NBC's new fall schedule? Well, not really new, but there's more coming

By Mike Hughes

Staring at NBC's
new-season plans, a skeptic might ask: “New what?”

The fall line-up has
exactly three new shows ... one of which is a revival of an old show.

Then again, NBC sees
that as a good thing: Its current season worked; few tweaks were

Besides, networks
avoid letting their best new shows get buried in a fall pile-up. This
past year, NBC introduced two mid-season shows -- “Great News”
and “Taken” -- that will be back this fall; it had two
others,”Trial & Error” and “Chicago Justice,” that are
still undecided.

For the fall, its
lone new shows are:

-- The return of
“Will & Grace,” with the original cast, but only for 12

-- “The Brave,”
with Mike Vogel (“Pan Am,” “Under the Dome”) leading special
military operations.

-- “Law &
Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers,” which replays a
high-profile 1989 murder case and 1994 trial, with Edie Falco leading
the defense team.

That means producer
Dick Wolf will have four shows this fall – two with “Chicago”
in the title and two with “Law & Order”; he'll add “Chicago
Med” and possibly “Chicago Justice” later in the season.

There were no
surprise cancellations, once “Timeless” got a last-second
reprieve to return at mid-season. “Grimm” had already finished
its final season; also not returning are”Powerless,” “Emerald
City” and “The Blacklist: Redemption.”

Mostly, NBC merely
shifted things around, including moving “This Is Us” and “The
Blacklist” to tough, 8 p.m. spots. The fall line-up is:

-- Monday: “The
Voice,” 8 p.m.; “The Brave,” 10.

-- Tuesday: “The
Voice,” 8; “Superstore,” 9; “The Good Place,” 9:30;
“Chicago Fire,” 10.

-- Wednesday: “The
Blacklist,” 8; “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” 9;
“Chicago PD,” 10.

-- Thursday: “Will
& Grace,” 8; “Great News,” 8:30; “This is Us,” 9; “Law
& Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers,” 10.

-- Friday:
“Blindspot,” 8; “Taken,” 9; “Dateline,” 10.

-- Saturday: Reruns,
including “Saturday Night Live” at 10.

-- Sunday: Football,
8:20 p.m. ET, with preview at 7.

Then come those
mid-season shows. Returning ones include “Time After Time,”
“Little Big Shots,” “the Wall,” and possibly “Trial &
Error” and “Chicago Justice.” There are also the summer shows,
led by “America's Got Talent,” “American Ninja Warrior” and
the offbeat “Better Late Than Never.”

The new shows aimed
at mid-season are:

-- “Rise,” from
Jason Katims, who had cross-generation success with “Parenthood”
and “Friday Night Lights.” This is based loosely on the true
story of a high school drama teacher; it stars Josh Radnor of “How
I Met Your Mother,” Rosie Perez and Auli'i Cravalho, the teen
“Moana” star.

-- “Good Girls,”
about three suburban women who rob a local supermarket, then face the

-- “Reverie,” in
which a college professor (Sarah Shahi of “Fairly Legal” and
“Person of Interest”) helps people live their reams via virtual

-- Two comedies. In
“A.P. Bio,” Glenn Howerton (“It's Always Sunny in
Philadelphia”) is a self-serving biology teacher. In “Champions”
-- co-created by Mindy Kaling, who will also have a supporting role
-- a gym owner learns he has a teenage son.

-- And lots of
reality shows. Neal Patrick Harris hosts “Genius Junior”; Ellen
Degeneres – who already produces the smart-kids show “Little Big
Shots,” has “Ellen's Game of Games.” Also, “The Awesome Show”
has producers Chris Hardwick and Mark Burnett viewing tech
breakthroughs; “The Handmade Project,” from producers Amy Poehler
and Nick Offerman, views personal craftiness and creativity.