Upfronts: NBC Moves 'The Blacklist,' Welcomes Katherine Heigl Back to TV

NBC is offering its upfront presentation this morning, but we've got their new fall schedule nice and early.

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Television upfronts week kicks off this morning with a presentation from NBC at the Javits Center. Read our live blog of the event below.

The network revealed its schedule yesterday, spreading their new assets around the week. After killing off a large swath of their shows last week, NBC is now trying to rebuild with some flashy dramas (a Homeland/Scandal hybrid starring Katherine Heigl, for instance) and pedigreed comedies (Marry Me from the Happy Endings crew). It's also been announced that Parenthood and Parks and Recreation will each be playing out their final seasons for 13 episodes.

The big move for next season involves their freshman hit The Blacklist, which will stay on Mondays at 10pm until mid-season. A post-Super Bowl airing in February will then lead to The Blacklist moving to Thursdays at 9 p.m.

Fall Schedule

  8:00 p 8:30 p 9:00 p 9:30 p 10:00 p 10:30 p
Monday The Voice The Blacklist/State of Affairs (Nov. 17)
Tuesday The Voice Marry Me About a Boy Chicago Fire
Wednesday The Mysteries of Laura Law & Order SVU Chicago P.D.
Thursday The Biggest Loser Bad Judge A to Z Parenthood
Friday Dateline NBC Grimm Constantine
Saturday Encore programming
Sunday NBC Sunday Night Football

Live Blog

12:50 And we end on the promo for Katherine Heigl's State of Affairs. Stay tuned later today for Fox!

12:43 NBC is doing an online series prior to the Heroes Reborn launch. We forgot that Heroes Reborn was happening.

12:40 The trailer for the new Tina Fey/Robert Carlock show—The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, starring Ellie Kemper as a woman recently rescued from an apocalypse cult—gets some big laughs. "This is a show about the strength  of the human spirit," Greenblatt says. The trailer also features Jane Krakowski playing an overly self involved woman.

12:35 Now the reel for Odyssey, which looks like it has a lot going on.

12:32 NBC is debuting A.D. from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey on Easter, hoping for some of those Bible-style ratings. "This is Game of Thrones meets The Borgias meets The Bible," Burnett says in a sizzle reel.

12:27 On to midseason. The network is launching Allegiance after Parenthood ends, giving it a prime post-Blacklist spot. Allegiance is about former Russian spies, essentially The Americans in middle age played by Hope Davis and Scott Cohen. They now have to turn their son, a U.S. federal agent.

12:21 We're into the sports phase of the presentation. It's a big year for NBC, which has the Super Bowl. Following the game, the network is airing the start of a two-part Blacklist, hopefully boosting it in its new time slot.

12:15 Ben Feldman from Mad Men, now in A to Z, is here. Presumably he has both nipples intact.

12:12 The room was fairly silent throughout the Bad Judge trailer.

12:01 Greenblatt says they referenced Happy Endings, leading into the Marry Me promo. Translation: Too bad, ABC. Watch promos below.

12:00 We're into new programming. Greenblatt focuses on: "Stability in the fall, more and more events throughout the year, and the midseason move of The Blacklist

11:52 Fallon comes out. "We've got The Voice, we've got The Blacklist, we've got reruns of The Voice and The Blacklist," he jokes about NBC's state. He segues into superlatives. Some examples, follow. James Spader is "Sexiest Inspector Gadget."  Adam Levine is "Most likely to be nicknamed 'American Idol But with Chairs.'" Nick Cannon is"Black Ryan Seacrest." Carson Daly is "Even Whiter Ryan Seacrest." He then does them for NBC execs. The crowd seems to love that even more. Greenblatt? "Most likely to Star in NBC's Newest Show 'Orange Is the New Pale.'" 

11:50 Greenblatt touts SNL's 40th anniversary special as one of the big events the network is excited for. It airs in February. Next up: the Fallon love.

11:44 Greenblatt says that NBC just closed a deal for a live Music Man. Greenblatt jokes that Yaccarino will play Peter in the live Peter Pan.

11:43 A video featuring The Voice coaches, including new coaches Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, prominently features Adam Levine's terrifyingly bleached hair. "We love buttloads of money," Blake Shelton says. Next up: lots of love for The Blacklist. A reel features Spader speaking to the upfront audience in character as Raymond Reddington. This is aimed right at the upfronts crowd and is basically one long inside joke. Reddington's targets are media buyers. His last target is "The Ginger." You know, Greenblatt. 

11:35 Greenblatt says the network now thinks of the schedule as continuous all the way through late night, and also, as many are, thinking of the schedule year round.

11:30 After some cheerleading from Linda Yaccarino, NBC's president of advertising sales, the main event, Bob Greenblatt, comes out. “We’re number one you’ve heard it a lot of times, so get ready to hear it a lot more,” he says.

11:20 Seth Meyers emerges to do some joking. "It's great to be here at 11 a.m. or as Kathie Lee and Hoda think of it: last call." He thanks the audience for coming to "what could have just have easily been covered in a mass email." And, thank goodness, he says what we were all thinking: why is this event being held in the Javits Center, a terrible venue: "If Jacob Javits was alive today I think he'd say, 'So Radio City was booked?'" 

Though he does jab the network—"We're here to celebrate the upfronts: NBC's longest running show"—but ultimately goes positive as it's not all dire for NBC this year. Meyers mentions the success of NBC's Sound of Music"Give it up for NBC's hot new writers: Rogers and Hammerstein," he says.  

Not all his jokes land: "The Blacklist is about the people Donald Sterling doesn't want to come to LA Clippers games." He takes a self-mocking bow. 

Meyers stint ends with a bit with Armisen about Armisen's (fake) new NBC show: Hospital  on a Trolley.

11:11 a.m. And we're off! The first sizzle reel we get is set to "Applause."

10:58 We should point out that last year The Roots were NBC's house band for the upfronts, but it seems they have been relieved of those duties after graduating to The Tonight Show.

10:48 Somehow it just seems like Fred Armisen is too cool for this, but the Peacock is a cruel master.

10:43 a.m. People are taking their seats at the Javits Center, as Fred Armisen's Late Night with Seth Meyers band plays.


State of Affairs


A to Z 

Bad Judge

Marry Me

The Mysteries of Laura

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.