Upfronts 2015: A Look at NBC’s Schedule for Next Fall

As is often the case every year, NBC gets a jump on announcing their schedule for next fall on Sunday, a day before their actual Upfronts presentation. It certainly looks as though we’re continuing somewhat of a transition period for the network, as NBC cleaned out almost all of this past seasons’ newbies, and this fall we’ll see only two comedies from the network. In their place, a bunch of new shows trying to get our attention and become a hit for NBC. Here is a look at all the shows picked up by the network, along with my quick first reaction to them.

BLINDSPOT [Drama – Mondays @ 10]: Jaime Alexander stars as a woman who turns up in Times Square in a duffel bag, with no recollection of who she is or what the tattoos on her body means. When she begins to work with the FBI, they find her tattoos are clues to a bigger conspiracy. It’s giving me Memento vibes, so I’m really interested on how it turns out. Of note, it’s another Greg Berlanti show (what an overachiever, making everybody else look bad!)

HEARTBREAKER [Drama – Tuesdays @ 9]: Dr. Alex Panttiere (played by Melissa George) is one of the few female heart transplant surgeons; she does things on her own terms and constantly finds innovative ways to treat her patients. Sounds a bit like House, no? I’ll check it out, if only for George (whom I will constantly associate with Alias) and Dave Annable (whom I love in just about all the shows he’s been in), but I have a feeling it’s already not for me.

THE PLAYER [Drama – Thursdays @ 10]: Wesley Snipes stars as a former military operative turned security expert, who gets drawn into a twisted game among a group of rich folk. This organization bets on his ability to stop massive crimes from happening in Las Vegas, while he tries to avenge his wife’s death. It’s an interesting hook to say the least, though I already have my doubts on how it can sustain itself as a series.

PEOPLE ARE TALKING [Comedy – Fridays @ 8:30]: Guys, Zack Morris is back! Okay granted, Mark-Paul Gosselaar starred on Franklin and Bash for a few years over on TNT, and has been working steadily since the Saved By the Bell days, but just roll with me here okay? The show is about two couples, who are best friends and live next door to each other; as the title suggests, they talk/analyze/obsess over everything they do in their lives. It’s a pretty straightforward concept, but the key will obviously be in the execution. NBC’s decision to make this one of two comedies to air this fall, and on Fridays no less, is questionable. It’s not like it’s the days of ABC’s TGIF lineup. Granted, the network has not been doing well at all launching new comedies, so Fridays seem like a low cost way to test out the show. I don’t know, Friday just seems like a terrible idea to launch new shows regardless.

CHICAGO MED [Drama – Midseason]: Who would’ve figured that within four years, Chicago Fire would lead to not one, but two spin-offs? Not me, that’s for sure, though never underestimate the power of Dick Wolf, who is behind Law & Order and all of its spin-offs. If Sophia Bush’s presence can’t get me to watch Chicago P.D., what makes you think I have any interest in this? Procedural? Snooze.

HOT & BOTHERED [Comedy – Midseason ]: Eva Longoria stars in this show about the backstage world of a telenovela. Honestly, I just need the fake telenovela in question to be half as fun as Jane the Virgin‘s Passions of Santos, and I think I’m good.

COACH [Comedy – Midseason ]: Random reboot sequel time! Craig T. Nelson returns to the role of Hayden Fox, which he played for nine seasons on ABC from 1989 to 1997. In the new series, Fox has retired from coaching, only to get roped back in to play assistant coach to his son. I vaguely remember the original series, but then again, I was really young. I have my reservations about all these reboots, but we’ll just have to wait and see some actual footage before making any judgments.

CROWDED [Comedy – Midseason]: Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston play Mike and Martina, parents who are just getting used to being empty nesters, and suddenly find themselves with a full house once again when their daughters move back in, along with Mike’s parents. Carrie Preston was always a bright spot on True Blood, so I’m looking forward to seeing her do straight comedy. Hopefully this turns out well.

GAME OF SILENCE [Drama – Midseason]: An Atlanta lawyer (David Lyons) unexpectedly reunited with his group of childhood friends (including Michael Raymond James and Larenz Tate), whom he hasn’t seen in 25 years. A dark secret they once shared begins to creep back up, forcing these old friends to band together and right the wrongs of their past. I honestly have no idea what to make of this. There’s a mystery involved, but my concern is how long they intend on dragging it out and whether they payoff will actually be worth it. I know that’s talking long term, but call it one of the things I’m cynical about – I just need to know that I’m not wasting my time.

SHADES OF BLUE [Drama – Midseason]: This was actually picked-up straight-to-series last year and is now finally making it onto the schedule. Jennifer Lopez stars as a cop who is forced to work as an FBI informant. The show also stars Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo, and Warren Kole. This kind of reminds me of last year’s Gang Related from FOX, except with a female lead. My guess is that it won’t be so much of a procedural, and will focus more on the relationships; that’s what I’m hoping for at least.

SUPERSTORE [Comedy – Midseason]: It’s The Office, if the office in question is a Costco-like megastore. America Ferrara returns to TV once again, alongside Ben Feldman, who is jumping right back into it after the cancellation of A to Z. I think there’s a lot of fun to be had in a setting like this, so I’m in.

Other Notables:

  • Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris will air through to November on Tuesdays at 10 p.m., starting after the America’s Got Talent finale in September. The show got picked up last fall and will be NPH’s new take on a variety show. It certainly is getting a push from NBC by airing it after AGT and then the first few weeks of The Voice, but like most others, I’m surprised that they’re airing it in the 10 p.m. hour, instead of 9 p.m. since it would seemingly be a family friendly (-ish) show.
  • Chicago Fire will then premiere in its old timeslot after Best Time Ever finishes its run.
  • Wednesdays will stay in tact with The Mysteries of Laura, Law & Order SVU, and Chicago P.D.
  • Way back last year, it was announced that Heroes was coming back as an event miniseries. This fall, NBC has settled on Heroes Reborn to anchor its Thursday night at 8 p.m. As someone who enjoyed most of Heroes‘ first season and thought that each subsequent season got significantly worse, I kind of rolled my eyes at the thought of this reboot of sorts. I’m still wary about how Reborn will turn out, but I’m here for Zachary Levi.
  • NBC’s only returning comedy, Undateable, will make up the other half of the Friday comedy block, starting off the night.
  • Grimm moves back to its 9 p.m. slot on Friday nights, with NBC mainstay Dateline closing off the night.
  • Also set for next season is a limited series comedy, You, Me, and the End of the World, which stars Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer and Megan Mullally. The show is about a group of strangers who come together before the apocalypse sets in.
  • There’s also Little Big Shots, a variety show from Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres, featuring young kids and their extraordinary talents.

When September rolls around and we see all the promotional stuff, maybe I’ll change my mind about some of the shows I’m on the fence about, but right now I’m kind of meh. Once again, NBC is saving a lot of their new shows for midseason, which hasn’t shown to pay off for the network, so I don’t really know what to make of it.

Tomorrow, FOX!

 

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