12:03pm PT by Michael O'Connell
NBC Slots Craig Robinson and Jerrod Carmichael Comedies for Late Summer
Mr. Robinson is finally making his way to TV. More than two years after NBC first started working on a comedy vehicle for Office alum Craig Robinson, the actor-comedian's sitcom will finally premiere.
The network announced Thursday that Mr. Robinson will bow at 9 p.m. Aug. 5 — where it will be partnered with another comedy, Jerrod Carmichael's The Carmichael Show, airing at 9:30 p.m. It's a comparatively quick turnaround for Carmichael, who saw his vehicle get a six-episode commitment just a month ago.
Read More NBC Sets (Some) of Its Summer Schedule
NBC had been eyeing the two series as a block of programming. And given that both stars are black men, it fits in with broadcast TV's current push for diversity that's been further boosted by the success of Fox's Empire and ABC's Black-ish. The scripted pair will serve as a bit of a bridge from summer to fall, airing six episodes a piece, as the reality-heavy season dies down.
And there's no shortage of reality on NBC's summer lineup. The network previously set much of its summer schedule, including America's Got Talent and American Ninja Warrior, earlier in March. Also now confirmed for returns are newcomers The Island (May 25, 10 p.m.) and I Can Do That (May 26, 10 p.m.) — as well as returning series Food Fighters (July 2, 8 p.m.), Hollywood Game Night (July 7, 10 p.m.), Running Wild With Bear Grylls (10 p.m.) and Last Comic Standing (July 22, 10 p.m.).
Starting July 19, last summer's modestly performing comedy, Welcome to Sweden, will air back-to-back episodes on Sundays.
Timing of the Carmichael and Robinson premieres is especially interesting given NBC's summer success last year with scripted series Undateable and The Night Shift. Both performed well enough to get sophomore renewals and more exposure on the midseason lineup. Each recently premiered to relatively stable ratings.