynihan serves as writer and executive producer. Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez, Michael Rotenberg and director Andy Ackerman (pilot) also executive produce. “Marlon” is produced by Universal Television, Wayans Brothers Entertainment, Bicycle Path Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment.
In the first comedy series set in the universe of DC Comics, Vanessa Hudgens (“Grease Live,” “High School Musical”) plays Emily, a spunky young insurance adjuster specializing in regular-people coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes. It’s when she stands up to one of these larger-than-life figures (after an epic battle messes with her commute) that she accidentally becomes a cult “hero” in her own right … even if it’s just to her group of lovably quirky co-workers. Now, while she navigates her normal, everyday life against an explosive backdrop, Emily might just discover that being a hero doesn’t always require superpowers.
The cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi and Christina Kirk.
Ben Queen serves as writer and executive producer. Director Michael Patrick Jann (pilot) also executive produces. “Powerless” is produced by Warner Bros. Television and based on the characters from DC Comics.
TRIAL & ERROR
In this outrageous fish-out-of-water comedy, bright-eyed New York lawyer Josh Segal heads to a tiny Southern town for his first big case. His mission? To defend an eccentric, “rollercizing” poetry professor (John Lithgow, “3rd Rock From the Sun”) accused of the bizarre murder of his beloved wife. Settling into his makeshift office behind a taxidermy shop and meeting his quirky team of local misfits, Josh suspects that winning his first big case will not be easy, especially when his client is always making himself look guilty. “Making a Murderer” can be funny!
The cast includes John Lithgow, Nicholas D’Agosto, Jayma Mays, Sherri Shepherd, Steven Boyer and Krysta Rodriguez.
Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller serve as writers and executive producers. Jeffrey Blitz directs. “Trial & Error” is produced by Barge Productions and Good Session Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
NEW ALTERNATIVE SERIES
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Based on a popular Korean format, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy/reality show follows cultural icons Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman on their greatest adventure yet. Deciding it’s better late than never, these four national treasures embark on the journey of a lifetime, traveling across Asia on their own with no schedule and no itinerary. The only help will come from Jeff Dye, a young tech-savvy comedian with an agenda of his own and who isn’t above leading the men off track. Each stop is packed with hilarious cultural experiences, heartwarming spectacles and unexpected twists as our legends take on this unforgettable adventure.
Craig Zadan & Neil Meron, Henry Winkler, Jason Ehrlich, Stephanie Chambers, Alex Katz and Tim Crescenti executive produce. Troy Miller directs. “Better Late Than Never” is produced by Universal Television and Small World IFT.
Everyone can relate to the experience of a first date: the promise of potential love when it goes well and the hilariously awkward moments if it crashes and burns. From executive producer Ellen DeGeneres, narrated by Drew Barrymore and based on the hit U.K. format, this new series offers a voyeuristic look at a variety of real first dates happening throughout one night at the same restaurant in Chicago. The daters are of all ages, backgrounds and from across the U.S. The audience will be along for the ride in a refreshingly authentic viewing experience that plays like a real-life romantic comedy. At the end of each episode, we will find out if the participants want to see each other again for a second date or if they head back to love’s drawing board.
Ellen DeGeneres, Pam Healey, John Hesling, Anthony Dominici, Jeff Kleeman and Tim Carter executive produce. “First Dates” is produced by Shed Media and A Very Good Production.
Packed with drama and action, this is a game that the entire family can root for together. Executive producer LeBron James presents a challenge infused with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, where regular people can achieve their dreams with one bounce of the ball. Hosted by comedian Chris Hardwick and set in a large glossy arena centering on the colossal 40-foot wall, the gameplay involves quick thinking, shrewd strategy and a little luck. Played by contestant pairs, this is an unpredictable journey with giant swings of fortune and millions of dollars passing through the contestants’ hands throughout the hour.