With the ad time for the Super Bowl sold out at $4.5 million for a 30-second pod, NBC has allocated the last remaining minutes of commercial time during the game, picking five of its shows to promote in a big way to the largest TV audience possible. Along with flagship programs, The Voice and The Blacklist, getting exposure during, before and after the big game are new globe-spanning conspiracy thriller Odyssey, surprise summer breakout comedy Undateable and a program that is not debuting until next fall, the new Neil Patrick Harris-hosted variety show.
Getting the largest spot (60 seconds) and what appears to be the largest budget for a Super Bowl shoot is singing reality competition The Voice, which aired after the Super Bowl the last time it aired on NBC. This time, the futuristic ad featuring coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams touts the show’s return next month.
Succeeding The Voice as a Super Bowl NBC lead-out program this year is sophomore drama The Blacklist, which is getting a visual effects-laden 30-second spot to promote the two-episode arc that kicks off after the game and concludes next Thursday in the series’ time slot debut at 9 PM on its new night. NBC is taking a page off the Shonda Rhimes’ playbook — the two-part episode of her Grey’s Anatomy, which also began after the Super Bowl and continued in the medical drama’s regular Sunday slot, remains the most watched post-Super Bowl drama telecast in the past three decades. The hugely rated stint sealed ABC’s decision to move the medical soap to Thursday the following fall.
NBC’s solidly rated Chicago Fire/Chicago PD franchise also will get promoted during the big game. In more ways than one. Among the more unexpected NBC Super Bowl choices is comedy Undateable, which is getting a 30-second spot for a Chicago Fire parody. You can watch it here.
The cast of Undateable is funny and was a hit at TCA this month. Still, the guy comedy has a relatively lower profile having debuted in the summer and is one of only two comedies on the NBC schedule in midseason, along with new unconventional family multi-camera sitcom One Big Happy. The Undateable‘s male skew likely played a role in the decision to expose the show to football fans.
Getting 15 seconds each are two new programs — drama Odyssey, which debuts in April, and the Neil Patrick Harris-hosted remake of British variety series Saturday Night Takeaway, which is not premiering until next season. NBC is likely looking to capitalize on Harris’ big visibility leading to his gig hosting the Oscars with the first promo for his new primetime show. Watch it here.
In addition to those who got their own Super Bowl shoots, a number of other new and returning NBC series will get some sort of promo spots during the game: new Russian spy drama Allegiance, which will follow The Blacklist on Thursdays, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s biblical limited series A.D., and medical drama The Night Shift which, like Undateable, earned a sophomore run this midseason after a surprisingly strong summer launch.