Upfronts: NBC's New Shows and Schedule for 2013-14

  • Publish Date: May 13, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

Updated at 10:51am (with a few premiere dates and additional trailers)

Our comprehensive coverage of the TV network upfront presentations this week in New York kicks off with a look at NBC's plans for the 2013-14 season. We'll have additional reports for the other networks each day this week. See more upfronts coverage...


At a glance

  • Change is the story of the day. NBC canceled more shows than any other network, and those shows that are returning are moving to new time slots, with a few exceptions.
  • Comedy will have a decreased presence on the network; just two hours of sitcoms will air on NBC this fall, and three of those four comedies are new programs (though with familiar faces, such as Michael J. Fox and Sean Hayes).
  • Of the network's major bubble shows, Community earned a fifth season, Go On is doing neither of those things, and Hannibal is still tbd.
  • In all, NBC ordered eight new dramas (including two holdovers from last season) and six comedies, plus three new reality programs.
  • Many announced shows (both new and returning) don't yet have a home on either the fall or winter schedules, and compounding the network's difficulty in scheduling them will be the Winter Olympics, which will pre-empt primetime programming for two weeks in February.
  • In addition to the new shows listed below, NBC has one major special planned for the upcoming season: a remake of The Sound of Music by the producers of Smash, starring Carrie Underwood and broadcast live on December 5.
  • In addition to the primetime developments, there was late night news as well; NBC confirmed that SNL's Seth Meyers will become the new host of Late Night when that show's current host, Jimmy Fallon, departs to take over The Tonight Show in 2014. Premiere dates for both shows have yet to be announced. NBC will use the Olympics in February to launch their new late night slate; both shows will premiere on February 24, 2014.

Renewed and canceled

Most of NBC's cancellation/renewal announcements came last week with few surprises—though many experts had given the now-canceled Go On a decent chance to be invited back for a second season—with Hannibal alone among the network's scripted shows (now on the air) that is still waiting to hear its fate. (A decision on that show is expected before the end of the month.) Perennial bubble show Community (the most surprising title found on the renewed list) will likely be living on the edge next year too; its renewal was for just 13 episodes, and it doesn't yet have a place on the 2013-14 schedule (it'll likely be swapped in for the first new sitcom to get canceled).

Scripted shows are in bold below.

Renewed   Canceled or Ended   Fate Uncertain
The Biggest Loser
The Celebrity Apprentice
Chicago Fire
Dateline NBC
Law & Order: SVU
Parks and Recreation
The Sing Off
Sunday Night Football (+ pregame)
The Voice
  30 Rock
1600 Penn
Animal Practice
Do No Harm
Go On
Guys With Kids
Mockingbird Lane
The New Normal
Next Caller (never aired)
The Office
Ready for Love
Rock Center with Brian Williams
Take It All
Up All Night
  America's Got Talent *
American Ninja Warrior *
Betty White's Off Their Rockers **
Camp *
Crossing Lines *
Fashion Star **
Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls *
Hannibal **
Hollywood Game Night *
Save Me *
The Winner Is *

* Season debuts this summer; status will be determined after show airs.
** Renewal decision expected in the next few weeks.

NBC's 2013-14 primetime schedules

NBC clearly sees the Monday 10pm slot as its best opportunity to launch a new program (that post-Voice slot certainly helped Revolution last season), which is why the network has bumped Revolution to Wednesdays to clear room for its most promising newcomer, The Blacklist. And the network will roll the dice on Thursdays and (in the winter) Sundays—two of the most important nights on any network's schedule—by devoting those evenings to so many new series. Thursdays won't be entirely new, however; rather than try (and fail) yet again to launch another new drama at 10p, NBC is moving Parenthood there, as part of a family-themed Thursday (with Parks and Recreation the lone outcast at 8pm). And though it looked like Grimm could get shifted to a better night, it will now remain on Fridays to help launch a pair of genre shows in the fall and winter.

New programs are indicated in bold in the schedule below. All times are ET/PT unless otherwise indicated.

NBC Fall 2013 Schedule
  8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
SUN Football Night in America (7:00p) **
Sunday Night Football (8:15p) **
MON The Voice The Blacklist
TUE The Biggest Loser * The Voice (results) * Chicago Fire *
WED Revolution * Law & Order: SVU Ironside
THU Parks & Recreation * Welcome to the Family Sean Saves the World The Michael J. Fox Show Parenthood *
FRI Dateline NBC Grimm Dracula
SAT [Reruns] [Reruns] [Reruns]

* New day and/or time
** NBC's Sunday night NFL programming airs live nationwide beginning at 7 ET / 4 PT for the pre-game show.

NBC Winter 2014 Schedule
  7:00 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
SUN Dateline NBC American Dream Builders Believe Crisis
MON   The Voice The Blacklist
TUE   The Voice (results) * The Family Guide About a Boy Chicago Fire
WED   Revolution Law & Order: SVU Ironside
THU   Parks & Recreation Welcome to the Family Sean Saves the World The Michael J. Fox Show Parenthood
FRI   Dateline NBC Grimm Crossbones
SAT   [Reruns] [Reruns] Saturday Night Live reruns

Other midseason debuts that do not yet have a day/time:
The Celebrity Apprentice, Chicago PD, Community, Food Fighters, The Million Second Quiz, The Night Shift, The Sing Off, Undateable

NBC's new shows

The 17 first-year series ordered for NBC's 2013-14 season are detailed below. Pilots that did not get picked up include John Mulaney's eponymous sitcom (which seemed to have a lot of positive buzz behind it, plus a supporting cast including Martin Short and Elliott Gould as well as Lorne Michaels as producer), a Charlize Theron-produced take on the Hatfields & McCoys story, an adaptation of the comic The Sixth Gun by Lost's Carlton Cuse, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, and an adaptation of the UK sitcom The Gates. Additionally, a Greg Daniels-produced comedy which would have starred Craig Robinson as a music teacher is reportedly still under consideration.

ImageAbout a Boy
COMEDY Tuesdays at 9:30p (midseason)

Based on the book by Nick Hornby (as well as the Hugh Grant movie of the same name), this single-camera comedy follows the relationship between an immature bachelor (David Walton of Bent) and the young son (Benjamin Stockham of 1600 Penn) of the eccentric single mother (Minnie Driver) who moves in next door. The Daily Show's Al Madrigal will also co-star. Producer Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights) has some experience bringing movies to the small screen, having done so successfully with Parenthood, though it'll be his first time writing a 30-minute comedy.

American Dream Builders
REALITY Sundays at 8p (midseason)

Originally titled Renovation Nation (and delayed from its original summer start date), this Nate Berkus-hosted hour will pit teams of professional designers, builders, architects, and landscapers against each other in a home renovation contest.

DRAMA Sundays at 9p (midseason)

One of two J.J. Abrams-produced hours picked up for next season (the other, Almost Human, will air on Fox), Believe comes from the mind of director Alfonso Cuarón, who has been relatively quiet since his brilliant 2006 film Children of Men 84 but has both this show and the ambitious sci-fi film Gravity due in the near future. The show centers on a young orphan with powers ranging from levitation to telekinesis, and a wrongfully convicted death row inmate (Jake McLaughlin) who is sprung from prison to protect her as she goes on the run from those who seek her harm. Yes, it's all nice and vague so far, but it boasts a strong supporting cast that includes Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, occasional mayor of Portland), Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil), Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time), and Delroy Lindo (The Chicago Code).

ImageThe Blacklist Watch trailer
DRAMA Mondays at 10p

This psychological thriller centers on a former Army intelligence officer (James Spader) who has become one of the world's most dangerous criminals ... that is, until he unexpectedly surrenders himself to the FBI and agrees to give up all of his colleagues. Of course, there's a catch: he insists on working exclusively with a rookie FBI agent with whom he seemingly has no connection (Megan Boone, Blue Bloods). Sounds fishy to us. The pilot's script was reportedly among the best this season, and the plum time slot means that the network clearly has high expectations for it. Harry Lennix (Dollhouse), Ryan Eggold (90210), and and Diego Klattenhoff (best known on Mike on Homeland, who apparently won't be on Homeland anymore) also star, and the pilot was directed by Joe Carnahan (The Grey).

ImageChicago PD
DRAMA tbd midseason

A spin-off from NBC's first-year semi-hit Chicago Fire, this Dick Wolf-produced procedural will split its time between uniformed Chicago police officers and the PD's elite intelligence unit that targets major crimes. You'll get to meet the cast of the new show—which includes Jon Seda (Homicide: Live on the Street), Jason Beghe, Melissa Sagemiller (Sleeper Cell), Mykelti Williamson (Justified), and JB Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm)—on the May 22 season finale of Chicago Fire, which will introduce some of the new cop characters.

DRAMA Sundays at 10p (midseason)

Gillian Anderson's first TV series starring role in over a decade (not counting her multi-episode guest arc on Hannibal) comes in a Washington, D.C.-set conspiracy thriller revolving around a secret service agent (Lance Gross) who has a doozy of a first day on the job: the president's son and classmates are kidnapped from a school field trip, where a father played by Dermot Mulroney, in his first regular network TV role, is chaperoning. The criminals' plot ultimately entangles additional politicians and a powerful CEO (Anderson). Rachael Taylor (666 Park Avenue) and Max Martini (Revenge) also star, though casting for some roles is still in flux. The series comes from Rand Ravich, who previously created NBC's Life 64.

DRAMA Fridays at 10p (midseason)

Originally announced for the 2012-13 season at last year's upfront presentation, this pirate drama (ordered straight to series without a pilot) is now slated to premiere in early 2014. Set in the 1700s, the series (from Luther creator Neil Cross) stars John Malkovich as the legendary pirate Blackbeard, though additional casting has not been announced. As of now, it will have a short, 10-episode season, which will likely begin after the Olympics.

ImageDracula Watch trailer
DRAMA Fridays at 10p

Another holdover from last season, NBC's latest supernatural drama (also ordered straight to series) will finally debut this fall, when it will be well matched with Grimm as its lead-in on Friday nights. The network is treating it as a "limited series," meaning just 10 episodes were ordered. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) stars as the title character in this soapy take on Bram Stoker's classic novel, set in Victorian-era London, while Thomas Kretschmann will play Van Helsing. From some of the producers behind Downton Abbey (the show is a UK co-production), Dracula will be executive produced by Carnivàle creator Daniel Knauf.

ImageThe Family Guide
COMEDY Tuesdays at 9p (midseason)

Seeking a new lead after Parker Posey dropped out late last week (after the pilot was shot and the show was picked up), this comedy centers on an immature single mom who finds herself becoming closer to her blind ex-husband (J.K. Simmons, who can currently be seen on the newly canceled Family Tools) after they get divorced. The single-camera comedy is told from the point of view of the youngest of her two children, played by newcomer Eli Baker as a kid and by Jason Bateman as an adult (via voiceover narration). There's a dog, too, if that helps. The show comes from DJ Nash (a writer and producer on 'Til Death and Bent), and features David Schwimmer ... but only as the director.

Food Fighters
REALITY tbd midseason

A cooking competition pitting amateur home cooks against professional chefs? Not exactly the freshest of ideas (remember ABC's soon-to-be-canceled The Taste?), but one that will nevertheless be televised. Adam Richman (Man vs. Food) hosts.

ImageIronside Watch trailer
DRAMA Wednesdays at 10p

Yes, it's a remake of the 1960s Raymond Burr crime drama, which could help NBC in their campaign to retake the lead from CBS in the uncoveted 50-99 demographic. Blair Underwood takes over as the paralyzed San Francisco police detective—who here is a paralyzed New York police detective, since it's easier to shoot in New York—who remains one of the city's toughest cops despite his on-the-job injury. Executive producer Michael Caleo is a relative newcomer to TV, though he has written episodes of Rescue Me and The Sopranos.

ImageThe Michael J. Fox Show Watch trailer
COMEDY Thursdays at 9:30p

Ordered straight to series last fall without even shooting a pilot, this eponymous comedy marks the return to series television for Michael J. Fox, who first gained fame as the star of NBC's Family Ties in the 1980s and hasn't had a regular starring role on the small screen since departing Spin City in 2001 (though he has recurred on The Good Wife in recent years). Here, the storyline mimics real life as Fox plays a news anchor who, five years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's and retiring, is growing restless and is ready to restart his career. Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), Wendell Pierce (The Wire), and Katie Finneran (Wonderfalls) also star for producers Sam Laybourne (Cougar Town) and Will Gluck (director of Easy A).

The Million Second Quiz
GAME SHOW time tbd; begins September 9, 2013

That title is literal, if a bit low. NBC's new event game show will ask contestants to immerse themselves in a 24/7 live event that takes place over 12 consecutive days and nights—technically, that's 1,036,800 seconds—from a studio/living quarters built in the heart of Manhattan. The televised portion of the show (featuring lots of trivia questions) will air live nightly in primetime over its duration, and the winner could take home $10 million.

ImageThe Night Shift
DRAMA tbd midseason

Originally known as After Hours, this medical procedural centers on the graveyard shift at a San Antonio hospital, which makes it completely different from ER. Created by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah (the team that brought you the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies), the drama stars Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under), Brendan Fehr (Roswell), Ken Leung (Lost), Eoin Macken (Merlin), and Jill Flint (The Good Wife).

ImageSean Saves the World Watch trailer
COMEDY Thursdays at 9p

Will Sean save NBC? The Sean in question is Sean Hayes, Emmy-winning star of the long-running NBC hit Will & Grace, here returning to the network as a divorced gay dad whose teenage daughter suddenly moves in with him full time at the same time his job becomes more demanding. Thomas Lennon (The State, Reno 911), Linda Lavin (Alice), Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate), and Lindsay Sloane (Weeds) also star, and the series comes from Victor Fresco, creator of the criminally underwatched Better Off Ted (though this will be a more conventional multi-camera comedy).

COMEDY tbd midseason

Whitney's Chris D'Elia stars as a slacker who schools his roommate's "undateable" friends in the ways of dating. It's one of three (!) Lawrence-produced pilots picked up for next season; TBS also ordered his Ground Floor, a workplace comedy starring Skylar Astin, Briga Heelan, and John C. McGinley, while Fox said yes to Surviving Jack. (The only question: Which one will Sarah Chalke wind up on now that her show has been canceled?)

ImageWelcome to the Family Watch trailer
COMEDY Thursdays at 8:30p

College plans turn to marriage plans when young couple (and new high school graduates) Molly and Junior discover that they are about to become parents. Complicating matters are their own parents, who must deal with merging families and cultures. Mike O'Malley (Glee), Mary McCormack (In Plain Sight), Ella Rae Peck (Gossip Girl), Joseph Haro (Awkward), Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives), and Justina Machado (ER) star in this culture-clash comedy.

More coverage of the 2013-14 upfront presentations ...

Comments (1)

  • martinex  

    It's pretty scaring when the canceled shows (Whitney, Go On) are more entertaining than the renewed ones (The Biggest Loser, Celebrity Apprentice). NBC's in real trouble.

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