NBC's Must-See TV Is Back On Thursday Nights With "Will & Grace"
And This Is Us scores NBC's prime post–Super Bowl slot.
Heading into the 2017–2018 television season, NBC has a lot to celebrate: The Peacock not only had the year’s biggest new hit in This Is Us, but the combination of the Pearson family, Sunday Night Football, and The Voice put NBC at No. 1 in the highly coveted 18–49 demographic coming off its most-watched season in 10 years.
And the network is relying heavily on This Is Us this fall: Dan Fogelman’s time-tripping family drama scored the highly coveted post–Super Bowl spot on Feb. 4, 2018, and may also air a special Christmas episode. “This Is Us is a show we think is peerless among network television at the moment,” Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment said in early May.
Though NBC originally made it the centerpiece of what they're hoping will be the return of its "must-see TV" Thursdays, the network announced on May 30 that they would move the show back to Tuesday nights. Now, much like it was for the bulk of its initial existence, "must see TV" will be two hours of comedies when it returns on Thursday nights this fall, with Superstore and The Good Place leading into the hotly-anticipated return of Will & Grace at 9 p.m. The recently renewed Great News gets a cush time slot at 9:30, and the enduring Chicago Fire follows at 10 p.m.
In other plum time slot news, freshman series The Brave (about a covert special ops team) will follow The Voice at 10 p.m. on Monday nights. And Tuesdays will kick off with The Voice as usual at 8 p.m., followed by This Is Us and Dick Wolf’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders — an anthology series in the vein of FX’s American Crime Story starring Edie Falco as Leslie Abramson (who defended the brothers in court). It's maintaining its post-This Is Us timeslot, moving with the sophomore series from Thursdays to Tuesdays.
Two of the network’s biggest time slot shifts this fall occur in the 8 p.m hour as The Blacklist kicks off Wednesdays, leading into the successful duo that is Law & Order: SVU and Chicago P.D., and Blindspot moves to Fridays at 8 p.m.
Midseason will see the premieres of returning dramas Chicago Med, Shades of Blue, and the miraculously renewed Timeless — which was canceled on May 10 only to be brought back from the dead three days later. “We heard from fans, the outcry, and we thought, Let’s figure out how to bring it back,” Greenblatt said of the viewers who took to social media to bemoan its axing. “We all love the show creatively and we were hoping for it to have a bigger audience in the fall … We went back to the drawing board in every way. Nothing would make us happier than to see the audience grow.”
Here’s what NBC has coming to TV in the 2017–2018 season:
The Brave (Mondays at 10 p.m.)
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (Tuesdays at 10 p.m.)
Will & Grace (Thursdays at 9 p.m.)
Good Girls (Midseason)
AP Bio (Midseason)
Here's NBC's fall 2017 schedule:
The Voice, 8 p.m. (Returns Sept. 25)
*The Brave, 10 p.m. (Premieres Sept. 25)
The Voice, 8 p.m.
This Is Us, 9 p.m. (Returns Sept. 26)
*Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, 10 p.m. (Premieres Sept. 26)
The Blacklist, 8 p.m. (Returns Sept. 27)
Law & Order: SVU, 9 p.m. (Returns Sept. 27)
Chicago P.D., 10 p.m. (Returns Sept. 27)
Superstore, 8 p.m. (Returns Sept. 28)
The Good Place, 8:30 p.m. (Returns Sept. 20)
*Will & Grace, 9 p.m. (Returns Sept. 28)
Great News, 9:30 p.m. (Returns Sept. 28)
Chicago Fire, 10 p.m. (Returns Sept. 28)
Blindspot, 8 p.m. (Returns Oct. 27)
Dateline, 9 p.m. (Returns Sept. 29)
Dateline Saturday Night Mystery, 8 p.m.
Football Night in America, 7 p.m.
NBC Sunday Night Football, 8:20 p.m.
Note: An asterisk (*) indicates a new show for the 2017–2018 season.
Note: In mid-May every year, the five television broadcast networks — NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and The CW — present their new shows and upcoming schedules to advertisers at events called upfronts. That’s why you see an onslaught of new programming in May, as well as the cancellation of current shows. This post will be continually updated.