Breaking Down the 2015 TV Upfronts: NBC

by Matthew Thompson

As Upfronts approached and I saw what was coming back to the various broadcast networks, I came to realize how little I watch that is still on NBC. Long-time favorites like Parenthood and Parks are now over and the network even cancelled the other shows I had been tuning into this past season (About a Boy, Marry Me, and A to Z). Even though I rather liked the first season of About a Boy, I won’t exactly mourn the demise of those three shows, but it leaves Hannibal as the lone series I still watch on the network. So the question is: would that change with the new series NBC was showcasing at the Upfronts?


Blindspot – Pictured: Jamie Alexander as Jane Doe – (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

For those of us watching the news from home, NBC was a little light on delivering trailers at all let alone ones worth getting excited over. Of the four we got, I guess I was most interested in Blindspot and People are Talking. Blindspot seems like it might be a fun action-centric show whose mythology could be an intriguing extra layer for the series or go completely off the rails into needlessly complicated conspiracy town. People are Talking won me over simply by having some fairly humorous bits in the trailer. Mark-Paul Gosselaar is a funny guy and the rest of the cast comes off well enough, so it seems worth a look for me even though I don’t tend to like multi-cams these days and I might have a hard time not thinking of this Grantland piece as I watch the pilot.

We also got a look at The Player (another action romp starring Wesley Snipes) and Heartbreaker (whose trailer did nothing for me except perhaps make me miss the underrated Hunted a bit more than usual). And they have a couple other shows debuting this Fall, a new variety show starring Neil Patrick Harris and the return of Heroes, with a new limited series subtitled Reborn. Like just about every other Heroes fan, I went from loving the show to begrudgingly watching it in its later years, so I have no idea what to expect from this new mini-series. Regardless it is the one show they are adding this coming season that I will definitely be watching so I’m hoping for the best.


Heroes: Reborn – Pictured: Zachary Levi as Luke Collins – (Photo by: Christos Kalohoridis/NBC)

It is odd to see the network with such a long tradition of great comedies have barely any even on the schedule which has become overwhelmingly drama-centric. The only returning comedy Undateable will actually be going with an all live season. This plays to NBC’s desire for more live events. It is an intriguing idea (I checked out one of their recent live eps to see what the fuss was about and was mildly amused), but I’m not sure if the novelty would wear off with a whole season of them. Outside of this experiment, they will be looking to new comedies to help them try to gain a foothold in this space. They picked up quite a few series that are being held off for midseason including the return of Coach. The most promising of the bunch to me seems to be Hot & Bothered, a single cam starring Eva Longoria that focuses on the antics that go on behind-the-scenes of a popular Spanish telenovela, but Jane the Virgin’s Rogelia De La Vega may have single-handedly made this obsolete. On the drama side of their midseason additions, I guess I will keep an eye on Game of Silence, but I am far from sold without more info to go on.

After the cancellation axe fell, NBC had the least shows left that I watch of the five broadcast networks. With the weakest slate of new shows coming next season among those networks, I don’t see that changing. I’ll be back with takes on the other four networks’ showings within the next week along with an overview included in the final one. You can check out trailers for NBC’s new Fall shows and be unimpressed for yourself here. Thanks for reading!


3 comments on “Breaking Down the 2015 TV Upfronts: NBC

  1. I’m looking forward to Heroes Reborn as well. If it can capture some of the enjoyment from the year of Heroes, it would be nice. The only other show on NBC I watch is Grimm and the other offerings for next season doesn’t make it appear I’ll be watching much more.

    • Yeah hopefully Heroes Reborn can deliver. I read your blog on Grimm and was surprised it was four seasons in. I guess I kind of missed the boat on that one. It is hard to get into these shows sometimes when you are so far behind, but that one sounded interesting.

      • There are so many good shows I have yet to watch (Breaking Bad. Really I haven’t watched that one at all yet) so I’m with you on finding it hard to catch everything. Grimm is a fun show – it does have its issues here and there, but overall fun and entertaining.

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