Out of the 4 big US networks, NBC is seen as the one that struggles most finding an audience for it’s shows. Can this year’s crop improve that perception, or will we see them cut down on the battlefield next year? Only time will tell, but here’s what they have to offer.
Kristen Bell (House Of Lies, Frozen) & Ted Danson (CSI, Cheers) take the lead in Good Place, a comedy from Mike Schur, the co-creator of Parks & Rec & Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The story follow Eleanor (Bell) who dies and ends up in ‘The Good Place’, not because of her good work in life, but because of an administration error. Not wishing to end up in ‘The Bad Place’ for being such a horrible person in life, Michael (Danson) becomes a sort of guide to her, as Eleanor tries to work out what it means to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and make up for past behaviour.
From good to great, we have Great News, starring Briga Heelan (Undateable, Cougar Town) as an ambitious go-getting news reporter, who’s star is on the rise. All that could be compromised when her over-bearing mother (Andrea Martin) rejoins the workforce as an intern at her cable news station. Written by Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock), and Tina Fey is an EP.
Next is Marlon, starring Marlon Wayans in a comedy about a loving, but immature father trying to co-parent his kids with his ex-wife.
The show we’ve talked about a lot on Geektown Radio, Powerless will be coming next season. Based in the world of DC Comics, it’s a comedy set in insurance company, which has to insure people against the damage done by the world’s super-powered heroes. Star Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), as Emily, a plucky young insurance adjuster who becomes a cult ‘hero’ after standing up to one of the meat-headed ‘do gooders’ over his wanton destruction. Also stars Alan Tudyk (Firefly), Danny Pudi (Community) and Christina Kirk.
Trial & Error is described as a ‘documentary-style procedural comedy’. Stars Nicholas D’Agosto (Harvey Dent in Gotham) as a big-city lawyer who gets sent to small Southern town to win his first big case. He has to defend an eccentric ‘rollercising’ poetry professor (John Lithgow – Dexter, 3rd Rock from the Sun) who is accused of murdering his beloved wife.
This is Us is a ‘dramedy’ from the writer and directors of Crazy, Stupid, Love. Featuring an ensemble cast including Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), Mandy Moore (Red Band Society, Tangled), & Sterling K. Brown (People vs O.J.), it follows various characters as their life stories intertwine in curious ways.
First of the full dramas is Chicago Justice, the fourth show in Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise which was backdoor piloted through Chicago P.D. Set in the Chicago State’s Attorney’s office, it follow the team as they ‘take on the city’s high stakes and often media-frenzied cases, they must balance public opinion, power struggles within the system and their unwavering passion for the law’. Stars Strike Back’s Philip Winchester.
Another spin off coming to NBC will be The Blacklist: Redemption starring Famke Janssen & Ryan Eggold (Tom Keen in The Blacklist), as part of a covert mercenary organisation that solves problems governments don’t dare touch.
Not wanting FOX and CBS to be the only networks dredging through film franchises for new shows, NBC picked up Taken, based on the Liam Neeson movie franchise. The show stars Clive Standen (Vikings, Camelot) as a younger version of CIA operative Bryan Mills developing those particular set of skills…
Sticking with adaptations, Emerald City is a new take on Wizard of Oz, where Oz is less the brightly coloured world of the film, and rather more a Game of Thrones style realm of waring factions. Dorothy Gale (Adria Arjona – True Detective), along with her K9 police dog, and Lucas – aka Scarecrow (Oliver Jackson-Cohen – Dracula) must become headstrong warriors to do battle in this mystical land.
Midnight, Texas is an adaptation of the books by True Blood author Charlaine Harris. Set in a small Texas town, where no one is quite what they seem… Your neighbours could be a vampires, witches, a werewolf and even an angel. The town must band together like a somewhat disfunction family to fend of outsiders, such as biker gangs and over-zealous police.
Finally Timeless, from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke & The Shield’s Shawn Ryan. A mysterious criminal steals (Goran Visnjic – ER), steals a secret, state-of-the-art time machine, seemingly with intention of changing the past to alter the future. The organisation behind the device assemble a trio consisting of a scientist (Malcolm Barrett, Law & Order, Better Off Ted), a soldier (Matt Lanter – 90210, and voice of Anakin in the Clone Wars cartoons!) and a history professor (Abigail Spencer – Suits) to use their prototype to chase through time after him. They must stay one step ahead of the criminal, but also avoid effecting them timeline themselves.
From DC Comics comedies, to more time travel shows, it’s actually not a bad mix from NBC this year. To see which ones make it to this side of the ocean, keep an eye on the UK Air Dates page of the site.