With upfronts happening in NYC this week, it feels like a lot of the TV action is occurring off-screen. But the reality wars and multiple finales Monday proved the small screen still has a lot of moving and shaking going on. Coming off three nights last week of the live playoff round and a season low, The Voice (3.6/10) took a hit last night — and not just because the AC wasn’t working in the studio for the first part of the show. The Voice was down 12% to hit a performance low for this season, and while it was the night’s top-rated show, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother bested it for the first time in their overlapping half hour. Of course, with a live show expect to see those numbers adjusted in final ratings. The Voice’s lead-out Revolution (1.9/5) was also down, but only 5% from last week. NBC still won in the adults 18-49 demo, while ABC was tops in total viewers.
NBC’s 2013-14 Schedule: ‘Revolution’ Moves To Wednesday, ‘Parenthood’ To Thursday, ‘Blacklist’ Gets Post ‘Voice’ Slot
Family comedies and action dramas dominate NBC‘s new series additions for next season. NBC is introducing six series in the fall — comedies Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World, and The Michael J. Fox Show; and dramas The Blacklist, Ironside and Dracula; with five more set for midseason– comedies The Family Guide and About A Boy, and dramas Believe, Crisis and Crossbones. (Dracula and Crossbones were carried over from last upfront/off-season). Not scheduled yet are newly picked up dramas Chicago PD and The Night Shift and comedy Undateable as well as last-minute renewal Community. On the returning series side, missing from the announcement are long-time reality staple Celebrity Apprentice and well reviewed freshman drama Hannibal as NBC is yet to make a pickup decision on both. Here is NBC’s fall and midseason schedules with analysis and new series descriptions underneath. As expected, the network is spreading its launches between the fall and spring, tied to its Winter Olympics coverage:
NBC FALL 2013-14 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. – “THE BLACKLIST”
8-9 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser” (New Day and Time)
9-10 p.m. – “The Voice” (New time)
10-11 p.m. – “Chicago Fire” (New Day and Time)
8-9 p.m. – “Revolution” (New Day and Time)
9-10 p.m. – ”Law & Order: SVU”
10-11 p.m. – “IRONSIDE”
8-8:30 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation” (New time)
8:30-9 p.m. – “WELCOME TO THE FAMILY”
9-9:30 p.m. – “SEAN SAVES THE WORLD”
9:30-10 p.m. – “THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood” (New Day and Time)
8-9 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”
10-11 p.m. – “DRACULA”
7:00-8:15 p.m. – “Football Night in America”
8:15-11:30 p.m. – “NBC Sunday Night Football”
NBC has handed the expected early renewals to its stronger drama series: freshmen Revolution and Chicago Fire as well as Parenthood, Grimm and veteran Law & Order: SVU. All have received full-season, 22-episode pickups. Missing from the drama list is recent addition Hannibal, which has dropped in the ratings the past two weeks after a solid start, and fellow midseason drama Deception. I hear NBC has not closed the door completely on Deception though a renewal appears unlikely. “On the verge of our 2013 fall scheduling decisions, we’re pleased to renew five drama series that will be important to our new-season lineup,” NBC’s entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. “We’re especially pleased to be renewing Revolution and Chicago Fire — two first-season successes — and there will be more returning series announcements made in the next couple of weeks.” Those announcements will no doubt include reality hit The Voice and veteran comedy Parks And Recreation, which are assured a return for next season. All the other NBC comedies are heavily on the bubble. Things look a little better for The New Normal, which just won a GLAAD Award and comes from top producer Ryan Murphy, with Matthew Perry starrer Go On also in contention. Meanwhile, cult favorite Community‘s future is cloudy, with the future of multi-camera entries Whitney and Guys With Kids also in limbo. NBC might keep one of the multi-cam sitcoms for continuity as it is likely to order at least one, the Sean Hayes/Victor Fresco project, and expanding NBC’s multi-camera footprint appears to be a priority for the network’s brass.
The renewal for Law & Order: SVU comes before the producers have secured the return of star Mariska Hargitay. Today’s announcement gives producer Dick Wolf two series on the NBC schedule next season, L&O: SVU and Chicago Fire. They could be joined by the proposed Chicago Fire spinoff. The renewal brings more good news for Grimm, which recently received a temporary time slot upgrade and The Voice lead-in. Here are details about NBC’s newly renewed dramas:
UPDATE, 12 PM: After considering different scenarios, NBC has opted not to double pump Revolution following the pre-emption of last night’s episode for a news special on the Boston bombings. Since the series had been slated for an originals-only run, the second-season finale, previously scheduled for May 27, will now air a week later, on Monday, June 3rd.
PREVIOUS, MONDAY PM: NBC is the only broadcast network to pre-empt its regular primetime lineup tonight for coverage of today’s deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon. The Brian Williams-anchored news special at 10 PM replaces an original episode of NBC’s freshman drama Revolution, which will now air next Monday.
So far, three of the broadcast networks — CBS, Fox and the CW — have awarded early renewals to their strongest series, while ABC and NBC have yet to make any moves on that front. There is speculation that NBC may jump in the fray with early pickups to some of its strongest series. Among those rumored to get an early jump on next season are the network’s flagship reality series The Voice, top scripted series Revolution and solid Friday performer Grimm, which also received an early second-season order last year. The renewals could come as early as tomorrow, following the latest set of ratings for The Voice and Revolution, both of which made a strong return to the schedule two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Grimm just logged another finish as the top-rated scripted series on Friday. I hear a deal for a second-season renewal of Revolution was put in motion several months ago when NBC reduced the first-season order to the futuristic drama by two episodes. Meanwhile, I hear Grimm is already preparing for third season, releasing a large number of low- and mid-level writers early than normal in preparation for staffing. Beyond those three series, also certain to return at NBC are comedy Parks And Recreation, which also is reading writers for next season, and Chicago Fire, whose pickup may once again be tied to that for NBC’s other Dick Wolf-produced drama, Law & Order: SVU, which is looking to re-sign star Mariska Hargitay.
What a difference a week can make if you’re NBC and The Voice is back. Sure CBS has taken the top spot in viewers and the key 18-49 demo for a second week in a row, but for NBC anything is better than the TKOs it’s been receiving. Boosted by the return of its juggernaut reality series for a new season last Monday, the struggling network moved up 33% from the previous frame’s 1.2/3 to a 1.6/5 for Week 27 of the 2012-2013 season. Down from last spring’s Season 2 debut and up from last fall’s Season 3 premiere, The Voice’s Season 4 debut March 25 was the No. 1 show last week among adults 18-49, and the series’ March 26 show was No. 2. With the return after a very long winter break of Revolution, which hit the 15th spot on the Top 20 shows of the week in the demo, NBC actually had its best week in the demo since January 21-27, when it aired the NFL Pro Bowl. With 5.428 million watching last week, NBC had its highest average audience since the week of January 7-13, when the Golden Globes were on. That’s up from the 4.154 million the network had as an average audience for Week 26. Additionally, NBC was the only network to not see a ratings decline from the same period last year and the only one to see a viewership rise; it was even from the week of March 26, 2012 in terms of ratings, and gained 11% in viewership. However, let’s be clear: NBC is off the mat but it isn’t landing many punches just yet outside of Voice. Still, with the previously unsteady Go On and The New Normal getting Voice surges last week and Smash up as well, NBC did manage to tie Fox for third for the week — an improvement over the south-of-Univision position it found itself in last week.
For the week of March 25, CBS drew a 2.3/7 and 9.018 million viewers thanks to strong NCIS and NCIS: LA audience numbers, solid comedy performances and the NCAA Tournament. ABC was second in 18-49 with a 1.7/5 and second in viewers for a second week in a row with 7.112 million. That’s up from the 2.1/6 it earned the week before but down from its 8.449 million audience average during Week 26. NBC and Fox were tied in the demo with 1.6/5 each, while the former inched ahead of the latter in average viewership (5.428 million vs. 5.224 million). That’s down for Fox from the 1.9/6 it had the previous week and also down from the 5.93 million the network pulled in on average in Week 26. The CW got a 0.5/2 and 1.365 million viewers on average last week, down from the 0.6/2 and 1.435 million viewers the network saw the previous week.
As part of a Revolution panel at WonderCon today attended by most of the series’ stars, there was this reel with highlights from the conclusion of Revolution‘s freshman season. Helicopters, Humvees and modern guns take center stage as the battle for electrical power continues. The footage includes potential plot spoilers so proceed with caution:
With new judges Heidi Klum and former Spice Girl Mel B joining Howard Stern and Howie Mandel, America’s Got Talent will return for its eighth season June 4, NBC said today. Live episodes will start July 23-24.
As AGT settles in for the summer, several NBC shows will wrap their seasons. The Voice, which returns to the schedule Monday, will conclude with a live two-hour season finale June 18. Also back Monday after being off since late November, Revolution ends its freshman season May 27. Hannibal, which debuts April 4, is scheduled to end its first season June 27. Chicago Fire will wrap its first season May 27. The comedies The New Normal, Go On and 1600 Penn will air their season finales April 2, April 11 and March 28, respectively. Parks And Recreation will conclude its season May 2, with Community‘s season finale May 9. Grimm will end its run this year May 17, Law & Order: SVU on May 22. Reality series Fashion Star ends its second season May 10, and The Celebrity Apprentice will complete its current season May 19 with a two-hour episode.
Ramon Fernandez (Sons Of Anarchy) has booked a potentially recurring role on NBC’s freshman drama Revolution. Fernandez, repped by Steve Rodriguez at McGowan Management, will play Capt. Franklin, a trusted soldier in Monroe’s inner circle… Newcomer Kaley Ronayne is set for a recurring role on the upcoming season of Army Wives playing the 20-year-old go-getter daughter of Colonel Kat Young (Brooke Shields). Repped by AC Management & Abrams, she recently guest starred on Carrie’s Diaries.
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
With an average of 8.4 million viewers per episode, the apocalyptic sci-fi series Revolution has been a relative hit for NBC in a humiliating turn of events that recently saw the network finish fifth — behind Univision — for the first time in its history. Despite that success, Revolution was put on a 4-month hiatus after 10 episodes. In advance of the series’ March 25 return, Night 2 of PaleyFest 2013 featured a Revolution panel with series creator and executive producer Eric Kripke, co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams, and executive producer Jon Favreau. Also along for the ride were cast members Billy Burke (Miles Matheson), Tracy Spiridakos (Charlie Matheson), Giancarlo Esposito (Major Tom Neville), David Lyons (Sebastian Monroe), Daniella Alonso (Nora Clayton). and J.D. Pardo (Jason Neville). The discussion centered heavily on the show’s return and based on what the executive producers said, fans can expect a much more fast-paced experience.
Set 15 years after an unspecified event caused all electrical devices to stop working, Revolution hangs on a heavy myth arc, but as revealed during the panel the series is bucking the tradition of genre TV shows by refusing to draw things out.
For decades, TV networks’ promo campaigns for new series had been focused squarely on bringing in viewers to the shows’ premieres. For the first time, Fox last week broke tradition, swapping the tune-in ads for its midseason drama The Following starring Kevin Bacon for billboards urging viewers to set their DVRs.
Encouraging DVR viewing is a two-edged sword as it gives the networks extra audiences — most of which they can’t monetize since a large portion of viewers who time-shift shows skip some or most commercials when watching. But with people’s viewing preferences for this season already firmly established, Fox opted for the unusual campaign to help its new show get on viewers’ season passes as a way to bring in regular audiences. That is especially important for a serialized drama like The Following, where retaining viewership is crucial for its long-term success.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The question of whether the audience will return to NBC‘s apocalyptic first-year sci-fi drama Revolution when it comes back on March 25 from a four-month layoff took center stage during the series’ TCA morning session. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt earlier this morning expressed confidence that the absence of new episodes since November 26 wouldn’t hurt the show. In fact exec producers J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke maintained that they welcomed the break to avoid diluting viewers’ attention with reruns and give them uninterrupted fresh product for nine consecutive weeks upon Revolution‘s return. “When we were doing Lost, that (kind of scheduling) helped us enormously,” Abrams said. “So when the idea came up for Revolution I was really relieved. I thought, and still think, that it will get us to a place where it will be the best possible way for the viewer to watch the show.” Kripke agreed, pointing out that this kind of broadcast plan already seems to work pretty well as a model for cable originals. “It also supplied us a natural break point between the season’s first half and second half,” he said, “and the second half sort of lives as its own continuous piece.”
Having so much time off also …
It’s January, time for some TV pageantry. I’m not talking about beauty pageant pro Honey Boo Boo’s Sunday return to TV with several specials on TLC, but rather about the semi-annual tradition known as Television Critics Association press tour, which starts today in Pasadena. The two-week affair features broadcast and cable networks touting their upcoming shows. Increasingly, hit series make repeat appearances alongside newbies. This time around, that includes NBC’s Revolution and Grimm, ABC’s Shark Tank, IFC’s Portlandia and CBS’ Elementary (tied to the freshman’s post-Super Bowl episode). For the casts and producers of Revolution and Elementary, this marks the second consecutive TCA press tour after first facing the critics in July. Also returning to TCA after a decade-long break is Arrested Development, which has been revived by Netflix.
Below is a basic schedule for the tour, which kicks off with a packed lineup that includes panels for David E. Kelley’s new TNT drama Monday Mornings, TBS import Cougar Town, A&E’s Psycho prequel Bates Motel executive produced by Carlton Cuse, and Christopher Guest’s new HBO series Family Tree. HBO once again is bringing out the star power for its movies, with Al Pacino, Helen Mirren and David Mamet on tap for Phil Spector and Michael Douglas, Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh for Behind The Candelabra. Here is the schedule, and check back for Deadline’s TCA coverage:
Friday, January 4 – Cable: Turner, Nat Geo, A&E, HBO, IFC
Saturday, January 5 – Cable: Discovery, Starz, BBC America, Viacom Networks
Sunday, January 6 — NBCUniversal: NBC