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NBC is loading up its fall 2021 schedule with so much drama, it’s not funny.
Literally: For the first time in at least 50 years, the network will start a season with no half-hour comedies on its schedule. NBC is instead saving returning shows Kenan, Mr. Mayor and Young Rock and first-year series American Auto and Grand Crew for early 2022.
The final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, however, will debut on NBC in August following the close of the Summer Olympics. The 10-episode run will conclude before the official start of the 2021-22 season in late September.
Susan Rovner, chairman entertainment content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, told reporters Friday that the lack of comedies in the fall lineup doesn’t reflect a lack of commitment to the genre. “In recent years our comedies haven’t performed as well in the fall, so we’re doubling down in midseason with two big nights of comedy,” she said.
NBC will also use the big promotional platforms provided by the Super Bowl and the 2022 Winter Olympics to help launch the comedy slate.
Also missing from the fall schedule is the final season of NBC’s top-rated drama, This Is Us, which likewise will debut in 2022. “We know saying goodbye to the Pearsons will be hard enough, and we wanted to give fans as close to an uninterrupted run as we can,” said Frances Berwick, chairman entertainment networks at NBCU Television and Streaming.
What the fall slate will have is a lot of Dick Wolf dramas. In addition to the three Chicago shows on Wednesday nights, NBC is stacking three Law & Order series on Thursdays — the recently ordered Law & Order: For the Defense at 8 p.m., followed by season 23 of Law & Order: SVU and season two of L&O: Organized Crime.
Two other dramas will also debut in the fall. The Sliding Doors-esque Ordinary Joe, starring James Wolk, will air after The Voice on Mondays, and genre thriller La Brea will take the 9 p.m. Tuesday spot. The Voice, incidentally, will only air one cycle in the coming season and will feature Ariana Grande joining Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton as a judge.
NBC’s fall 2021 schedule is below. New series are in italics.
|7 p.m.||8 p.m.||9 p.m.||10 p.m.|
|Monday||The Voice||Ordinary Joe|
|Tuesday||The Voice||La Brea||New Amsterdam|
|Wednesday||Chicago Med||Chicago Fire||Chicago PD|
|Thursday||Law & Order:
For the Defense
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: Organized Crime|
|Saturday||Drama encores||Dateline Mystery||SNL Vintage|
|Sunday||Football Night in America||Sunday Night Football|
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