Once again NBC’s hottest new drama series has landed the Monday 10 PM slot behind The Voice. This time, it is Timeless, the new time-travel drama from Eric Kripke, Shawn Ryan & Sony TV. It is taking the spot from Blindspot, which is being transplanted to the Wednesday 8 PM slot after just one season, just like NBC did with fellow Warner Bros. TV drama Revolution three years ago. Here is NBC’s fall 2016 schedule, which features few changes and the return of the Must See TV Thursday comedy block in an hour-long version. The schedule is followed by brief analysis and descriptions of NBC’s new series.
NBC FALL 2016-17 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE)
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
NBC is introducing a drama-heavy 2016-17 lineup with 15 new and returning hourlong series and seven comedies. For the fall, the network is keeping things stable with just three new series, dramas Timeless and This Is Us and comedy The Good Place, as the bulk of the network’s new shows are kept for midseason. During a press call, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt touted the “very little upheaval” and addressed the decision to launch so few new series in the fall, following the summer Olympics. “Just because we have the Olympics doesn’t mean we should upend a schedule that is working,” he said.
Blindspot is facing a tough challenge in its move to open Wednesday night after only one season behind The Voice on Monday. Revolution quickly fizzled when NBC did the same to it. The Blacklist was moved out of the Monday 10 PM slot half-way through its second season, but it too has struggled. On Wednesday, Blindspot replaces another WBTV series, the cancelled Mysteries of Laura.
Besides Timeless, the second new series to benefit from The Voice lead-in is Dan Fogelman’s well received dramedy This Is Us, which replaces Chicago Med on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, after holding up the Thursday tent by itself for a season and a half as a 9 PM anchor, The Blacklist is being moved to 10 PM, a time slot where it did well on Mondays, with Chicago Med as a lead-in.
Starting the night at 8 PM is the new hourlong comedy block of returning Superstore and the new Mike Schur series The Good Place starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC dropped the Thursday comedy block for the last two seasons, opting for event series like The Slap and Heroes Reborn as well as reality series in the hour. Superstore already was tested at 8 PM during its freshman run and did OK in the slot on Monday. The sophomore comedy will get extra pre-Season 2 exposure with a special episode during the Olympics.
2016-17 SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
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.
GREAT NEWS — 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.
MARLON — 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.
POWERLESS — 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.
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.
CHICAGO JUSTICE — 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.
EMERALD CITY — 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.
MIDNIGHT, TEXAS — 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.
TAKEN – 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.
TIMELESS — 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.
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.
FIRST DATES –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.
THE WALL — 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. LeBron James, Andrew Glassman, Maverick Carter and Chris Hardwick executive produce. “The Wall” is produced by Glassman Media in association with SpringHill Productions. Glassman Media developed the series with CORE Media.