What can NBC do to survive?

NBC relies on Dick Wolf and the US adaptation of "ESC"

The past season was anything but easy for the US networks: Even if you are still arguing with the market researchers from Nielsen about measurement errors, it is certain that linear TV usage in the USA is almost in free fall. Streaming services are digging the channels out of the water here even more than before in Germany. Of course, all media groups respond to this with their own streaming offers, and many broadcast series have long since found a significant or even predominant proportion of their viewers only afterwards.

Nonetheless, operators of linear broadcasters are faced with the urgent question: How do you use the linear transmission path, which still earns a considerable part of the advertising pie, in the best possible way in this situation. At NBC, the answer is even stronger than before: Dick Wolf. He is the most prominent producer of procedural franchises in the USA - i.e. several series from the same universe with largely completed episodes, which can also support each other with repeatedly interspersed crossover episodes.

This has been going on for a long time with the Chicago block produced by Dick Wolf on Wednesday evening, on which "Chicago Med", "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D." run directly one behind the other and with an average of well over seven million viewers, they have turned out to be a rock solidarity with sinking TV ranges. This principle is now to be repeated on Thursday by paving the entire evening with a Dick Wolf franchise that was once beautifully almost written off: Grouped around the classic "Law & Order: SVU", which will be in its 23rd season in autumn In addition to the recently launched offshoot "Law & Order: Organized Crime" (with the "SVU" veteran Christopher Meloni), there is also the new series "Law & Order: For the Defense", which changes perspectives for the first time in the franchise and has defense lawyers in puts the focus.

So Thursday is now also occupied with three crime procedures and is now completely without comedy - just like the entire autumn line-up of NBC. It is the first time in decades that there is nothing to laugh about in the NBC program in autumn - the station with the "Must-See-TV" Thursday was like no other network for this genre. But those in charge emphasize that the area has not been given up. But you want to use the environment of large sports events to generate attention for the half-hour. Around the Summer Olympics, they want to show the final season of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" shortly, which will be removed from the classic season for the first time. The new comedy series will then be saved for the time around the "Super Bowl," which NBC will broadcast next year.

After all, they have already ordered two new comedy series: "American Auto" is a new workplace comedy from the makers of "Superstore", but is now based in the automotive sector, while "Grand Crew" is the new production of the heads behind "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" about a clique that always meets in a bar in Los Angeles. "Kenan", "Young Rock" and "Mr. Mayor" will continue from this season. In addition to the aforementioned "Law & Order: For the Defense", there are two more new drama series in the program for the fall, both of which will be shown on Monday and Tuesday evenings after "The Voice".

The lifespan of "The Voice" is to be extended after the recently significantly reduced ratings by not showing two seasons a year, but limiting oneself to one. Instead, in the non-fictional area, there is the adaptation of the "Eurovision Song Contest" as the "American Song Contest", in which the US states compete against each other and which takes place over qualifying rounds, semi-finals and live finals. It will be seen sometime in early or spring 2022. Jimmy Fallon is also launching the primetime music variety game show “That's my Jam” based on some segments of his “Tonight Show”. In addition, "America's Got Talent" gets a new offshoot: The "Extreme" version is supposed to show particularly daring and crazy stunts and performances.

In "La Brea" a huge sinkhole opens up in L.A., devours hundreds of people and buildings and pulls them into a mysterious, primeval land. It's more emotional with "Ordinary Joe", which is described as a "heartfelt, life-affirming drama" and which is apparently intended to take on the legacy of "This is us" to some extent. "This is us" will end with the coming sixth season as planned from the start, but the final episodes will be withheld until the beginning of 2022. The autumn lineup is complemented by "New Amsterdam" and "The Blacklist". NBC has not yet made a decision on the whereabouts of the series "Debris", "Manifest", "Good Girls" and "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist".

20:00The VoiceThe VoiceChicago MedL&O: For the DefenseThe blacklistfootball
21:00La BreaChicago FireL&O: SVUDateline NBC
22:00Ordinary JoeNew AmsterdamChicago P.D.L&O: Organized Crime

The new comedy series

"American Auto": The new workplace comedy, behind which "Superstore" creator Justin Spitzer stands, takes place in the auto city of Detroit, where the executives of Payne Motors are at a crossroads: Either they adapt to the changing times - or they threaten them just like their previous products the "junkyard". In any case, the company is being shaken up by the new managing director, who has leadership qualities, experience and intelligence - but has absolutely no idea about cars. Fortunately, she has some of the best minds in the industry on her team - when they are not in the middle of an argument or outsmarting each other. The cast includes Ana Gasteyer, Jon Barinholtz, Harriet Dyer, Humphrey Ker, Michael B. Washington, Tye White and X Mayo.

"Grand Crew": Phil Augusta Jackson and Dan Goor, the two masterminds behind "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", present "Grand Crew", a comedy that revolves around a group of young people in Los Angeles who try to get through the ups and downs of the To navigate life and love and always meet in their favorite bar to discuss things over wine. The "crew" includes a hopeless romantic, a daredevil, an inconspicuous genius, a careerist and a married man who is just happy to be out of the dating game. The crew is played by Nicole Byer, Justin Cunningham, Aaron Jennings, Echo Kellum and Carl Tart.

The new drama series

"La Brea": Here NBC has the friends of mystery and adventure in mind. A huge sinkhole opens up in the middle of Los Angeles, drawing hundreds of people and buildings into the depths. Those drawn into it suddenly find themselves in a mysterious, dangerous, primeval land where they depend on each other to survive. The rest of the world, meanwhile, is trying to understand what happened. The focus is on a family that was torn apart by the disaster and that is now trying to decipher the inexplicable events in order to find their way back together.

"Law & Order: For the Defense": The youngest offspring of the three decades old "Law & Order" franchise dares to change perspective: While until now the perspective of the law enforcement authorities has always been taken, it is now about the defense lawyers. As is typical for L&O, there is also one case of the week here every week. Dick Wolf works here with Carol Mendelsohn, who was responsible for one of the other major franchise series with "CSI" for years.

"Ordinary Joe": At the heart of the series, described as "heartfelt" and "life-affirming," is Joe Kimbreau, who upon graduating from college is faced with a life-changing decision. Three threads are told in parallel, how his life would develop depending on the decision after that night, how the life and career of Joe and the people around him differ - and what remains the same. It stars James Wolk, Natalie Martinez, Elizabeth Lail and Charlie Barnett.

"The thing about Pam": Two-time Oscar winner Renée Zellweger plays the lead role in the true crime drama, which is designed as a miniseries. What looks like a simple murder case sets in motion a chain of events that uncover both a false conviction and a diabolical plot involving a woman named Pam Hupp. This fictional reappraisal is intended to throw a new perspective on the story , which NBC has already accompanied extensively in "Dateline NBC".