NBC 2015-16 schedule brings back ‘Heroes,’ ‘Coach’

SHARE NBC 2015-16 schedule brings back ‘Heroes,’ ‘Coach’

By David Bauder |Associated Press

NBC is turning to some proven players for next year’s schedule, resurrecting its “Heroes” franchise and bringing back Craig T. Nelson as “Coach.”

The network is also trying the interesting experiment of airing the sitcom “Undateable” live each week. It’s NBC’s only returning comedy. Favorites “The Voice” and “The Blacklist” will be back in the same time slots.

As previously reported, veteran producer Dick Wolf is adding to his Windy City franchise with a medical drama based in Chicago. While another pilot for NBC, “Love Is a Four Letter Word,” was shot in Chicago earlier this year, that show was unmentioned in NBC’s announcement, and Deadline.com reports the network decided to pass on it.

NBC on Sunday became the first of the major broadcast networks to release itsschedule for next season. NBC and Fox present their schedule to advertisers on Monday.

WHAT’S NEW

Fourteen new series, including six comedies, seven dramas and one variety show. Given the year-round nature of TV schedules now, only six will begin with the traditional September start to a new season.

WHAT’S GONE

The comedies “Marry Me,” ”About a Boy,” ”One Big Happy,” ”A to Z” and “Bad Judge” are all cancelled. So are “State of Affairs,” ”Constantine” and “Allegiance.”

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE

The cast and producers of “Undateable” aired a live episode earlier this month, and next season will attempt the high-wire act of doing it each Friday. Networks love live shows, since they are generally DVR-proof. NBC will also present a live production of “The Wiz” next fall and airs “Saturday Night Live” and prime-time pro football games. For a sitcom like “Undateable,” the appeal will be in seeing if a cast can pull it off without flubs.

“Live programming is one more way to make a show undeniable,” said Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman.

PROVEN PLAYERS

Television offers no guarantees, but familiar actors and ideas are the closest thing. That’s why Nelson, whose series “Parenthood” ended this past season, returns to the role he played for nine seasons on “Coach.” In the new version, Hayden Fox is retired but gets back into the action to help his son.

“Heroes” was one of NBC’s few successes during the 2000s, so it is coming back as “Heroes Reborn,” with a similar supernatural premise and new cast, although some original “Heroes” players will occasionally appear. The original show’s creator, Tim Kring, is back.

Few producers have been more dependable for NBC than Wolf, maker of the “Law & Order” franchise. His “Chicago Med” series, a relative to “Chicago P.D.,” was given the go-ahead although, like “Coach,” it will appear sometime in the midseason.

COMEDY DROUGHT

NBC’s record developing comedies in recent years has been abysmal, with the network of “Friends,” ”Seinfeld,” ”Cheers” and “The Office” straining for laughs. Only two comedies made it onto the fall schedule, both on Friday nights, general considered a network graveyard. “Undateable” will be seen on a night when most of its target audience hopes to be out on dates.

VARIETY

Varietyisa moribund TV genre, but NBC will try to bring it back with the versatile Neil Patrick Harris. He’ll star in a Tuesday night show this fall that will feature stunts, skits and musical numbers, based on the British show “Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.”

STAR POWER

Besides Nelson and Harris, NBC’s new series feature boldfaced names like Jennifer Lopez (“Shades of Blue”), Rob Lowe (“You, Me and the End of the World”), Wesley Snipes (“The Player”), Eva Longoria (“Hot & Bothered”), Oliver Platt and S. Epatha Merkerson (“Chicago Med”) and America Ferrara (“Superstore”).

EVENTS

NBC also promised a TV movie based on Dolly Parton’s life and a miniseries, “The Reaper,” about an African-American sniper credited with 33 kills in a 10-day deployment in Afghanistan.

Contributing: Sun-Times reporter Darel Jevens

The Latest
Giving birth is not in the woman’s plan, and it’s non-negotiable, but guys still think they can change her mind.
Peggy Dula’s $3,600 charge was far higher than what her two siblings were charged for their ambulance rides, though they were also in her car during a crash and were taken to the same hospital.
Mary Gonzalez, 81, is helping lead the push to close the polluting scrap-metal shredding operation owned by Sims Metal Management.
Those issuing voter registration and ballot challenges say they are worried about election fraud. Right. If there’s a scam afoot, it’s the goodwill and concern they claim in the guise of “election integrity.”
Blazingly original Netflix film blends music, narrative and trippy visuals to depict an artist’s search for romance.