UPDATE: Back in May when the networks released their fall schedules, such as they were, most seemed to be at least slightly optimistic that the nascent writers’ strike would end long before filming would need to begin on the scripted fall shows. ABC was the only network that took a more pessimistic approach, filling their schedule with game shows and reruns. And now, almost two months to the day, the other networks seem to be realizing that the strikes aren’t ending anytime soon, and making adjustments to a fall schedule that is set to launch in September.
NBC’s original schedule was very optimistic, filled with new scripted comedies and dramas, nestled between their old stalwarts of the Dick Wolf dramas. What’s interesting is that like everyone else (except ABC), they’ve overhauled their fall schedule … but it still remains optimistic? Magnum P.I. has been pushed up from midseason, and new dramas The Irrational and Found still have a place. Who they think will be writing and acting in these series remains to be seen. The new schedule with premiere dates can be found below.
There is no such thing as a traditional Upfront season anymore. Last year, very briefly, it felt like the Upfronts — the events when the networks announce their upcoming fall schedules and new series — were back following the pandemic and the steady decline of network television in general. But now with a writers’ strike that could very well stretch through the summer, and potential strikes by the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild on the horizon, the networks are having to play the upcoming fall season entirely by ear. With some networks, this looks like loading up on reality content; with others, it looks like they are moving forward with their scripted material and hoping for the best.
NBC seems to be confident this writers’ strike won’t last long enough to disrupt their fall schedule as it is chock full of scripted series with the one exception of The Voice. That said, you’ll note that no premiere dates have been announced. Also, there are two new reality competitions and a docuseries that they ostensibly might be saving for the midseason that they could press into service in the fall if the strike goes on longer than they hope. One is a reimagining of Deal or No Deal, the other an as-of-yet-determined spinoff of America’s Got Talent.
NBC has only added three new scripted series to their fall schedule, two safe procedural dramas, and one family sitcom. But the small number of new shows is more of a comment on the decline of the profitability of network TV than anything to do with the strike.