COMPELLING DRAMAS, NEW COMEDIES AND FAVORITE RETURNING SERIES HIGHLIGHT NBC’S BALANCED AND POTENT 2015-16 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
Prolific Producer Greg Berlanti’s Drama “Blindspot” Earns Coveted 10 P.M. Monday Post-“Voice” Timeslot Emmy-Winning #1 Reality Series “The Voice” Returns for Season 9 on Monday and Tuesday “Heroes Reborn” Starts Off Strengthened Thursday and Serves as Lead-In to 9 P.M. “The Blacklist” “Sunday Night Football” Remains #1 Most-Watched and Top 18-49 Program and Features Great Gridiron Matchups Midseason Series “Hot & Bothered” With Eva Longoria, and “Coach” With Craig T. Nelson Set to Invigorate Comedy Lineup While Spinoff “Chicago Med” Readies to Roll
NEW YORK — May 10, 2015 — As it closes in on its second consecutive season-long victory in the key adult 18-49 demographic, NBC unveils a new 2015-16 primetime schedule that combines popular returning series, edge-of-your-seat new dramas, inventive new comedies and season nine of the Emmy Award-winning musical competition series “The Voice.”
NBC is on track to win the traditional September-to-May primetime season in adults 18-49 for the second year in a row after having gone the prior 10 years without an 18-49 win. Through 32 completed weeks of the season, NBC also ranks #1 or tied for #1 among the Big 4 networks in adults and men 18-34 and men and women 18-49.
In total viewers, NBC is running #2 for the season and within 7% of its year-ago Olympics-boosted average (8.8 million vs. 9.5 million), making this season and last NBC’s two top-scoring seasons in total viewers since 2006-07.
NBC has won the last three November sweeps in adults 18-49, as well as the last two February sweeps and the last four summers in a row.
Highlights of the newly announced year-round schedule include the captivating and mysterious drama “Blindspot” from Greg Berlanti, one of TV’s most prolific executive producers; “Heroes Reborn,” the return of the supernatural phenomenon from “Heroes” creator Tim Kring that examines a new group of ordinary citizens with extraordinary abilities; “Heartbreaker,” starring Melissa George as a fearless doctor inspired by real-life renowned surgeon Dr. Kathy Magliato, who always fights authority to ensure the best for her patients; and “The Player,” starring Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester as a former military operative turned security agent drawn into a high-stakes game in a Las Vegas-set thriller.
Other high-profile dramas include “Chicago Med,” the newest installment of NBC’s highly successful “Chicago” franchise from multi-Emmy Award winner and TV icon Dick Wolf; and “Game of Silence,” from “CSI” veteran Carol Mendelsohn and David Hudgins (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”), in which three childhood friends reunite 25 years later to right the wrongs of the past. And starring Jennifer Lopez comes “Shades of Blue,” in which she plays a single mother and New York cop who is forced to work with the FBI and must betray her own on-the-job brothers.
On the comedy side, the cast from “Undateable” will return for a new season, but with a twist: Every episode will be shot LIVE! Also for fall is “People Are Talking” from executive producer Will Packer (“Ride Along”) about two diverse couples who talk and share their sometimes surprising, but relatable, everyday experiences. “Crowded,” from “Hot in Cleveland” creator Suzanne Martin, looks at a couple (Carrie Preston, “True Blood” and Patrick Warburton, “Seinfeld”) who are truly enjoying their empty nest after the kids have moved away, only to have them move back home again.
“Superstore” stars America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”) as a supervisor in a big-box megastore who works with a rag-tag crew that doesn’t always put the customer first. There’s also the one-hour “You, Me and the End of the World,” with Rob Lowe, Megan Mullally and Jenna Fischer, about an unlikely group of unconnected characters trying to find shelter when an apocalyptic event is threatening the existence of Earth.
Two stars of previous beloved series are toplining new NBC comedies: Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”) stars in “Hot & Bothered” as the lead in a telenovela in which she plays a woman grappling with life and romance; and Craig T. Nelson reprises his role as Hayden Fox in “Coach,” this time to help his son with a fledgling Ivy League football team.
On the alternative side, inspired by the wildly popular U.K. format is a unique live variety show titled “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris.” It will include stunts, skits, pranks, audience interaction, musical numbers, giveaways and unlimited surprises. Also ordered to series is “Little Big Shots,” which is hosted by Steve Harvey and features extraordinarily talented kids. The show is executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Harvey.
For event programming, in a deal previously announced, Dolly Parton will be executive producing a selected number of movies, the first of which is “Coat of Many Colors,” based on her remarkable upbringing. NBC has also ordered “The Reaper,” a miniseries based on the best-selling memoir by Sgt. Nicholas Irving, a decorated African-American sniper who was deployed in Afghanistan for 100 days.
Returning scripted programming includes “The Blacklist,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Grimm.” “Law & Order: SVU,” “The Mysteries of Laura” and “The Night Shift.”
The decision on the future of “A.D. The Bible Continues” and “American Odyssey” will come at a later date after their respective seasons have ended. Season three of “Hannibal” is set to premiere Thursday, June 4.
Returning alternative programming includes “America Ninja Warrior,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “Food Fighters,” “Hollywood Game Night,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” and “The Voice.”
This fall’s biggest event will be the holiday musical “The Wiz Live!”
“We’re attacking the new season with the same programming strategy that successfully turned NBC around — a slate of provocative and innovative series and events that cut through the clutter and will continue to build on our momentum,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We have several powerful new dramas and attention-getting new comedies, including the return of ‘Undateable,’ which will be broadcast live every week next season. Live programming is one more way to make a show undeniable.”
“We can’t wait for the fall season and the chance to roll out our lineup of distinctive, innovative new dramas and comedies, scheduled with the kind of lead-in support that will give each of our new shows the optimum chance to find their audiences and deliver on their outstanding potential,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “The fall lineup gives you only half the story. We truly program on a 52-week basis and are putting virtually the same amount of programming muscle behind our mid-season lineup, with some of the most high-profile concepts and biggest names on television joining the schedule starting at midseason and extending throughout the remainder of the broadcast year.”
“Unscripted programming has played a key role in NBC’s two consecutive season-long wins, from ‘The Voice’ to ‘America’s Got Talent’ to ‘American Ninja Warrior,’” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. “We’re excited to build on that momentum with some of the most inventive breakthrough alternative concepts coming in the new season, including ‘First Dates,’ ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris,’ featuring one of America’s most phenomenal performing talents hosting the U.S. adaptation of a smash-hit British series.”
Said Ralph Oakley, President/CEO of Quincy Newspapers, Inc., and Chair of the NBC Affiliate Board, “We are happy with NBC’s finish as the #1 network in primetime this broadcast season and are enthusiastic about the potential of the newly unveiled schedule and shows next year.”
NBC FALL 2015-16 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 P.M. — “The Voice”
10-11 P.M. — “BLINDSPOT”
8-9 P.M. — “The Voice”
9-10. PM. — “HEARTBREAKER”
10-11 P.M. — “BEST TIME EVER WITH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS” (through November)
10-11 P.M. — “Chicago Fire” (premieres in November)
8-9 P.M. — “The Mysteries of Laura”
9-10 P.M. — “Law & Order: SVU” [emphaisis mine]
10-11 P.M. — “Chicago P.D.”
8-9 P.M. — “HEROES REBORN”
9-10 P.M. — “The Blacklist”
10-11 P.M. — “THE PLAYER”
8-8:30 P.M. — “Undateable”
8:30-9 P.M. — “PEOPLE ARE TALKING”
9-10 P.M. — “Grimm”
10-11 P.M. — “Dateline”
8-10 P.M. — “Dateline Saturday Night Mystery”
10-11 P.M. — “Saturday Night Live” (Classic encores)
7-8:20 P.M. — “Football Night in America”
8:20-11 P.M. — “Sunday Night Football”
2015-16 SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
Craig T. Nelson (“Parenthood”) reprises the iconic role that earned him an Emmy in this follow-up to the beloved series that ran for nine seasons. With original creator Barry Kemp at the helm, Hayden Fox’s story picks up 18 years later when the retired coach gets back in the game to assist his son, who was just hired as head coach at an Ivy League university in Pennsylvania… where they know nothing about sports. Between dealing with the eggheads on campus and his hostile daughter-in-law at home, Coach will soon learn that he’s not in Minnesota anymore. Talk about a Hail Mary!
Barry Kemp serves as writer and executive producer. Craig T. Nelson also executive produces. “Coach” is produced by Universal Television.
No more sex, booze, and paying the bills naked. After 20 years of parenting, empty nesters Mike (Patrick Warburton, “Seinfeld”) and Martina (Carrie Preston, “True Blood”) are finally reclaiming their wild side. Yet when their two grown daughters both unexpectedly move back in, and Mike’s parents scratch their plans to spend their golden years in Florida, their roost is full again. From executive producer Sean Hayes, this new (and very timely) family comedy proves that life is crazy with a full house, especially the second time around.
The cast includes Patrick Warburton, Carrie Preston, Stacy Keach, Carlease Burke, Mia Serafino and Miranda Cosgrove.
Suzanne Martin serves as writer and executive producer. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner also executive produce. James Burrows will direct. “Crowded” is produced by Universal Television and Hazy Mills Productions.
“HOT & BOTHERED”
If you think the steamy sex, sensational scandals and wrenching heartbreak on Latino soap operas are a little extreme, just wait until you see what happens behind the scenes. Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”) stars in this new comedy about Ana Sofia, a sizzling TV superstar and her lively family of cast and crew all competing to steal the spotlight. When the cameras turn off, the drama turns up as Ana battles pesky network execs, drunken script writers, narcissistic co-stars, and an unfortunately familiar new onscreen love interest.
The cast includes Jencarlos Canela, Diana Maria Riva, Jose Moreno Brooks, Alex Meneses, Amaury Nolasco, Jadyn Maria and Izzy Diaz
Chrissy Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein serve as writers and executive producers. Eva Longoria, Ben Spector, Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener also executive produce. “Hot & Bothered” is produced by Universal Television, Unbelievable Entertainment and Tall and Short Productions.
“PEOPLE ARE TALKING”
If you can think it, they will say it. From producer Will Packer (“Ride Along”) and director Pam Fryman (“How I Met Your Mother”) comes this unabashed new comedy about two diverse couples who are both neighbors and best friends. As they go through life side-by-side, they can’t help but analyze and obsess about everything. From topics like sex and race, to the fact that the trusted new babysitter might just be a porn star, nothing is out of bounds for this wildly outspoken foursome.
The cast includes Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tone Bell and Bresha Webb.
DJ Nash serves as writer and executive producer. Will Packer and director Pam Fryman (pilot) also executive produce. “People Are Talking” is produced by Universal Television and Will Packer Productions.
America Ferrara (“Ugly Betty”) and Ben Feldman (“Mad Men,” “A to Z”) star in a hilarious workplace comedy (from the producer of “The Office”) about a unique family of employees at a super-sized megastore. From the bright-eyed newbies and the seen-it-all veterans to the clueless summer hires and in-it-for-life managers, together they hilariously tackle the day-to-day grind of rabid bargain hunters, riot-causing sales and nap-worthy training sessions.
The cast includes Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Bloom and Nico Santos.
Justin Spitzer serves as writer and executive producer. David Bernad and director Ruben Fleischer also executive produce. “Superstore” is produced by Universal Television and the District.
“YOU, ME AND THE END OF THE WORLD”
In this bold adrenaline-fueled new one-hour comedy drama, the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course with Earth sets in motion the most hilariously unexpected chain of events imaginable. Set against the backdrop of apocalyptic chaos and starring Rob Lowe (“Parks and Recreation”), Jenna Fischer (“The Office”), Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) and Mathew Baynton (“Yonderland”), the story follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters around the world as their lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways. When we say eclectic, we mean a rebellious priest, an unhinged white supremacist, a mild-mannered bank manager, a germ-phobic cyber-terrorist and an American five-star general. Some of these misfits are destined to make it to a bunker deep beneath the English suburbs of Slough and, as a result, will become the hugely unlikely (and totally unsuitable) future of mankind. Wouldn’t that be a disaster!
The cast also includes Joel Fry, Paterson Joseph, Gaia Scodellaro, Pauline Quirke, Fabian McCallum and Kyle Soller.
Executive producers are Juliette Howell, Lynn Horsford, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Cameron Roach, Lizzie Gray and Andrew Conrad. “You, Me and the End of the World” is a production of Working Title Television, Sky TV and Bigballs Films. NBCUniversal International Television Production operates a joint television production venture with Working Title Television.
From executive producer Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “The Mysteries of Laura”) comes “Blindspot”: A vast international plot explodes when a beautiful Jane Doe, completely covered in mysterious, intricate tattoos, is discovered naked in Times Square with no memory of who she is or how she got there. But there’s one tattoo that is impossible to miss: the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller, emblazoned across her back. “Jane,” Agent Weller and the rest of the FBI quickly realize that each mark on her body is a crime to solve, leading them closer to the truth about her identity and the mysteries to be revealed.
The cast includes Sullivan Stapleton, Jaimie Alexander, Audrey Esparza, Rob Brown, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ukweli Roach and Ashley Johnson.
Martin Gero serves as writer and executive producer. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and director Mark Pellington also executive produce. “Blindspot” is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions.
Executive producer Dick Wolf delivers the newest installment of the compelling “Chicago” franchise, an emotional thrill ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city’s most explosive hospital and the courageous team of doctors who hold it together. They will tackle unique new cases inspired by topical events, forging fiery relationships in the pulse-pounding pandemonium of the emergency room, and through it all, familiar faces from the Chicago police and fire departments will intertwine as this third team of Chicago heroes hits the ground running.
The cast includes Oliver Platt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurie Holden, Nick Gehlfuss and Yaya Dacosta.
Dick Wolf, Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt and Derek Haas serve as writers and executive producers. Danielle Gelber, Peter Jankowski and director Joe Chappelle (pilot) also executive produce. “Chicago Med” is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films.
“GAME OF SILENCE”
Carol Mendelsohn, executive producer and veteran of the “CSI” phenomenon, and David Hudgins (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”) present a gripping new drama about a successful Atlanta attorney (David Lyons, “Revolution”) whose long-lost childhood friends unexpectedly reappear after 25 years. When a dark secret they thought they had buried resurfaces, the brotherhood bands together to right the wrongs of their shared past — a journey that will push the limits of their loyalty and quench their thirst for revenge.
The cast includes David Lyons, Michael Raymond-James, Larenz Tate, Bre Blair, Conor O’Farrell, Deidrie Henry, Demetrius Grosse and Claire Van Der Boom.
David Hudgins serves as writer and executive producer. Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz and director Niels Arden Oplev also executive produce. “Game of Silence” is produced by Sony Pictures Television, Universal Television and Carol Mendelsohn Productions.
Based on the real life and achievements of Dr. Kathy Magliato, this unique character-driven medical drama follows Dr. Alex Panttiere (Melissa George, “The Slap”), an outspoken world-renowned heart-transplant surgeon and one of the few women in her field. Stubborn and fearless, Alex always operates on her own terms. She revels in a racy personal life that’s a full-time job in itself, manages the daily demands of skeptical faculty and dutiful interns, and pushes the boundaries of medical science to impressive new heights.
The cast includes Melissa George, Dave Annable, Don Hany, Shelley Conn, D.L. Hughley, Jamie Kennedy, Maya Erskine, J. Louis Mills and Joshua Leonard.
Jill Gordon serves as writer and executive producer. Amy Brenneman, Brad Silberling and director Robbie Duncan McNeill also executive produce. “Heartbreaker” is produced by Universal Television.
From original creator Tim Kring, the supernatural phenomenon begins again with a fresh crop of inspiring heroes who take on the ultimate struggle between those with extraordinary abilities and those with nefarious motives to hunt and harness their powers. Epic adventures await these newly empowered allies as they cross paths with some of the original characters (such as the beloved “HRG” and fan-favorite time-traveler Hiro Nakamura), unlocking the mysterious fate of the universe and their place within it.
The cast of “Heroes Reborn” includes Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Masi Oka, Judith Shekoni, Robbie Kay, Henry Zebrowski, Kiki Sukezane, Ryan Guzman, Danika Yarosh, Toru Uchikado, Eve Harlow and Gatlin Green.
Tim Kring serves as writer and executive producer. Peter Elkoff and James Middleton also executive produce. “Heroes Reborn” is produced by Universal Television, Imperative Entertainment and Tailwind Productions.
From the executive producers of “The Blacklist” and starring Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester (“Strike Back,” “Fringe”) comes an action-packed Las Vegas thriller about a former military operative turned security expert who is drawn into a high-stakes game where an organization of wealthy individuals gamble on his ability to stop some of the biggest crimes imaginable from playing out. Can he take them down from the inside and get revenge for the death of his wife, or is it true what they say: The house always wins.
The cast also includes Charity Wakefield and Damon Gupton.
John Rogers serves as writer and executive producer. John Davis, John Fox and director Bharat Nalluri also executive produce. “The Player” is produced by Sony Pictures Television, Davis Entertainment and Kung Fu Monkey.
“SHADES OF BLUE”
In a provocative new drama, the iconic Jennifer Lopez stars as sexy New York detective (and single mother) Harlee Santos, who fell in with a tight-knit group of dirty cops, taking bribes and protection money that she uses to provide the best life for her honest and talented daughter. When she’s trapped by the FBI, however, and forced to inform on her own “brothers,” she’ll have to walk the fine line between love, loyalty, honor and betrayal, and try to keep it together for her daughter’s future.
The cast also includes Ray Liotta, Warren Kole, Dayo Okeniyi, Drea De Matteo, Hampton Fluker, Vincent Laresca and Sarah Jeffery.
Jack Orman and Adi Hasak serve as writers and executive producers. Jennifer Lopez, Barry Levinson (pilot), Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Ryan Seacrest and Nina Wass also executive produce. “Shades of Blue” is produced by Universal Television, Nuyorican Productions, EGTV and Ryan Seacrest Productions.
NEW ALTERNATIVE SERIES
“BEST TIME EVER WTH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS”
Five Emmy Awards and a Tony Award make multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris the perfect star for this live one-hour show that is unlike any other currently on American television. Complete with stunts, skits, pranks, audience interaction, musical numbers, giveaways and unlimited surprises, this show proves that anything can happen, and it can happen to you. Based on the wildly popular British hit “Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway,” the modernized variety show format and its fearless, multi-talented star will make for one of the best nights ever on
TV week after week.
Neil Patrick Harris, Orly Adelson, Siobhan Greene, David A. Hurwitz, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly executive produce. “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” is produced by ITV Studios America.
“COAT OF MANY COLORS”
Based on the inspiring true story of living legend Dolly Parton’s remarkable upbringing, this once-in-a-lifetime movie special takes us inside the tight-knit Parton family as they struggle to overcome devastating tragedy and discover the healing power of love, faith, and a raggedy patchwork coat that helped make Dolly who she is today.
Pamela K. Long serves as writer. Sam Haskell and Dolly Parton will executive produce. “Coat of Many Colors” is produced by Magnolia Hill Entertainment and DP Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Based on the best-selling memoir “The Reaper” by Nicholas Irving, this event miniseries recounts the 100-day Afghanistan deployment of Sgt. Nicholas Irving, nicknamed ‘The Reaper.’ The first African-American sniper, Irving tallied 33 official kills during this single deployment, a record that still stands today. “The Reaper” is a boots-on-the-ground thrilling and raw account of modern warfare and how it changes, shapes, and sometimes destroys the people who fight in it.
Tom Donnelly and Josh Oppenheimer serve as writers and executive producers. Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein also executive produce. “The Reaper” is produced by the Weinstein Company.
“THE WIZ LIVE!”
NBC embarks on its latest musical holiday tradition with a live television production of the groundbreaking Tony Award-winning musical that brought the vivid world of Oz to the streets of New York in a fresh, funky, sing-a-long journey down the yellow brick road.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“The Sound of Music Live!,” “Peter Pan Live!”) serve as executive producers. Kenny Leon will direct with Harvey Fierstein providing new written material. “The Wiz Live!” is produced by Universal Television in association with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical.
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