Sunday, February 14, 2016

Can Michael J. Fox (and Sean Hayes) save NBC?

NBC kicks off a week of fall schedule announcements by broadcasters with a slate that shuffles all five weeknights and sends Michael J. Fox and Sean P. Hayes in an attempt to save its no longer must-see Thursdays.

Can Michael J. Fox (and Sean Hayes) save NBC?

Betsy Brandt  (left) co-stars with Michael J. Fox in "The Michael J. Fox Show"
Betsy Brandt (left) co-stars with Michael J. Fox in "The Michael J. Fox Show" NBC

Can Michael J. Fox and Sean P. Hayes save Thursdays for NBC?

The network's counting on it.

In an announcement Sunday afternoon, it outlined the plans it will present to advertisers on Monday in New York.

Three new comedies -- "The Michael J. Fox Show," starring Fox as a news anchor who put his work on hold when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's but thinks it might be time to go back to work; "Sean Saves the World, starring the former "Will & Grace" co-star, Hayes; and "Welcome to the Family," a melting-pot comedy starring, among others, Mike O'Malley, "Glee," Mary McCormack, "In Plain Sight," and Ricardo Chavira, "Desperate Housewives"  -- will join "Parks and Recreation" on Thursdays this fall, along with "Parenthood," which is moving to the 10 p.m. slot where so many shows have struggled in recent years. (And what of "Hannibal"? According to NBC, "pickup decisions on 'Celebrity Apprentice' and 'Hannibal' are still to be made in the next few weeks.")

NBC's also slotted three new dramas for fall: "Ironside" (with Blair Underwood as the detective in a wheelchair), "The Blacklist" (starring James Spader as a much-wanted fugitive who agrees to turn himself in and help the government, but with conditions)  and "Dracula" (with Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the title role).

In addition, it's ordered several new series for midseason, including a spinoff of Dick Wolf's "Chicago Fire," "Chicago PD" (though that's one of the shows that, like the returning "Community," doesn't yet have a spot on the schedule).

With Sundays devoted to football, NBC's once again turning to "The Voice" to help launch a new drama, and that drama is "The Blacklist," which will get the time slot that "Revolution" had this season.

Not making the cut for the 2013-14 season (some of them have been gone for awhile): "Smash," "1600 Penn," "The New Normal," "Go On," "Do No Harm," "Animal Practice," "Deception," "Guys With Kids," "Up All Night" and "Whitney."

Plus, "30 Rock" has ended its run and "The Office" will sign off later this week.

Here's what NBC's fall looks like right now (keep in mind that these schedules have a way of changing, especially after networks get a look at what the competition's doing):

(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. – “THE BLACKLIST”
8-9 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser” (New Day and Time)
9-10 p.m. – “The Voice” (New time)
10-11 p.m. – “Chicago Fire” (New Day and Time)
8-9 p.m. – “Revolution” (New Day and Time)
9-10 p.m. – ”Law & Order: SVU”
10-11 p.m. – “IRONSIDE”
8-8:30 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation” (New time)
8:30-9 p.m. – “WELCOME TO THE FAMILY”
9-9:30 p.m. – “SEAN SAVES THE WORLD”
9:30-10 p.m. – “THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood” (New Day and Time)
8-9 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”
10-11 p.m. – “DRACULA”
Encore programming
7:00-8:15 p.m. – “Football Night in America”
8:15-11:30 p.m. – “NBC Sunday Night Football”






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Daily News TV Critic
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