It’s only June, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about what we’ll be watching in the fall. Below is a preview of NBC’s new fall and midseason series, a look at NBC’s schedule, a list of the shows that have been renewed for at least another year, those that have been canceled (R.I.P., Debris), and those whose fates remain in limbo.
It’s interesting to see how the networks responded to the disruption of COVID-19. ABC continued to play it safe with their schedule, renewing the bulk of their series, and only ordering a couple of new ones. NBC, on the other hand, has ordered a ton of new series, most of which are being reserved for midseason or summer, and most are unscripted, which is a safe bet when, you know, a global pandemic hits and suddenly it’s much more complicated to film a scripted series.
7/8 p.m.: The Voice (September 20)
9/10 p.m.: ORDINARY JOE (September 20)
7/8 p.m.: The Voice
8/9 p.m.: LA BREA (September 28)
9/10 p.m.: New Amsterdam (September 21)
7/8 p.m.: Chicago Med (September 22)
8/9 p.m.: Chicago Fire (September 22)
9/10 p.m.: Chicago P.D. (September 22)
7/8 p.m.: LAW & ORDER: FOR THE DEFENSE
8/9 p.m.: Law & Order: SVU (September 23)
9/10 p.m.: Law & Order: Organized Crime (September 23)
7/8 p.m.: The Blacklist (October 21)
8/9 p.m.: Dateline NBC (September 24)
7/8 p.m.: Drama Encores
8/9 p.m.: Dateline Weekend Mystery
9/10 p.m.: SNL Vintage
6/7 p.m.: Football Night in America
7:20/8:20 p.m.: NBC Sunday Night Football
New Fall Shows
Official synopsis: Life is all about the choices you make – and sometimes what you do in a single moment can change everything. This new heartfelt, life-affirming drama follows Joe Kimbreau, who faces one of these decisions at his college graduation. The three parallel stories that diverge from that night find Joe and the people around him with different careers, relationships and family lives, showing the unexpected ways that things change – and stay the same. But when it comes down to it, there is no “right” choice; no matter what happens, Joe’s life is always messy, exciting, tough, unpredictable … and beautiful.
T’s Take: It’s hard to judge these shows without trailers, but color me skeptical of Sliding Doors: The Series, even if it does star the wonderful James Wolk. It feels like NBC is looking for a replacement for This Is Us, and who can blame them? But based on this logline, this feels awfully saccharine.
Official synopsis: An epic adventure begins when a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles, pulling hundreds of people and buildings into its depths. Those who fell in find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous primeval land, where they have no choice but to band together to survive. Meanwhile, the rest of the world desperately seeks to understand what happened. In the search for answers, one family torn apart by this disaster will have to unlock the secrets of this inexplicable event to find a way back to each other.
T’s Take: Again, NBC has been working on this one for a long while now, and I’m disappointed to not have a trailer to go on. I’m intrigued by the premise, but I’ve also been burned by NBC’s attempts to do mystery box dramas by either being patently ridiculous (Manifest) or killing them off too soon (R.I.P. Debris and Timeless), so, again, I’m hesitant.
Law & Order: For the Defense Official synopsis: In its 30-year history as the most successful brand in television, Law and Order has only ever explored the perspective of its iconic prosecutors … until now. From legendary executive producer Dick Wolf comes Law & Order: For the Defense, the newest entry in the beloved franchise that takes an unflinching look inside a criminal defense firm. Every week, the series will put the lawyers – and the criminal justice system – under the microscope like only Law & Order can, delivering hard-hitting, ripped-from-the-headlines stories that provide a new vantage point on justice. T’s Take: It’s a new Law & Order. Dick Wolf’s gonna Dick Wolf.
Official synopsis: From the creator of “Superstore” comes a new workplace comedy that takes the wheels off the automobile industry. Set in Detroit, the corporate executives of Payne Motors are at a crossroads: adapt to the changing times or be sent to the junkyard. Shaking things up is the new CEO, whose leadership, experience and savvy is only slightly offset by her complete lack of knowledge about cars. Luckily, her team has some of the best minds in the business – when they aren’t fighting or trying to outwit each other. From the corporate office to the factory floor, the crew of Payne Motors is driving home the laughs.
T’s Take: I mean, it’s from the guy who created Superstore, a former producer of The Office, and a writer on Scrubs. He knows his way around the workplace comedy and I’m adding this one to my DVR.
Official synopsis: From Phil Augusta Jackson (writer-producer-director, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Dan Goor (creator, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) comes a new comedy that proves that life is better with your crew. This group of young professionals are all trying to navigate the ups and downs of life and love in Los Angeles — and they always find time to gather at their favorite bar to “wine down” and unpack it all. There’s Noah, a hopeless romantic too eager to settle down; Nicky, a go-getter in both real estate and romance; Sherm, a low-key genius who plays the dating odds; Anthony, whose true love is his career; and Wyatt, who’s relieved to be married and out of the dating scene. And just like wine, their friendship gets better with time.
T’s Take: Again, with no trailer, I’m having to base this on the show’s pedigree, and you’re not going to do better than the guys who brought us Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Also, Nicole Byer is in the cast, and I will watch anything she does.
The Thing about pam
Official synopsis: Two-time Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger stars in a riveting true-crime drama inspired by one of the most popular, compelling sagas ever told on “Dateline NBC.” What appeared to be a straightforward murder case would eventually set off a chain of events exposing both a wrongful conviction and a diabolical scheme involving a woman named Pam Hupp.
T’s Take: OK, the true-crime case that this miniseries is based on is B-A-N-A-N-A-S, and I can’t wait.
Official synopsis: Expanding the “America’s Got Talent” franchise from powerhouse producer Simon Cowell and production partner Fremantle, AGT: Extreme will showcase the most outrageous and jaw-dropping daredevil acts. Each week extreme contestants will go head-to-head in the most wild, wacky and craziest stunts to vie for the ultimate title. Cowell will serve as a judge.
T’s Take: So, America’s Got Talent, but with only the sideshow dudes? OK.
American Song Contest
Official synopsis: America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance. In the U.S. version of the international megahit, American Song Contest will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the Best Original Song.
T’s Take: I love Eurovision Song Contest, but worry that an American version will never really compete with the outrageousness of the original version. I just don’t think we have it in us to really lean into the tackiness and instead, we will do our usual overly sincere thing.
That’s my Jam
Official synopsis: Jimmy Fallon will make his primetime hosting debut and executive produce That’s My Jam, a new hourlong music and comedy variety event series that draws its creative DNA from wildly popular The Tonight Show games such as “Wheel of Musical Impressions,” “Roots Name That Song” and “Slay It Don’t Spray It.” In each episode, two teams of two celebrities compete for charity in a series of music and dance-based games, performative segments and play-along trivia with Fallon hosting all the action.
T’s Take: I mean, someone has to be the new Ellen, I guess.
LA FIRE AND RESCUE
Official synopsis: In this new docuseries, Dick Wolf, Universal Television Alternative Studio and 44 Blue Productions have gained unprecedented access within The Los Angeles County Fire Department. The LACoFD is responsible for protecting the lives and property of 4 million residents living in 59 cities across Los Angeles County. From helicopter mountain rescues, lifeguard beach SOS, fireboats, hazmat units, to California’s raging wildfires… they do it all. These fire fighters are true everyday heroes and their compelling stories will be told alongside the heart-pounding action of unpredictable and dangerous circumstances as they face the front lines of life and death.
T’s Take: Dick Wolf, but do it reality style.
Official synopsis: The series will put viewers into a spin each week as celebrity guests attempt to help contestants win big. Full of edge-of-your seat jeopardy, plenty of laughs, huge stars and a spectacular 42-foot-wide spinning wheel make for one of the most exciting, and unorthodox, game shows to come around in a long time.
T’s Take: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Who do you think you are?
Official synopsis: Who Do You Think You Are? returns with new journeys of self-discovery, connection and diversity. A new group of celebrities will set sail on their mission to connect with their family history.
T’s Take: This show has been around for 10 seasons now, you know what this is.
Home Sweet home
Official synopsis: Following two families who lead very different lives for a life-changing experience, executive producer Ava DuVernay’s “Home Sweet Home” explores what it’s like to walk a mile in another person’s shoes by challenging racial, religious, economic, geographic, gender and identity assumptions as participants exchange homes for a week and experience the life of someone unlike them.
T’s Take: This sounds like an interesting social experiment in empathy. DuVernay is a talented and sensitive creator, so this has promise.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 8, its final season, airs this summer
- World of Dance
- Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
- The Blacklist
- Chicago Fire
- Chicago Med
- Chicago P.D.
- Law & Order: Organized Crime
- Law & Order: SVU
- Mr. Mayor
- New Amsterdam
- The Voice
- This Is Us: Final season
- Young Rock
Shows Still Up in the Air
- America’s Got Talent (returns this summer)
- American Ninja Warrior (returns this summer)
- Ellen’s Game of Games
- Good Girls
- Little Big Shots
- Making It (returns this summer)
- Small Fortune
- The Titan Games
- True Story
- The Wall