NBC reviving 'must-see TV' Thursdays with 'Will & Grace'

Carla Harmon
May 15, 2017

Ms. Kelly's Sunday night show will premiere this summer for several weeks but has no spot yet in the regular TV season.

NBC is reviving its "must-see TV" Thursday franchise this fall with the revival of "Will & Grace", and by moving its heartwarming hit "This is Us" to the same night.

The network has had some trouble finding a "must-see" show to fill that primetime slot, so the move isn't a surprising one.

NBC has lined up four reality series for later: "The Awesome Show", which celebrates scientific advances; "Ellen's Game of Games" with Ellen DeGeneres super-sizing games from her daytime show; "Genius Junior", which salutes smarts kids and features Neil Patrick Harris as host; and "The Handmade Project", a contest about "the creativity and craftiness in all of us", NBC said. In the upcoming season, audiences will not only get a new night to enjoy the hit series, but the show will also get the prime slot after the Super Bowl.

The show will be followed on Thursdays by the Will & Grace reboot, Great News, and Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.

Greenblatt sounded conflicted about how much NBC will push the "must-see TV" concept promotionally.

This Is Us' move to Thursdays won't be without some obstacles, especially once football games start broadcasting on that same night. NBC just released its fall schedule (below) which saw many key changes to the network's lineup.

NBC will present its full fall schedule to advertisers in NY on Monday, kicking off broadcast Upfront presentations. Greenblatt said Fey will appear periodically on air next season, too.

"We picked up more returning shows because they're good".

The network has slotted military drama The Brave for the 10 p.m. slot on Mondays, leading out of The Voice.

At 8:30 p.m., NBC will have the second season of recently launched freshman comedy Great News, which will see executive producer Tina Fey taking an on-camera role. If the resumption goes well, NBC hopes there will be more than the 12 episodes now on order, said Robert Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman. "In the past conventional wisdom has been "don't put anything on Fridays" but we like these shows and wanted to find room for them", Greenblatt said. Seeing the viewer reaction to the cancellation, NBC execs said, "let's figure out how to bring it back", he said.

Tuesday has the comedies Superstore and The Good Place, leading out of The Voice, and prime concludes with Chicago Fire.

"The Blacklist" will move to Wednesday night at 8 p.m. joining "Law & Order: SVU" and "Chicago P.D".

New comedies include "A.P. Bio", about an Advanced Placement biology teacher who makes it clear he won't be teaching biology; and "Champions", about a gym owner with no ambition who finds out he has a teenage son.

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