Upfronts: NBC Announces Three for Fall

NBC LogoThere’s still a lot of fuss around the annual tradition of network upfronts, when the big five broadcasters announce plans for the new season in order to excite advertisers.

Truth to tell, Netflix probably presents more new shows in a week than all of broadcasters will in a season. Nevertheless, the annual announcements give a opportunity to see where networks are going, what they hold dear and especially what they are canceling.

NBC began the process Sunday by announcing just three new shows for the fall, a drama and two comedies. They’ll be joined by three additional dramas midseason and two more new comedies midseason. In addition, the network made the unusual move of announcing three new seasons for “This is Us” that will take it up to season six. Melissa McCarthy will take over as host of “Little Big Shots” midseason, one of the mostly returning reality shows.

The new dramas are:

  • “Bluff City Law” — Jimmy Smits and Caitlin McGee star as a father-daughter law firm in Memphis, an “aspirational” legal saga that also features Scott Sheperd and Bary Sloane. Mondays this fall.
  • “Council of Dads” – When a father has a health scare, he assembles three buddies to step in as back-ups Clive Standen, Tom Everett Scott, Sarah Wayne Callies star. Midseason.
  • “Lincoln” — Not about the president, but the NYPD detective from “The Bone Collector,” cracking new cases. Russell Hornsby of “Grimm” stars alongside a new partner played by Arielle Kebbel of “Midnight, Texas.” Midseason.
  • “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” — Jane Levy of “Suburgatory” stars as a computer coder who starts to hear the thoughts of people around her through songs. Skylar Astin, Peter Gallagher and Mary Steenburgen are part of the cast.

The new NBC comedies are:

  • “Perfect Harmony” — Bradley Whitford stars as a former Princeton music professor who begins leading a small town church choi – to competitions! With Ana Camp. Thursdays this fall.
  • “Sunnyside” — Kal Penn stars as an ex-New York city councilman who begins teaching American history to a group of  immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. From Michael Schur of “Parks & Recreation.” Thursdays this fall
  • “Indebted” — Adam Pally and Abby Elliott star as a couple who are invaded by his parents, Fran Drescher and Steven Weber, who need a place to live. Midseason.
  • “The Kenan Show”– Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live” stars as a dad to two girls in a family comedy directed by Chris Rock. (Thompson won’t quit his late night gig). Midseason.

Returning shows include “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” “The Blacklist,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Dateline NBC,” “Ellen’s Game of Games,” “Good Girls,” “The Good Place,” “Hollywood Game Night,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Manifest,” “NBC Sunday Night Football,” “New Amsterdam,” “Superstore,” “This Is Us,” “The Voice,” “The Wall,” “Will & Grace” and “World of Dance.”

Gone from the schedule will be “I Feel Bad,” “Marlon,” “Midnight, Texas,” “Reverie,” “Shades of Blue,” “Trial & Error”

The fate is still uncertain for “Abby’s,” “A.P. Bio,” “The Enemy Within,” “The InBetween,” (which is yet to premiere the season), “The Titan Games” and “The Village.”

Other networks announce their 2019-2020 schedules all this week.

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