NBC Renews 5 Dramas, Including 'Revolution,' 'Grimm,' 'Parenthood'
UPDATED: The network gets a jump on its May upfront with early pickups including Dick Wolf's "Law & Order: SVU" and "Chicago Fire."
NBC has picked up five of its most valuable performers for the 2013-14 season.
On Friday, the network handed out early renewals for Revolution, Grimm, Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire and Parenthood.
From J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot and Warner Bros. TV, Revolution ranks as NBC's top scripted drama across all of primetime -- averaging more than 6 million viewers in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic.
Revolution, which has had the benefit of The Voice as a lead-in on Monday nights this season, returned from its four-month midseason hiatus down two-tenths of a point from its winter premiere with a 2.7 among the under 50 demo. It has seen further dips since but remains one of the biggest success stories of the 2012-13 season.
Another freshman success, Chicago Fire has proved a solid performer for NBC on Wednesdays, where it recently topped CBS' veteran procedural CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and remains neck-and-neck with ABC competition Nashville. From SVU producer Dick Wolf, NBC is also mulling a potential spin-off centering on the Chicago police department. For his part, Wolf also has a half-hour comedy in contention -- Girlfriend in a Coma, which was pushed off-cycle after difficulties finding a replacement for star Christina Ricci.
With NBC's additional season orders for Revolution and Chicago Fire, the network joins Fox as having picked up two first-year series. CBS and the CW, meanwhile, have thus far only added one each (Elementary and Arrow, respectively). The fate of CBS rookies Golden Boy and Vegas, along with CW's Beauty and the Beast and The Carrie Diaries has not yet been determined. Fox's The Goodwin Games and NBC's Save Me are not expected to return.
The lone survivor of Wolf's once sprawling Law & Order franchise, SVU has averaged a 2.1 rating with adults 18-49 in its Wednesday time slot. Heading into its 15th season, the show is not the juggernaut it once was but remains a consistent performer on a night that has been problematic for NBC.
Critical darling Parenthood will return for a fifth season. The perennial bubble show proved its worth this past season on Tuesday nights, where the network struggled to find a replacement after the Jason Katims ensemble wrapped its abbreviated 15-episode run. Ending early to allow room for the second and expanded season of Smash, the Broadway drama tanked in its return and was banished to Saturdays. Reality dating series Ready for Love followed in the slot and was canceled after two episodes. Like Grimm, Revolution, Chicago Fire and SVU, Parenthood -- which comes with a pricey and sizable cast -- will be back for a full season of 22 episodes.
Supernatural procedural Grimm has proven a sturdy performer for NBC on Fridays at 9 p.m., averaging nearly 3.2 million in the demo -- the network's fourth-best drama and behind only Revolution, rookie Chicago Fire and Parenthood in the metric. The series hails from Universal Television and Sean Hayes' Hazy Mills Productions, the latter of which also has a scripted drama pilot in contention for fall as well as the upcoming Jane Lynch-hosted unscripted offering Hollywood Game Night, both via his overall deal with the studio.
Dramas that did not receive a green light Friday include long shots Deception and Smash -- as well as April entry Hannibal. Deception finished its soft run last month, while dramatic declines have seen the pricey Smash banished to Saturday nights.
There is a bit more optimism around Hannibal, which saw a soft debut but strong DVR growth. Still, Byran Fuller's update on Silence of the Lambs dropped to a troubling low on Thursday night, averaging just a 1.0 rating with adults 18-49. The 10 p.m. Thursday hour has been a revolving door of failed dramas for the past two years. Mid-season entry Do No Harm was pulled after just two episodes.
Comedy renewals are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.