Analyzing the 2019 Fall Schedule: NBC Analyzing the 2019 Fall Schedule: NBC
KSiteTV's Craig Byrne and Shilo Adams begin their series of fall scheduling analysis articles by looking at the state of NBC. Analyzing the 2019 Fall Schedule: NBC


First up is NBC, which will be fielding arguably the steadiest of the five broadcast schedules. The lone change Monday through Wednesday is new legal drama Bluff City Law, about a father and daughter working in the same Memphis firm; last year’s fall Monday drama Manifest is set to take over for the series come midseason. With Friday also low-key with the combination of The Blacklist and two-hour Datelines, Thursday is the night NBC is trying to makeover. Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Will & Grace are both benched and in their stead are musical comedy Perfect Harmony and immigration-centered Sunnyside. Will either comedy become the next NBC comedy mainstay?

2019-2020 Scheduling Predictions Articles: NBC | FOX | ABC | CBS | The CW

2019-2020 Scheduling Analysis Articles: FOX | ABC | CBS | The CW

Trailers: Bluff City Law | Perfect Harmony | Sunnyside

CRAIG: 8:00 The Voice; 10:00 Lincoln
SHILO: 8:00 The Voice; 10:00 Emergence
ACTUAL SCHEDULE: 8:00 The Voice; 10:00 Bluff City Law

CRAIG: We’re not talking about Sunday because NBC will have football, and then on Monday, we had only one hour of real estate to think about. And… neither of us got it right.

Bluff City Law may have had my least favorite of the three trailers NBC put out. I see some of where they’re going with it, and I actually like that they’re going with the now-NBC This Is Us type formula of “lawyer show through the lens of a family,” but I think I might’ve wanted to see more of that family background. Jimmy Smits’ accent in the trailer is a bit unexpected.

I also am not sure about the lead-in. NBC has often had success [or a least done okay] when something a bit big and genre has followed The Voice on Mondays, and by genre I don’t necessarily mean sci-fi, but some kind of action and excitement. It’s not the worst idea to go broad; I mean, look at how long Matlock was on the air.

On that note, where’s my Young Matlock series? Next season? So far, though, I’m unimpressed.

SHILO: I assumed that NBC would be encouraged by the fact that they could get something sampled in the way that Manifest was and again attempt something with a splashy premise. But instead of doing something serialized and distinctly marketable like Emergence or Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, or leaning into Lincoln‘s strong cast and connection to The Bone Collector, or developing something that resembled The Blacklist and Blindspot‘s ability to thread episodic storytelling into a tense thriller format, we get what seems like a fairly flat, conservative legal procedural in Bluff City Law. On the one hand, Jimmy Smits is a pro’s pro and NBC is at least trying to utilize the family themes and emotional heft of This Is Us in its procedurals; on the other, this feels like a repeat of The Brave, which didn’t have a big enough premise to cut through the cluttered TV landscape or hold on to enough of The Voice’s lead-in. I understand NBC feeling a little burned by how hard Manifest dropping after its stellar debut, but I think they overcorrected and will have the opposite problem next season – a low but steady show that can’t get sampled.

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KSiteTV Staff

KSiteTV Staff

"God'll get you for that, Walter."