Adweek’s weeklong analysis of each broadcast network’s new fall shows continues with NBC, which slipped to No. 2 among 18- to 49-year-olds last season after two seasons on top.
But the network is well positioned for a strong start this fall as it attempts to recapture the title, thanks to the continued dominance of Sunday Night Football and The Voice—which isn’t the powerhouse it used to be, but NBC hopes the new cycle will be reinvigorated by new coaches Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus—and the addition of five Thursday Night Football games in a new shared deal with CBS.
On the scripted side, the network is sturdier this fall than it’s been in years, and the freshman shows are much improved from last fall’s lineup, which included misfires Truth Be Told (the worst show of last season), The Player and the disappointing Heroes revival, Heroes Reborn. But Blindspot, last season’s top freshman series in the 18-49 demo, and Chicago Med both became hits. As a result, NBC enters this fall with a schedule that boasts just three new shows, two of which are quite promising.
The network is also giving each show the opportunity to be sampled by the widest possible audience by using The Voice to launch all three.
And while a pilot isn’t always the best way to judge a show’s ultimate potential, it’s often the only episode audiences watch before deciding whether to stick around or throw in the towel, especially given all the other new and returning shows fighting for attention. With that in mind, here are NBC’s new fall shows, ranked from least promising to most: