NBC has given early renewals for next season to three more dramas: Chicago Fire, its spinoff Chicago P.D., and Grimm. All hail from Universal TV. They join hot freshman The Blacklist, which already was picked up for a second season. Also set to return next season are veteran comedy Parks And Recreation (Season 7), flagship reality series The Voice (Cycle 7), and Celebrity Apprentice (Cycle 14), which skipped a season.
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The renewal of Dick Wolf’s Chicago Fire for a third season and Chicago P.D. for a second opens the door to further expanding the franchise with a long-rumored Chicago-set medical drama though that likely won’t happen for next season. Last year, NBC picked up all of Wolf’s series at the same time. This time, Law & Order: SVU is not part of the package as the veteran usually gets a renewal close to the upfronts. But with the Chicago franchise blossoming, would the last representative of Wolf’s previous power NBC procedural brand, Law & Order, call it a day? (From what I hear, that doesn’t seem very likely, at least not this season.)
Chicago Fire and especially Chicago P.D. have benefited from franchise crossovers that have lifted ratings. Another one is coming with a massive bomb explosion storyline, which will span the April 29 episode of Chicago Fire and the April 30 episode of Chicago PD. The series are executive produced byWolf, Matt Olmstead, Danielle Gelber, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Peter Jankowski, Joe Chappelle and Mark Tinker.
Meanwhile, Grimm was the first new series launched by NBC’s new regime to get traction, adding additional significance to its renewal for a fourth season. The series was created by David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf and Stephen Carpenter. Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner and Norberto Barba serve as executive producers along with Greenwalt and Kouf.
Of the other NBC series, midseason comedy About A Boy has shown enough promise for a renewal so far, with the jury still out on Growing Up Fisher. Sophomore drama Revolution is heavily on the bubble. Its ratings are in line with Grimm but it is not owned by NBC.