Last season, for the first time in a long time, NBC was on top. Much of that was due to The Voice, flagship drama The Blacklist and shows that struck an unexpected chord, like Hannibal. But some of it was because the competition faltered more or less across the board.
Even with its No. 1 slot, though, the network had some retooling to do, and the result is the least consistent slate of new shows this season. It's not that the shows are uniformly bad; they're not uniformly anything. There are funny comedies and unfunny comedies, pulpy dramas and Very Serious Dramas. It feels as if it was developed by at least two different teams, and the process yields shows that will probably appeal (or not) to very different audiences.
As with our previous new-show writeups for ABC, CBS and Fox, these breakdowns are based on the early episodes provided by the networks. Mostly, that just means pilots, and in one case (Bad Judge) not even that. But it's instructive for the advertising community to see what the audience's first glimpse of a show is going to be, as there's enough great material out there these days to make television a medium with near-limitless choice.