12:47pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'The Voice' and 'Superstore' to Get Summer Olympics Boost
NBC is using the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio to give two of its returning series an extra boost.
The network will unveil new episodes of The Voice and Superstore during the Summer Olympics, it was announced Thursday.
The America Ferrera-led Superstore, which is heading into its second season, will air a special Olympics-themed episode on Friday, Aug. 19, at 10:30 p.m. ET immediately following Olympics coverage. A 30-minute preview of the season 11 opener of The Voice, featuring the official debuts of new coaches Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, will premiere on Sunday, Aug. 21, at 10:30 p.m. immediately following the closing ceremony for the Games.
“The Olympics give us a unique chance to expose some of our strongest shows to millions of viewers who might not otherwise see them,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. “So we wanted to showcase our great new comedy hit Superstore with a special Olympics-related storyline, as well as blow the doors open on this fall’s blind auditions of The Voice featuring Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus — our two new coaches — alongside Blake [Shelton] and Adam [Levine]. Much appreciation to Mark Lazarus and our sports division who bring us the gift of the Olympics every two years.”
This marks a departure for NBC, which in recent years has used the Summer Olympics to draw eyeballs to first-year series. In 2012, drama Revolution and comedies Go On and Animal Practice got the extra bump. However, none of the three survived to a third season. Greenblatt told reporters back in May before the upfronts that Superstore, one of just two returning comedies on NBC's 2016-17 schedule, would be airing during the Olympics.
At the time, Greenblatt also said that Better Late Than Never, a travel-reality show featuring William Shatner, Henry Winkler and George Foreman, would nab a post-Games slot. However, that show was not included as part of NBC's announcement on Thursday.
The 2016 Summer Olympics will run Aug. 5-21 on NBC and its affiliated networks.