5:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg , Philiana Ng
NBC Renews 'Chicago Fire,' 'Chicago P.D.' and 'Grimm'
NBC has renewed Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Grimm.
The three scripted one-hour dramas will return for the 2014-15 season, joining The Blacklist, The Voice and Celebrity Apprentice. Parks and Recreation also was officially picked up for a seventh season.
NBC is currently the top-rated network among broadcasters in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and is enjoying a 20 percent improvement compared to last year, with its highest rating, 25 weeks into the season, in six years. The renewed scripted dramas -- as well as Parks and Recreation -- mark the first returning series to earn early pickups. All four shows hail from NBC's studio counterpart, Universal Television.
Chicago Fire will return for a third season after proving a reliable performer for NBC on Tuesdays, regularly winning its 10 p.m. slot with an average of a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 and an average of 10.6 million viewers. The series, from exec producer Dick Wolf, is up 35 percent year over year in the demo and 33 percent among total viewers. Its move from Wednesdays to Tuesdays this season helped the network improve in the 10 p.m. slot by 24 percent in the demo.
Spinoff Chicago P.D., starring Sophia Bush and also produced by Wolf, becomes the network's second freshman drama to earn a sophomore season (The Blacklist was given an early renewal in December for a second run). The series is averaging a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 8.9 million total viewers, retaining 94 percent of its Law & Order: SVU lead-in and 97 percent among total viewers when factoring in DVR viewing. P.D. has generated NBC's nine best 18-49 results win in its Wednesdays at 10 p.m. slot, excluding the Olympics and SNL specials.
Meanwhile, the fate of Wolf's veteran procedural, SVU, has yet to be determined as star Mariska Hargitay has not yet inked a new deal for the procedural, currently in its 15th season.
Grimm, meanwhile, will return for a fourth season after raking as Friday's No. 1 broadcast series among adults 18-49 with a 2.5 rating. The series is up 4 percent year-over-year season-to-date compared to season three and its 8.1 million total viewers average is up 17 percent vs. a year ago. The series is executive produced by Sean Hayes' Hazy Mills and continues the actor-producer's relationship with NBC, which also has a sturdy performer in celebrity reality competition series Hollywood Game Night, though Sean Saves the World has been canceled. NBC has used Grimm in a bid to launch a supernatural-themed Friday this season, pairing it with rookie Dracula, which is not considered likely to return.
Wednesday's confirmation of Parks and Rec's seventh-season return comes two months after NBC's Bob Greenblatt went "out on a limb" to say that the acclaimed comedy would "return for a seventh season" and announced star Amy Poehler's three-year overall deal. Parks' renewal also will ensure that showrunners Mike Schur and Dan Goor have two series on the air next season, with the niche comedy joining Fox's already-renewed Brooklyn Nine-Nine. For her part, Poehler also has comedy pilot Old Soul in contention at the network.
The renewals mark NBC's first veteran scripted series pickups for the 2014-15 broadcast season. The fates of stalwarts Community, SVU, Parenthood, Hannibal and Revolution as well as rookies including About a Boy, Growing Up Fisher, Believe, Crisis, Undateable and The Night Shift will be determined closer to the network's upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers in May. (Night Shift and Undateable have yet to premiere.) The Michael J. Fox Show is not expected to return after it was pulled from the schedule with a handful of episodes yet to air.
Looking at its development slate, NBC has 27 comedies and dramas in the mix (down one from last year), including four series orders: an untitled comedy from Tina Fey starring The Office's Ellie Kemper; co-production Working the Engels; Craig Robinson's six-episode comedy Mr. Robinson; as well as Emerald City. Also on the network's docket are miniseries The Slap, The Bible follow-up A.D., Rosemary's Baby and Peter Pan.