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The 2013-14 Upfront

NBC Breaks a Lot of Eggs to Make its 2013-14 Omelet

Sweeping changes for the new broadcast season

Sean Saves The World Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC

Since ER flatlined in 2009, NBC’s Thursday night lineup has been the Drunk Uncle of prime time television. But in a radical move to reclaim its movie-night mojo, the Peacock is planning a major overhaul of the three-hour block.

Beginning this fall, the criminally underwatched Parks and Recreation will lead off NBC’s Thursday night roster, leading into three new sitcoms and the well-received drama, Parenthood.

At 8:30 p.m., the Sony Pictures Television sitcom Welcome to the Family takes the spot vacated by the canceled Up All Night. Starring Mike O'Malley, Mary McCormack, Richardo Chavira and Ella Rae Peck, WTF is a culture-clash comedy about Anglo and Latino families who’ve been thrown together in the wake of an unanticipated pregnancy. 

At 9 p.m., Will & Grace alum Sean Hayes will carry Sean Saves the World, a comedy in which a divorced gay dad goes overboard in his attempts to be BFF with his ‘tween daughter. Closing out the two-hour comedy block is the self-explanatory Michael J. Fox show.

After four seasons of laboring away in the Tuesday 10 p.m. slot, Parenthood this fall will get a crack at NBC’s Thursday night showcase. Once the home of ratings monsters ER, L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues, NBC’s Thursday 10 p.m. slot has in recent years been a graveyard of sorts, hosting a series of flops that includes Prime Suspect, Awake, The Firm, Do No Harm and the freshly-culled newsmagazine, Rock Center with Brian Williams.

Given the parameters of the new Thursday night schedule, Season 5 of the cult fave Community will be delayed until at least mid-season, although the show is nowhere to be found on NBC’s official roster.

The sweeping changes don’t stop there. Revolution is being evicted from the plush post-The Voice lead-out slot, moving to Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. in deference to the new James Spader drama, The Blacklist.

NBC still believes in broadcast’s beleaguered 10 p.m. slot; as such, the Peacock has restocked every nightly anchor slot with new drama fare or a returning series that has been shifted to a new time slot. The Dick Wolf drama Chicago Fire will slide back a day to Tuesday nights, while the Blair Underwood vehicle Ironside (a reboot of the badass 1967-75 Raymond Burr series of the same name) rolls into the Wednesday night vacancy.

On Friday nights, actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) will endeavor to explain how a guy who can’t see himself in a mirror manages to remain such a dapper gent. The limited series Dracula follows all-new episodes of third-year genre series Grimm.

NBC has invested in so much new content that it will hold a number of high-profile premieres until mid-season. Among the newbies set to make a splash after the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are the J.J. Abrams drama Believe and a pair of freshman Tuesday comedies (About a Boy and The Family Guide).

Once the top-rated Sunday Night Football juggernaut cleans out its locker for the winter, NBC will begin airing the Dermot Mulroney-Gillian Anderson Beltway potboiler, Crisis.

NBC will present its formal upfront pitch to media buyers and advertisers tomorrow (Monday, May 13). Its complete fall and midseason schedule is as follows. New series are in bold:

FALL
MONDAY
8-10 p.m. — The Voice
10-11 p.m. — The Blacklist
TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. — The Biggest Loser
9-10 p.m. — The Voice
10-11 p.m. — Chicago Fire
WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m. — Revolution
9-10 p.m. — Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10-11 p.m. — Ironside
THURSDAY
8-8:30 p.m. — Parks and Recreation
8:30-9 p.m. — Welcome to the Family
9-9:30 p.m. — Sean Saves the World
9:30-10 p.m. — The Michael J. Fox Show
10-11 p.m. — Parenthood
FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. — Dateline NBC
9-10 p.m. — Grimm
10-11 p.m. — Dracula
SATURDAY
Encore programming
SUNDAY 
7- 8:15 p.m. — Football Night in America
8:15-11:30 p.m. — Sunday Night Football

MIDSEASON
MONDAY
8-10 p.m. — The Voice
10-11 p.m. — The Blacklist
TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. — The Voice
9-9:30 p.m. — About a Boy
9:30 p.m.-10 p.m. — The Family Guide
10-11 p.m. — Chicago Fire
WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m. — Revolution
9-10 p.m. — Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10-11 p.m. — Ironside
THURSDAY
8-8:30 p.m. — Parks and Recreation
8:30-9 p.m. — Welcome to the Family
9-9:30 p.m. — Sean Saves the World
9:30-10 p.m. — The Michael J. Fox Show
10-11 p.m. — Parenthood
FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. — Dateline NBC
9-10 p.m. — Grimm
10-11 p.m. — Crossbones
SATURDAY
Encore programming
SUNDAY
7-8 p.m. — Dateline NBC
8-9 p.m. — American Dream Builders
9-10 p.m. — Believe
10-11 p.m. — Crisis
 

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