NBC's semi-successful summer lineup has now become a core part of its winter/spring schedule, with “The Night Shift” and “Undateable” joining a crowded mid-season roster that will include “Allegiance,” “The Slap,” “A.D.,” the return of “The Blacklist,” and more.
Earlier this month, NBC announced the first part of its mid-season plan with the compressed final season of “Parks and Recreation,”(*) which will be concluding before half of NBC's other mid-season shows even get to premiere. This is the same “drama-heavy mid-season schedule” that was the reason NBC opted to sell Tina Fey's “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” to Netflix, rather than try to squeeze it in here. Not counting “Parks” (which, again, NBC considers old business being dealt with as quickly as possible), the network will bring eight shows off the bench in February, March and April, and all but two (“Undateable” and the new “One Big Happy”) are dramatic.
(*) Today is the final day of production for “Parks and Rec,” so if you want a good cry, take a look at Mike Schur's Twitter timeline, which is loaded with pictures from the set (including a photo of Nick Offerman where his expression pretty much says it all). Then if you need some good laughs, take a look at all the “Parks” clips Linda Holmes and I hurled at each other last night.
As previously announced, “The Blacklist” will air after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1, then begin airing Thursdays at 9 starting on February 5, bumping the canceled “Bad Judge” and “A to Z.” With “Parenthood” done by then, the Thursday at 10 p.m. timeslot will go to “Allegiance,” a sort of contemporary version of “The Americans” starring Scott Cohen and Hope Davis as deactivated deep cover Russian spies reluctantly pressed back into service. The following week, February 12, will see the 8 p.m. debut of “The Slap,” adapted from an Australian series about the fallout when a man slaps another couple's child, starring Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton and Zachary Quinto. That trio of shows means the first time in years where NBC won't have a single comedy on Thursday nights in-season.
“State of Affairs” had been airing in “The Blacklist” timeslot on Mondays at 10, but it's been a ratings disappointment, and as such won't get a back-9 order, but simply finish out its season and be replaced by the return of
“Heroic Motorcycle Doctor” “The Night Shift” starting on February 23rd.
“Undateable” will air on Tuesdays at 9 starting March 17, paired with “One Big Happy,” starring Elisha Cuthbert and Nick Zano as best friends who decide to have a baby together (she's gay, he's straight) right before he falls in love with another woman (Kelly Brook). And where the NBC mid-season press release doesn't even bother to mention “State of Affairs” or the kaput Thursday comedies, it does say that “'Marry Me' and 'About a Boy' will return later in the season.”
Finally, we have a new Sunday schedule starting on April 5, with Mark Burnett's “The Bible” sequel “A.D.,” starring Juan Pablo Di Pace as Jesus, Greta Scaachi as Mother Mary and Richard Coyle as Caiaphus, at 9 p.m., and “Odyssey,” a “Traffic”-like action drama involving the intersection of military, business and terrorist interests, starring Anna Friel and Peter Facinelli.
What does everybody else think? Are you surprised NBC didn't simply put “The Blacklist” back where it started from? Will you mourn the death of NBC Thursday comedy? Do any of the midseason shows interest you?