Three new dramas join the fall schedule, including “Ordinary Joe” – a heartfelt, uplifting series centered around the idea of how choices made in a single moment can alter the course of life forever; “La Brea”, which follows the aftermath of a massive sinkhole that opens in Los Angeles revealing a mysterious primeval land; and “Law & Order: For the Defense,” a new chapter of the beloved brand that puts lawyers under the microscope. With perennial hit “The Voice” returning for its 21st cycle, featuring first-time coach Ariana Grande, the two new dramas will use the music show’s enviable launch pad on Monday and Tuesday nights.
The success of Wednesday night’s One Chicago lineup — #1 in total viewers three years running — will pave the way for the “Law & Order” franchise to dominate on Thursday nights.
This new night of Dick Wolf dramas brings together the iconic, record-breaking 23rd season of “Law & Order: SVU” with newly minted hit “Law & Order: Organized Crime” and the premiere of “Law & Order: For the Defense,” providing the perfect playground for crossover events.
After kicking off with a special post-Olympics send-off for “Brooklyn Nine Nine” this summer, comedy returns to the schedule in midseason. New series “American Auto” and “Grand Crew” will join sophomore successes “Kenan,” “Mr. Mayor” and “Young Rock” for two big nights of funny. From “Superstore” creator Justin Spitzer and starring Ana Gasteyer and Jon Barinholtz, “American Auto” builds on NBC’s legacy as the unrivaled home of the workplace comedy. “Grand Crew” also builds on NBC catalogue, hailing from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” Phil Augusta Jackson and Dan Goor. Starring Echo Kellum (“Arrow”) and Nicole Byer (“Nailed It!”), “Grand Crew” revolves around a group of friends who unpack the ups and downs of life and love at a wine bar.
Midseason continues with new true-crime limited series “The Thing About Pam,” from Blumhouse Productions, starring Renee Zellweger and inspired by episodes of “Dateline NBC,” where it became one of the most popular topics to ever air on the hit franchise. Other marquee midseason dramas include the sixth and final season of Dan Fogelman’s award-winning series “This Is Us,” which will return to its traditional Tuesday night 9 p.m. timeslot to give fans a largely uninterrupted run.
Throughout the year, NBC’s scripted series will be supercharged by huge promotional opportunities, including the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Beijing Winter Olympics and Super Bowl LVI as well as NBC’s hit holiday programming and four-quadrant unscripted series.
NBC’s holiday programming remains a top-audience driver, and this season’s robust lineup of live events and specials includes a return to the network’s storied tradition of live musicals with seven-time Tony Award winner “Annie Live!” In addition, Jimmy Fallon is set produce the animated special “Five More Sleeps ‘Til Christmas,” based on his best-selling children’s book, and a new animated special, “Trolls Holiday in Harmony,” arrives from DreamWorks Animation.
Hit comedies “Kenan,” “Mr. Mayor,” and “Young Rock” will also air special holiday episodes. These special events join perennial favorites that include “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” and “Christmas at Rockefeller Center,” ensuring that audiences stay entertained and engaged all through the holiday season.
Unscripted series continue the family fun with all new shows and returning favorites that kick-off in January and will populate the schedule throughout midseason and summer. These include “AGT: Extreme,” the high-octane, stunt-filled spinoff of hit franchise “America’s Got Talent,” and for the first time, an adaptation of the biggest music competition in the world, Eurovision Song Contest, with “American Song Contest.” This all-live event series features 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 in a grand spectacle.
New game show “The Wheel,” based on a smash hit UK format, features contestants aiming to win big with the help of celebrity guests playing on a giant, spinning wheel. Jimmy Fallon heads to the primetime schedule as the executive producer and host of “That’s My Jam,” while Dick Wolf enters the unscripted space with the docuseries “LA Fire and Rescue,” following the real-life heroes of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The Emmy Award-winning celebrity genealogy docuseries “Who Do You Think You Are?” returns to NBC from executive producers Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, while “Home Sweet Home” from Ava DuVernay will see two families embark on a life-changing experience, switching homes to see what life is really like behind closed doors.
NBC will finish the current season with the #1 most-watched alternative program “The Voice,” the #1 comedy with “Saturday Night Live” and the #1 drama with “This Is Us.” The network had two of the most successful comedies of the season in “Young Rock,” which scored NBC’s best comedy debut in the 18-49 demo in nearly four years, and “Mr. Mayor,” which premiered as NBC’s best Thursday comedy launch in total viewers in nearly five years.
Returning shows for the 2021-22 schedule include “The Blacklist,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Dateline NBC,” “Kenan,” “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Mr. Mayor,” “NBC Sunday Night Football,” “New Amsterdam,” “This Is Us,” “The Voice,” “The Wall,” “Transplant,” “Weakest Link” and “Young Rock.”
Decisions are yet to be made on “Debris,” “Ellen’s Game of Games,” “Good Girls,” “Manifest,” and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.”
As part of NBC’s rolling pilot process this year, the following projects have been picked up to pilot with decisions yet to be made on series greenlights: “Dangerous Moms” “Getaway,” “Hungry,” “Night Court” “Someone Out There” and the Untitled Nick Wootton/Jake Coburn Project. With the NBC’s 52-week scheduling strategy, these pilots could be possibilities for later in the 2021-22 season or could roll over to the 2022-23 season.