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.”