The New NBC Fall Schedule: A Focus on Comedy
New fall TV Series of all types but with a comedy core
Introduction to the NBC Fall Schedule
The NBC fall schedule almost always delivers a lineup with new series that capture both critical and viewer attention. And of course there are many returning favorites as well. While the NBC fall schedule is often well-rounded, in 2013 we saw a lineup that was centered around comedies. Whether 2014 will be the same or not is unclear, but one thing we do expect is a strong mix of shows – new TV shows that show promise, and returning shows that are not only proven but can serve as places to promote the new shows and try to steward viewers by being placed before the new shows. Many times the promotion of the NBC fall schedule starts in the summer, and the network’s excitement about a particular show can often be measured by the amount the promote it before September.
While the goal is to have both critics and viewers love a new show, sometimes the two don’t agree, with some shows gaining critical acclaim and viewers tuning out, and vice versa. One thing seems to hold steady about the NBC fall schedule each year, however, and that is that they tend to look for a solid new show or two to lead the charge. NBC has long been known for producing very high quality and lasting new shows, and thus it is no surprise that each year they seem to find that new potential hit and put it in their offering. What will be the hot in the 2014 NBC fall schedule? As of this writing we do not know, but it is sometimes quite early that we hear buzz and we will certainly pass anything we hear along.
We can guess at the strategy that the network will use. For example, comedies have advantages over dramas in that they usually follow a 30 minute time frame and therefore literally take up less space making them a bit less of a risk should they fail. They are also a bit easier to produce and often have smaller budgets – at least for things like scenery and effects. Losing a comedy at midseason only leaves a 30 minute hole, while losing a drama leaves an hour, and the money that might have gone into the latter may be very high. These factors alone may not be what is driving NBC to look for comedies each year in their new fall TV lineup – we do think it is brand recognition and past success – but they may be string secondary issues.
NBC Fall Schedule 2014: The Shows
The following are not necessarily the only or perhaps even the best shows in the NBC fall schedule. They are those shows that have buzz, whether early critical acclaim or some other sign that the network is confident in them. One way or another these new TV shows have potential, but there is no telling whether they will truly be the hits of the season until they run for a few weeks, or perhaps even longer. These shows are at the very least worth following as the fall season approaches and decisions need to be made. As we hear of shows with buzz we will add them here, and of course we welcome any input or ideas you may have in our comments section. In the meantime we will be looking for the latest buzz and news about the upcoming fall season.
Aquarius has great potential in the 2014 fall TV lineup on NBC. Set in the mid-1960s, this new fall TV show follows the murder investigation started by a police sergeant in L.A., Sam Hodiak (played by David Duchovny). Given the time period, the detective runs into many roadblocks until he chooses a partner who can better connect him to the world of hippies and alternative lifestyles that were so common back at that time. Undercover policeman Brian Shafe is this unconventional choice and this sets the stage for a great buddy cop relationship. They continue to hunt the man responsible for that original murder, and we find out that he is none else but Charles Manson. During this new fall TV show we get to know both sides, this infamous historical character and the men who chased him.
On the comedy side of the NBC fall TV schedule we find Bad Judge starring Kate Walsh (from the highly successful Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice) who is a judge who is one of the toughest and most outspoken judges in LA. She is a bit unorthodox when presiding over a case, with fascinating comments, rulings, and overall behavior. Yet she is very highly respected. But outside her courtroom Judge Rebecca Wright is quite wild, with partying and membership in a band. She is a bit commitment phobic, at least until we meet a young boy who was affected by one of her rulings. Bad Judge has the potential to be a funny yet captivating new fall TV series this year.
NBC Fall Schedule 2013: The Results
The following are the shows in the NBC fall schedule that we covered last year. How did we do? Did we capture those shows that were worth following or at least checking out? Last year these were the shows that were receiving a lot of buzz and in both cases were built around a cornerstone actor. Will the network follow the same script in 2014 by building their lineup around a known actor likely to generate buzz?
The new fall TV series lineup of 2013 on NBC is no exception to this trend, and “The Michael J. Fox Show” is leading the way. Mr. Fox, who has been successful over and over as both a lead character and more recently in a variety of supporting roles, plays a newsman returning to his job even after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. A well-cast family around him and colleagues at the newsroom are likely to push this one to be a breakout hit for NBC this fall. This new show will have terrific range, pulling out many emotions from viewers within each episode. If you like Michael J Fox in a comedic yet heartwarming type of setting, or generally like comedies that are flexible enough to take on some dramatic flavors at times, this may be the show for you. We expect big things from this new fall TV show, and unless you want to be playing catch-up you may want to check this series out from the start.
A completely different type of new fall TV show we are going to see from NBC this fall is “The Blacklist” which stars James Spader. This new TV series shares one thing in common with the above in that a popular and highly talented actor is headlining a cast of compelling characters. In this new show, Mr. Spader plays an internationally wanted criminal who unexpectedly turns himself in under the condition that he is not prosecuted and instead will help the FBI and other international law enforcement catch highly sought criminals. Mr Spader’s character chooses to work with one particular young novice FBI agent for reasons we don;t know, at least at first. The action and intrigue will be quite high in “The Blacklist”, and we are particularly impressed with the range that NBC is showing with its new fall TV line-up – these first two shows have success written all over them even though they could not be more different.
TV guide has a nice article about which TV shows from 2013 are returning in 2014.
Please feel free to share your own thoughts and comments on the NBC Fall Schedule below.