NBC’s 2016-17 season lived and died by two things: football and This Is Us. While the NFL dominated its schedule and its blockbuster family drama caused the nation’s tear ducts to overflow on a weekly basis, NBC was especially strong, a network with a solid foundation of Dick Wolf shows that was ornamented by the huge ratings of football, The Voice, and This Is Us and the critical adoration for The Good Place and Superstore. However, the year 2017 hasn’t been as kind to NBC, which has seen The Celebrity Apprentice crater and didn’t find a midseason success, at least in terms of ratings. With Chicago Justice doing only alright business and The Voice failing to produce a breakout hit, NBC doesn’t look as invincible as it did earlier this season, so will they be able to regain their momentum once their heaviest hitters are all on the schedule at the same time? Or will their fortunes align more closely with their spotty-at-best midseason, huge scheduling pieces be damned?
Here to figure that out are KSiteTV Editor-in-Chief Craig Byrne and Contributing Editor Shilo Adams, who are back for another year of trying to read the broadcast tea leaves and figure out what each network’s fall schedule could look like. Though neither claims to be an expert nor do they have access to insider information, they watch enough TV, read enough of the trades, and pay enough attention to scheduling to be able to put forth an informed fantasy schedule meant to be an amalgamation of what we think could, should, and will happen. If you don’t see a show you like mentioned, or a show you like gets mentioned disparagingly, take note that we don’t mean anything by it. We’re just trying to figure these schedules out. And, of course, inevitably we’ll have shows on our schedules that may not already be picked up, and may not even live to see another day… but that’s the fun of this, right?
CRAIG: 7:00 Football Night in America; 8:15 Sunday Night Football
SHILO: 7:00 Football Night in America; 8:15 Sunday Night Football
SHILO: Ratings for this past NFL season were down 9% during the regular season and 6% during the playoffs. Granted, in an age where sports and live events are becoming that much more important to broadcasters, the NFL was still an invaluable part of the NBC schedule and the numbers it put up were still very strong. But if the trend doesn’t reverse itself next season, or if it’s possibly down by even more if the NFL doesn’t move to stem the declines, I’m curious how the league’s standing on broadcast could change and whether Thursday Night Football, which houses poor matchups and arguably dilutes Sunday‘s impact, could become a solely NFL Network property again.
CRAIG: Football keeps us (and NBC) from having to worry about new programming in the Fall. As always, it + The Voice + Chicago Anything make it hard to find space or room for anything else, but it’s a thing that is there. I don’t have much more to say beyond that.