NBC Schedule Analysis

     NBC is continuing its tradition of launching new shows behind "The Voice", NBC's biggest lead-in. One show is conspiracy thriller "Blindspot" at Monday 10 pm which NBC hopes to be the next "The Blacklist". The other is a soapy medical drama"Heartbreaker" which got a fall spot over "Chicago Med". It leads into a variety show headlined by former "How I Met Your Mother" star and the recent Oscars host called "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris". After the variety show's short order airs, "Chicago Fire" returns to its slot in November. Women Crush Wednesdays will remain intact for the fall with "The Mysteries of Laura", "Law & Order: SVU", and "Chicago PD". On Thursdays, NBC has placed high profile miniseries "Heroes: Reborn" to support "The Blacklist" which has not had any support on Thursdays. New action-packed drama "The Player" starts at 10. "Grimm" returns to its original slot at 9 after being moved to 8 during midseason. NBC is creating a new multicam block on Fridays at 8 with the third season of "Undateable" which is airing all its episodes live leading into "People Are Talking".
They benched: "Coach", "The Night Shift", "Telenovela", "Chicago Med", "Superstore", "The Carmichael Show", "Crowded", "Game of Silence", "Shades of Blue", "The Biggest Loser", "Celebrity Apprentice".


Monday: The Voice continues the same format, airing three hours a week. It could be beneficial to air only two hours a week to avoid overexposure like Dancing With the Stars which has remained extremely stable since it removed Tuesday Result Shows. But, NBC does not have enough scripted depth to do this, and it wants The Voice to launch two shows. Blindspot sounds an awfully lot like failed NBC thriller and conspiracy dramas: Crisis, Allegiance, and American Odyssey. It could work, but it doesn't seem to have that instant hit appeal that The Blacklist had. I'm not confident that it will get a back order, and NBC could do better with Shades of Blue or Chicago Med at midseason if it rates mediocre. Overall, Mondays are good, but that's because it would be almost impossible for NBC to mess it up.
Tuesday: "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris" has a lengthy title and IMO, a rather annoying, too, but it has a decent chance of succeeding. Neil Patrick Harris can be a draw, and even it fails, Chicago Fire takes over in November. As for Heartbreaker, I'm not optimistic. In my eyes, it is just a placeholder for Chicago Med, and some have described as being similar to Ironside which is not a good thing. Overall, it's mediocre. NPH show at 10 isn't smart if it's family oriented, and I doubt Heartbreaker will work.
With the likely move of Empire to 8, NBC has decided to counter that by leaving freshman loser The Mysteries of Laura there. In other words, they've basically surrendered. Why it got renewed in the first place is beyond me and it's 13 episode order makes midseason schedule a pain. Overall, its pretty meh with NBC just not trying at 8.
The Blacklist has been on an island since moving to Thursdays and hopefully Heroes: Reborn will help it. The original Heroes series had big ratings in its first season, and ratings constantly fell due to bad quality (what I've heard). I'm guessing it will have a good premiere, but its longevity will be questionable. Thursday Night Football is a complication, and male skewing Heroes will face tough competition with football and The Big Bang Theory. The Blacklist has faced MNF before, so it should be fine. The Player seems like a good fit with The Blacklist, so it should have decent retention. Overall, it seems to be the strongest night scheduling wise, but that's not saying much. The problem is starting against Thursday Night Football.
NBC should get credits for trying somewhat on Fridays, but their schedule is just so weird... I feel like both Undateable and People Are Talking will have trouble finding audiences. Undateable should be okay because of live shows reducing costs, but its ratings away from The Voice and on Friday will not be pretty. People Are Talking doesn't even seem to have a chance, and NBC scheduling its two multicams where ABC could schedule its multicams is not ideal. Grimm is again treated badly, having incompatible likely weak leadins, but at least moving back to 9. Overall, Fridays are blah, and the flow of the night is terrible.

NBC's schedule is bad with lots of placeholders and impending moves for midseason. Mysteries of Laura, Friday comedies, Heartbreaker, and NPH at 10 all seem like bad decisions. But, it will be hard to do worse than this year, so at least they can say they improved. Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Bill 2/theratingsjunkie and Oh Smoo!

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