The annual upfront presentations where the broadcast networks and their cable cousins present to advertisers their formula for next season’s successes doesn’t kick off until tomorrow, May 13, when NBC and FOX present their dog and pony show at their respective venues of choice (Radio City Musical Hall for NBC and The Beacon Theater for FOX), but that doesn’t ever stop America’s #1 network, NBC, from revealing its fall schedule in advance. Today, the network formally announced the pickup of
“We came into this season from the vantage point of extreme stability, but without any complacency,” said George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy, Co-Chairmen, NBC Entertainment. “Our 52-week schedule takes into account the seismic shift in viewing habits, balancing short-term wins with long-term potential. Comedy is at the heart of the NBC brand, and we’ve picked up four new comedies that we think viewers will love for generations to come. Our new dramas will compel audiences to tune in week after week to our network while also delivering binge-worthy storylines, and our unparalleled alternative programs continue to delight audiences of all ages, providing enviable launch pads for many of our new shows.”
Returning shows for the 2019-20 schedule include “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” “The Blacklist,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Dateline NBC,” “Ellen’s Game of Games,” “Good Girls,” “The Good Place,” “Hollywood Game Night,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Manifest,” “NBC Sunday Night Football,” “New Amsterdam,” “Superstore,” “This Is Us,” “The Voice,” “The Wall,” “Will & Grace” and “World of Dance.”
Additional previously announced new series include “Bring the Funny,” “Small Fortune,” “Songland,” “That’s My Jam” and the return of “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Decisions are yet to be made on “Abby’s,” “A.P. Bio,” “The Enemy Within,” “The InBetween,” “The Titan Games” and “The Village.”
What follows is a breakdown of NBC’s new fall schedule (all times Eastern; new shows is UPPER CASE):
8-10 P.M. — The Voice
10-11 P.M. — BLUFF CITY LAW
8-9 P.M. — The Voice
9-10 P.M. — This Is Us
10-11 P.M. — New Amsterdam
8-9 P.M. — Chicago Med
9-10 P.M. — Chicago Fire
10-11 P.M. — Chicago P.D.
8-8:30 P.M. — Superstore
8:30-9 P.M. — PERFECT HARMONY
9-9:30 P.M. — The Good Place
9:30-10 P.M. — SUNNYSIDE
10-11 P.M. — Law & Order: SVU
8-9 P.M. – The Blacklist
9-11 P.M — Dateline NBC
7-8:20 P.M. — Football Night in America
8:20-11 P.M. — NBC Sunday Night Football
What follows is how NBC came to break down its new fall schedule and beyond:
- Monday: “The Voice,” #1 in Its Timeslot, Returns With Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, Providing Coveted Launch Spot to Aspirational New Legal Drama “Bluff City Law,” Starring Emmy Award Winner Jimmy Smits at 10 P.M.
- Tuesday: Winning Tuesday Lineup Remains Unchanged with “The Voice” Setting the Stage for # 1 Drama “This Is Us” at 9 P.M., Leading Into Last Season’s #2 New Drama “New Amsterdam” at 10 P.M.
- Wednesday: Building Off Last Season’s Total Viewers Win, Chicago Block Returns to Dominate Wednesday Nights Starting With “Chicago Med,” at 8 P.M. Leading Into Wednesday’s Most-Watched Series “Chicago Fire” at 9 P.M. and Concluding With #1 Timeslot Winner “Chicago P.D.” at 10 P.M.
- Thursday: Night of Laughs Returns With “Superstore” Anchoring at 8 P.M., Followed By Comedy “Perfect Harmony” at 8:30 P.M., Starring Two-Time Emmy Award Winner Bradley Whitford and Anna Camp; 9 P.M. Kicks Off the Mike Schur Hour With the Return of Critically Acclaimed “The Good Place” Leading Into New Comedy “Sunnyside” at 9:30 P.M., Starring Kal Penn; “Law & Order: SVU” Returns to 10 P.M. in Its Record-Breaking 21st Season.
- Friday: “The Blacklist” Returns for its Seventh Season at 8 P.M. to Pair With Two Hours of America’s #1 Newsmagazine “Dateline.”
- Sunday: America’s #1 Primetime Television Show for a Record Eight Consecutive Years, “Sunday Night Football” Will Broadcast 19 NFL Games During the 2019 Regular Season.
- Post-Fall: Building Off Last Season’s Success, January Marks the Return of Last Season’s Most-Watched Alternative Series “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.” Also Returning for Its Third Season Is “Ellen’s Game of Games” and “Little Big Shots” with New Host Melissa McCarthy; “World of Dance” Launches its Fourth Season; Comedy Favorites “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Will & Grace” Return With “Indebted” and “The Kenan Show” Joining in on the Laughs; Last Season’s #1 New Drama “Manifest” Flies Back on the Schedule Along with Fan-Favorite “Good Girls”; “Blindspot” Celebrates its Fifth and Final Season; Bold New Dramas Complete NBC’s Year-Round Schedule With the Joyous Family Series “Council of Dads,” Innovative Musical Drama “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” and Crime Series “Lincoln” Based Off Best-Selling “Bone Collector” Book.
The newest drama to join the fall schedule is “Bluff City Law,” starring Emmy Award winner Jimmy Smits in his return to the network. A thrilling legal family drama, the series reunites a father and daughter attorney duo as they take on social injustice.
NBC is turbo-charging its Thursday night comedy lineup with two new additions to its winning roster. In another network reunion, Bradley Whitford comes home to star in “Perfect Harmony” as a former Princeton music professor who finds himself unexpectedly presiding over a small-town church choir. From star Kal Penn and executive producer Michael Schur, “Sunnyside” tells the story of a disgraced New York City Councilman turned champion for a diverse group of hopefuls who dream of becoming American citizens.
Dramas set to debut in midseason are “Council of Dads” from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, centered on a loving father of four who calls on a few of his closest allies to step in as back-up dads following a personal health scare; “Lincoln,” based on the best-selling book “The Bone Collector,” follows former NYPD detective and forensic genius Lincoln Rhyme (“Grimm’s” Russell Hornsby) and his new partner, Amelia Sachs (Arielle Kebbel of “Midnight, Texas”), as they join forces to crack the city’s most confounding cases, all while working to bring down a notorious serial killer; and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” starring Jane Levy (“Suburgatory”) as a whip-smart computer coder who, following an unusual event, starts to hear the innermost wants and desires of the people around her through songs.
Joining the comedy lineup later this season is “Indebted,” starring Fran Drescher (“The Nanny”) and Adam Pally (“The Mindy Project”) as mother and son. Things take an unexpected turn when a young man’s parents show up unannounced and broke, leaving him and his wife with no choice but to open the door to the people who gave him everything. In the family comedy “The Kenan Show,” “Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson strives to be a super dad to his two adorable girls while simultaneously balancing his job and a father-in-law who “helps” in the most inappropriate ways.
Over the holidays, NBC is using its robust schedule of live events and specials to eventize the second season of last summer’s breakout hit “Making It” with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. As a special gift to viewers, the season is packaged over a two-week period and will feature innovative partnerships to help audiences craft alongside our makers this December. Ellen DeGeneres will also be making a list and checking it twice over the holidays as she kicks off a new tradition packed with massive surprises on “Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways.” Over the course of three one-hour specials, DeGeneres, along with her celebrity friends, will deliver life-changing gifts to unsuspecting people who’ve topped her nice list.
NBC’s dominant 52-week schedule is once again highlighted by a powerful midseason featuring the January return of the #1 most-watched alternative series “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” as well as bona fide hit “Ellen’s Game of Games,” both returning to their winning timeslots on Mondays nights at 8 p.m. and on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., respectively. Last year’s #1 new drama, “Manifest,” will also return to its coveted 10 p.m. slot Mondays. Comedy favorites “Will & Grace” and top-rated digital hit “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” also return, as well as the final season of “Blindspot.”
Following football season, Sundays will feature a great new line-up focused on bringing women to the night. An all-new take on “Little Big Shots,” hosted by Melissa McCarthy, will kick-off at 8 p.m. followed by “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” and rounding out the night will be the third season of fan-favorite “Good Girls.”
With a year-round primetime roster that is 83% originals, NBC will once again harness the power of the Olympics in Summer 2020 with a packed schedule of entertainment programming that includes the return of “World of Dance” alongside summer staples “American Ninja Warrior” and “America’s Got Talent.”