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TV Talk: NBC's Midseason Schedule


Hello everyone, my name is Luke Lambright. Welcome to my new series of opinion pieces, titled "TV Talk." Note that my views expressed in "TV Talk" do not represent the opinions of The TV Ratings Guide and its contributors as a whole. For my first post, I am going to be analyzing NBC's midseason schedule for the 2015-2016 season and giving my thoughts on NBC's scheduling decisions in general. Let's get started:

Monday

8:00 - Superstore / The Voice
8:30 - Telenovela / The Voice
9:00 - The Biggest Loser / The Voice
10:00 - The Biggest Loser / Blindspot

When NBC first announced that Superstore and Telenovela would be airing Mondays at 8 and 8:30 as a bridge between the two cycles of The Voice, I was very disappointed. I thought that these two comedies actually had a lot of potential and that NBC was destroying all of it. However, the more I thought about NBC's decision, the more I seemed to like it. NBC will be launching Superstore and Telenovela with one-hour special previews behind the Monday editions of The Voice on November 30 and December 7, respectively. These "special previews" should give the comedies a good amount of eyeballs and create some buzz before their timeslot debuts on Monday, January 4. Monday seems to be the night to watch NBC, so I wish the best of luck to these two comedies. Also, The Biggest Loser will be premiering on January 4 following the comedies, airing two-hour episodes from 9-11 until The Voice and Blindspot return on February 29. I think that this is a sensible decision and that The Biggest Loser should do just fine.

Tuesday

8:00 - TBA / The Voice
9:00 - Chicago Med
10:00 - Chicago Fire

Tuesday nights will look relatively the same, with the exception of the 8 o'clock hour until The Voice returns. NBC has not yet announced what will be airing here, but I expect it to be one of their new, cheap reality shows such as First Dates or Little Big Shots. Whatever airs here will most likely flop, so I hope that Chicago Med will be able to self-start by this time.

Wednesday

8:00 - The Mysteries of Laura / TBA
9:00 - Law & Order: SVU
10:00 - Chicago P.D.

Because The Mysteries of Laura only has 16 episodes, something will eventually have to succeed "Queen Laura." My top two guesses are reality show Law & Order: You the Jury or medical drama Heartbreaker, starring Melissa George. You the Jury would do decent here, but Heartbreaker would take a little more of a push for decent ratings. NBC could try to use their #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) marketing campaign that they used last season, but I think that Heartbreaker would most likely be DOA no matter what. NBC should have just given The Mysteries of Laura a full-season order so they can focus on other troubled parts of their schedule.

Thursday

8:00 - Heroes Reborn / TBA
9:00 - The Blacklist
10:00 - Shades of Blue

Heroes Reborn will be airing its fall finale on November 19, so it will have three episodes remaining to air in January. Something will have to succeed it, and I think the best bets are previously-mentioned Law & Order: You the Jury, supernatural drama Emerald City, or dramedy You, Me and the Apocalypse. Another possibility is NBC's new game show QuizUp, but I have a feeling it will be kept for summer. Emerald City's basic premise is very well-known and marketable, so NBC might want to lead off the night in hopes of fixing their Thursdays. However, the show's content is supposedly very dark so I have a feeling that it will end up on Sundays. You, Me and the Apocalypse is also another option for this timeslot, and it has even been hinted at on Variety's list of ad-rates for the 2015-2016 broadcast shows (read it here). This show could pull decent ratings, but would most likely end up mirroring last season's failure, The Slap. Jennifer Lopez's drama Shades of Blue will be attempting to defy the odds in NBC's Thursday at 10/9c death-slot starting January 7, but this show will most likely have a decent premiere and then rapidly fall to cancellation. It's a nice attempt by NBC, but I don't think even Jennifer Lopez can save that slot at this point. Since NBC only gave The Mysteries of Laura a partial back-order, I think it would have been smart for them to try and launch Shades of Blue in Laura's timeslot.

Friday

8:00 - TBA
9:00 - Grimm
10:00 - Dateline NBC

With Truth Be Told essentially canceled and Undateable struggling in the 8 o'clock hour on NBC Fridays, I think that we could possibly see a complete overhaul on this night. I would have liked to see them try The Mysteries of Laura at 8, but I don't think that will happen at this point. Dateline NBC could shift to two hours, pushing Grimm to either 8 or 10 o'clock (10 is probably the better option), but I think NBC might be a little too stubborn to do this. Knowing NBC, they probably want to try comedies YET AGAIN in the 8 o'clock hour, so I believe that if Undateable doesn't get 22 episodes, we will be seeing the return of The Carmichael Show followed by new multi-cam comedy Crowded. These comedies will fail and NBC will have to try and revamp their Friday night once again next season. For this current season, NBC's Friday night is doomed. 

Sunday

7:00 - Dateline NBC
8:00 - TBA
9:00 - TBA
10:00 - TBA

Every year, Sunday Night Football eventually ends for NBC and they are left with an empty schedule on Sunday nights. In January and February, the night will most likely be filled with repeats of The Biggest Loser and The Voice, with Dateline NBC in the 7 o'clock hour. However, NBC usually puts new, original programing up on Sunday when March rolls around. NBC still has many shows on the bench to be put up on Sunday nights, including Game of SilenceEmerald CityHeartbreakerThe Night ShiftFirst DatesLittle Big Shots, and miniseries Freedom Run and The Reaper. Their lineup will most likely consist of either First Dates or Little Big Shots at 8, followed by Game of SilenceEmerald CityHeartbreaker, or The Night Shift at 9, and then Freedom Run or The Reaper at 10. Whichever way it goes, NBC's entire Sunday-night lineup will flop and they will be left struggling to create a new lineup next midseason. I would tell them to start using The Biggest Loser on Sunday nights when football ends for a stable, decently-rated night, but NBC never seems to want a stable, decently-rated night. Instead, they like to throw a bunch of filler shows on Sunday and create a night that can be summed up in one word: FLOP. 

Best of luck to NBC this midseason...

I hope you enjoyed the first edition of TV Talk! Leave your thoughts and predictions in the comments below! :)