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Prepare To Say Goodbye To “Parks And Recreation” And NBC’s Thursday Comedy Block

NBC has announced its schedule for next season and the Amy Poehler-fronted comedy is noticeably absent.

Say goodbye to NBC’s longstanding Thursday comedy block and Parks and Recreation, which will end after its seventh and 13-episode season.

It’s bad news for some and good news for others on NBC next season.

Thanks to The Voice, The Blacklist, The Olympics, Sunday Night Football, and the unexpectedly potent punch of Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., the network was in a good place for the first time, in a long time, when they announced their 2014-2015 fall schedule.

Despite their status as the last-place network, NBC actually ended the 2013-2014 season in first place among 18-49 for all of the broadcasters. (Let that sink in for a little bit.)

Still, there are some changes. NBC is moving The Biggest Loser to Thursday at 8 p.m., opposite CBS’ seemingly unstoppable comedy force The Big Bang Theory. After failing to get traction with a comedy in the opening night spot, NBC seems to realize that it needs to let a time-tested veteran kick off the night and that a two-hour block of comedies on the night just wasn’t cutting it, despite the legacy appeal that such a block had for the network.

The other big change to the schedule involves The Blacklist; but it’ll hand over that cushy post-Voice spot on Monday nights to State of Affairs, starring Katherine Heigl, beginning Nov. 17. The James Spader vehicle, which was a big hit in its first season, will go on a temporary hiatus, returning Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. on Thursdays.

A few other notable details:

— After protracted negotiations that put the fate of Parenthood in jeopardy, the beloved drama does appear on the fall schedule, sticking with its Thursday night timeslot, at 10 p.m. The Jason Katims drama will wrap up its run with a final season of 13 episodes. When Parenthood ends, Allegiance will take its time lot.

The Blacklist will launch in the fall and then be on hiatus until the Super Bowl on February 1, 2015. It’ll debut part 1 of a two-part episode after the Super Bowl. The second part will debut four days later on its new regular Thursday times lot. NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt said the goal for the upcoming season is to put the network back in business on Thursday nights with The Blacklist as its anchor. He also cited The Big Bang Theory on CBS and Grey’s Anatomy on ABC as other shows on other networks that’ve dominated Thursday primetime.

— January is the new September. Missing from the fall schedule are returning favorites Parks and Recreation and Hannibal, although Bryan Fuller’s serial killer thriller has always been a midseason series (and is likely to premiere in Jan. 2015), while the absence of the Amy Poehler-led comedy indicates it will also premiere in the winter, or fill a comedy hole vacated by an underperforming freshman series. And sadly, it will end after its upcoming seventh season.

— In fact, NBC is leaving a lot of new shows on the bench: seven in total, including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, from 30 Rock’s Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. The Ellie Kemper-comedy was ordered straight to series, and was considered a lock for the fall schedule. (The other freshman series sitting on the bench for now are Allegiance, Aquarius, Odyssey, Mr. Robinson, Mission Control, and One Big Happy.)

— Also absent from the fall schedule are all four event series — David Duchovny’s Charles Manson-chasing drama, Aquarius; an updated (read: gritty) reworking of The Wizard of Oz called Emerald City; A.D., a sequel to the insanely popular The Bible (which most expected to premiere around Easter 2015 anyway); and Heroes Reborn, a reboot of NBC’s once-popular superhero saga.

— NBC is making Friday night drama genre night with Constantine — an adaptation of the DC Comics supernatural series. It will follow Grimm, which has proven itself in a big way at 9 p.m. “This is a scary show, but it also has a sense of humor,” Greenblatt said about the new series.

The full schedule is at the bottom of the story, and the new shows are now arranged in night-of-the-week order.

3. State of Affairs (Mondays at 10 p.m. beginning Nov. 17)

NBC

Who’s in it? Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, Adam Kaufman, Sheila Vand, Cliff Chamberlain, Tommy Savas, and Leslie Odom Jr.
Who created it? Joe Carnahan (The Blacklist) and Heigl and her mother are among the executive producers
What’s it about? Heigl plays Charleston Tucker, a CIA analyst who compiles a daily briefing for the president (Woodard) that contains the most pressing issues of national security. They also share a history as Tucker was previously engaged to the president’s now-deceased (maybe) son. Basically, Katherine Heigl is the new Olivia Pope.
First impression? “All the president’s men are nothing compared to her” is an awesomely reductive tagline for State of Affairs. It’s like Homeland: The Procedural. —Jarett Wieselman

5. Marry Me (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.)

NBC

Who’s in it? Casey Wilson, Ken Marino, Sarah Wright, John Gemberling, Tymberlee Hill, and Tim Meadows
Who created it? David Caspe (Happy Endings) and director Seth Gordon (The Goldbergs) serve as executive producer with Jamie Tarses (Men at Work)
What’s it about? Annie (Wilson) and Jake (Marino) have been dating for six years when her frustration with his delayed proposal actually ruins the big moment. But they come back together and begin to plan a life together, bracing for their fair share of bumpy roads.
First impression? The show’s trailer is not wholly convincing, but we’re still hopeful Marry Me is everything Happy Endings fans were hoping from writer David Caspe and star Casey Wilson’s TV reunion. —Jarett Wieselman

7. The Mysteries Of Laura (Wednesdays at 8 p.m.)

NBC

Who’s in it? Debra Messing (Will & Grace), Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama), Laz Alonso, and Janina Gavankar (True Blood)
Who created it? Writer Jeff Rake, who executive produces with McG, Greg Berlanti (Arrow), Aaron Kaplan, and Todd Lituchy
What’s it about? After the disaster that was Smash, Debra Messing returns to comedy as NYPD homocide detective Laura Diamond, who has to balance her job with her crazy home life, which includes twin boys and a soon-to-be ex-husband. And he, of course, becomes her boss. Hijinx ensue?
First impression? In these cutdowns, shows that mix tones are particularly hard to judge. But it seems that Mysteries of Laura’s conceit — a homicide detective tries to have it all! — is all over the place. Messing is strong, always (even on Smash), but whether she can seem remotely plausible as a cop, even a Columbo-like one, is TBD. —Kate Aurthur

9. Bad Judge (Thursdays at 9 p.m.)

NBC

Who’s in it? Kate Walsh (Private Practice), Mather Zickel, John Ducey, Tone Bell, and Theodore Barnes
Who created it? Writer Chad Kultgen (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) serves as executive producer with Walsh, Adam McKay (Anchorman), Will Ferrell (Step Brothers), Anne Heche (Men in Trees), Jill Sobel Messick (Baby Mama), and Kevin Messick (The Other Guys)
What’s it about? Rebecca Wright (Walsh) is a wild child who also happens to be one of L.A.’s toughest and most respected criminal court judges. But her world changes when she meets an 8-year-old boy — whose parents she put behind bars — who needs her help (i.e. I wish Addison was returning Grey’s Anatomy instead).
First impression? Fellow BuzzFeeder Kate Aurthur said she laughed three times watching the trailer for this comedy, which is another take on how women can only have it all in their professional or personal lives, but not both. I still would rather see Addison return to Grey Sloan Memorial. —Jaimie Etkin

11. A to Z (Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.)

NBC

Who’s in it? Ben Feldman (Mad Men), Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother), Henry Zebrowski, Lenora Crichlow, and Christina Kirk
Who created it? Writers Ben Queen (Drive), Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation), and Will McCormack (Will & Grace) serve as executive producers
What’s it about? This romantic comedy takes more than a few cues from the most beloved cinematic rom-coms in telling the story of how Andrew (Feldman) met Zelda (Milioti) — and chronicling everything that comes next.
First impression? This plays like everything HIMYM fans wanted from Ted & the Mother — except Ted is now Ben Feldman. But how the premise could sustain past the first episode, let alone a 100th, we do not know.—Jarett Wieselman

13. Constantine (Fridays at 10 p.m.)

NBC

 

Who’s in it? Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds), Lucy Griffiths (True Blood), Harold Perrineau (Lost), and Charles Halford
Who created it? Writer Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist), who executive produces with David S. Goyer (Batman Begins)
What’s it about? Based on the hit DC Comics series Hellblazer, Ryan stars as the titular seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine. The release from the network says he “specializes in giving hell… hell.” (Ba dum tsss!)
First impression? Hellblazer has already had an ill-fated adaptation in the 2005 Keanu Reeves movie, Constantine. But paired with Grimm with its procedural premise built in (sending various demons back to hell), this new Constantine could do well. Grimm has won over the fanboys—from the looks of the trailer, Constantine won’t have to work as hard. —Kate Aurthur

15. One Big Happy (Midseason TBD)

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Who’s in it? Elisha Cuthbert (Happy Endings), Nick Zano (2 Broke Girls), Kelly Brook (Smallville), Brandon Smith, Rebecca Corry, and Chris Williams
Who created it? The pilot’s writer Liz Feldman (2 Broke Girls) and director Scott Ellis (2 Broke Girls) serve as executive producers along with Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman
What’s it about? Type-A lesbian Lizzy (Cuthbert) and her straight, laid-back best friend Luke (Zano) have been best friends since they were kids and now, still single, they decide to start their own family together via artificial insemination. But then, Luke meets the love of his life, Prudence (Brook), and their lives change in this midseason comedy that makes me yawn and get nervous at the same time.
First impression? No trailer available yet.

16. Mission Control (Midseason TBD)

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty

Who’s in it? Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23), Tommy Dewey (The Mindy Project), Malcolm Barrett, Jonathan Slavin, and Julie Meyer
Who created it? Writer David Hornsby (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) serves as executive producer with Adam McKay (Anchorman), Will Ferrell (Step Brothers), and Owen Burke (Drunk History).
What’s it about? Dr. Mary Kendricks (Ritter) is a tough but brilliant aerospace engineer in the 1960s who struggles to navigate the NASA boys’ club, especially with her new co-manager Tom (Dewey), who initially mistakes her for a secretary. Cue the hijinx?
First impression? No trailer available yet.

17. Mr. Robinson (Midseason TBD)

Jason Kempin / Getty Images

Who’s in it? Craig Robinson and Bob Koldyke
Who created it? Mark Cullen and Rob Cullen
What’s it about? The six-episode comedy series stars Craig Robinson as a journeyman musician who gets a job as a music teacher at a middle school. So, it’s kind of like Bad Teacher, but with Craig Robinson.
First impression? No trailer available yet.

18. Odyssey (Midseason TBD)

Virginia Sherwood / NBC

Who’s in it? Anna Friel (of Pushing Daisies!), Peter Facinelli, Jake Robinson, Jim True-Frost, Treat Williams, Nate Mooney, Elena Kampouris, Daniella Pineda, Sadie Sink, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Omar Ghazaoui
Who created it? Peter Horton (Grey’s Anatomy)
What’s it about? NBC is calling this a Traffic-like action drama and let’s hope it lives up to that. The series follows three strangers — a female soldier (Friel), a corporate lawyer (Facinelli), and a political activist (Robinson) — whose lives collide as an international conspiracy explodes.
First impression? After seeing this trailer at the NBC upfront presentation, I am even more confused by the premise of this very conspiracy-centric series. As a child of the ’90s, it is hard for me to take Peter Facinelli seriously (though I imagine Twi-hards out there do not have that problem). Anna Friel, on the other hand, who I loved in Pushing Daisies, looks to have truly transformed herself in this dramatic role. I am intrigued! (We will add the trailer as soon as it becomes available.) —Jaimie Etkin

19. Aquarius (Midseason TBD)

Elsa / Getty

Who’s in it? David Duchovny is back on the force (but searching for murderers, not the paranormal)
Who created it? John McNamara
What’s it about? This 13-episode event series is set in the ’60s and centers on an L.A. cop who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson family before their infamous murder spree. Fun fact: Aquarius is the second Charles Manson project in the works; there is a limited series in development at Fox with Bret Easton Ellis writing and Rob Zombie directing.
First impression? No trailer available yet.

20. Allegiance (Midseason TBD)

Will Hart / NBC

Who’s in it? Scott Cohen, Hope Davis, Margarita Levieva (Fauxmanda lives!), Gavin Stenhouse, Morgan Spector, Annie Ilonzeh, Alexandra Peters, and Kenneth Choi
Who created it? Writer-director George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) serves as executive producer with Avi Nir (Homeland), Ron Leshem, Amit Cohen, Yona Wisenthal, and Giyora Yahalom
What’s it about? When young idealistic CIA analyst Alex O’Connor (Stenhouse) learns his parents Mark (Cohen) and Katya (Davis) are covert Russian spies, everything he thought he knew changes in this drama based on the Israeli series The Gordin Cell. But the Kremlin has reenlisted them into service as they plan a terrorist operation to bring down the U.S. And now, they’re forced with a choice: Betray their country or risk their family and turn Alex into a spy. But that description just scratches the surface of what promises to be a really complex drama.
First impression? This trailer also debuted at the NBC upfront presentation and, though it seemed to be the most confusing of the network’s dramas, it actually appears to be quite well-executed. Of course, I am basing that on a two-minute sizzle reel, so take it for what it’s worth. (Very little.) It’s almost like the sequel to The Americans as a former Russian spy couple is outed by their genius of a son. Hope Davis really sold me here. I won’t lie. (As with Odyssey, we will add the trailer as soon as it becomes available.) —Jaimie Etkin

21. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Midseason TBD)

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Who’s in it? Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Sara Chase, Lauren Adams
Who created it? Tina Fey and Robert Carlock
What’s it about? The 13-episode comedy centers on Kimmy (Kemper), who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York. Cults are apparently going to be really hot in the ‘14–‘15 television season.
First impression? Ellie Kemper, I love you. Tina Fey, I love you. But this? I don’t know, even after seeing the trailer at the NBC upfront presentation. The concept is just so ridiculous with Kimmy essentially being like Madison in Splash with her almost alien-like lack of understanding about life in the modern world. I am not so sure how long I can last with this show’s schtick. But I will, of course, give it a change because again, Ellie and Tina. (We will also share this trailer with you as soon as it becomes available!) —Jaimie Etkin

22. Emerald City (Midseason TBD)

MGM

Who’s in it? TBD (No one has been cast yet.)
Who created it? Matthew Arnold, who previously created NBC’s Siberia
What’s it about? Inspired by the works of L. Frank Baum, this 10-episode event series will feature 20-year-old Kansas native Dorothy as she finds herself in the middle of a bloody, all-out battle for control of mythical kingdom Oz.
First impression? No trailer available yet.

23. A.D. (Midseason — will debut on Easter Sunday)

A&E

Who’s in it? TBD
Who created it? Married The Bible producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, along with writer Simon Block (Hotel Babylon)
What’s it about? A.D. picks up where The Bible left off (i.e.,with the Crucifixion), and reveals how everyone’s lives were affected by the death of Jesus Christ.
First impression? I am sorry, but I just thought I was watching more Passion of the Christ. I’m sure this will be epic and will do frighteningly well. But it is not for me. (This trailer also premiered at the NBC presentation. We’ll add it when we have it!) —Jaimie Etkin

24. Heroes Reborn (Midseason TBD)

NBC

Who’s in it? TBD (Sensing a theme here?)
Who created it? Tim Kring, who created Heroes
What’s it about? No one knows for sure, as the super-secret plot is being guarded with Marvel-like security. Suffice it to say, a new generation of superpowered heroes will rise.
First impression? No trailer available yet.

MONDAY
8-10 p.m. — The Voice
10-11 p.m. — The Blacklist / State of Affairs (beginning Nov. 17)

TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. — The Voice
9-9:30 p.m. — Marry Me
9:30-10 p.m. — About a Boy
10-11 p.m. — Chicago Fire

WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m. — The Mysteries of Laura
9-10 p.m. — Law & Order: SVU
10-11 p.m. — Chicago P.D.

THURSDAY
8-9 p.m. — The Biggest Loser
9-9:30 p.m. — Bad Judge (The Blacklist beginning Feb. 5)
9:30-10 p.m. — A to Z
10-11 p.m. — Parenthood

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. — Dateline NBC
9-10 p.m. — Grimm
10-11 p.m. — Constantine

SATURDAY
8-11 p.m. — Encore programming

SUNDAY
7-8:20 p.m. — Football Night in America
8:20-11:30 p.m. — NBC Sunday Night Football

correction

This post has been updated to change language originally taken from a press release.

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