NBC Sets Mid-Season Slate: New Tina Fey Comedy, ‘Powerless’, ‘Chicago Justice’, ‘Blacklist’ Spinoff and More
As network TV heads into holiday-season hibernation, NBC is looking to shake things up in the new year with a mid-season slate that could benefit big-time from its already established hits.
Up first is the Peacock net’s entry into the superhero scene. Powerless, an office-place sitcom set in the world populated by by DC Comics crimefighters and villains takes off on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 8:30/7:30c after following Superstore, the comedy you really should be watching. A few weeks later on Thursday, Feb. 23, The Blacklist will step out of its 10/9c slot for eight weeks to make room for the Ryan Eggold-led spinoff, The Blacklist: Redemption. On April 20, Spader and mothership series return with a two-hour episode.
Tuesdays will also look a little different. On March 7, after a 90-minute telecast of The Voice, the net unveils the court-room mockumentary Trial & Error with five-time Emmy Award winner John Lithgow at 9:30/8:30c. The following week, it will resume with back-to-back episodes beginning at 9/8c. Once that show wraps its first season on April 25, the cable-news spoof Great News from 30 Rock‘s Emmy-winning triumvirate of Tracey Wigfield, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock will take over the 9-to-10 block with double episodes.
And finally, Sundays are getting a few tweaks beginning on March 5. That night, the Steve Harvey-hosted Little Big Shots returns at 8/7c, followed by the premiere of Dick Wolf’s 147th Chicago-based drama, Chicago Justice, at 9/8c, and the second season of Jennifer Lopez’s Shades of Blue at 10/9c.
Below are network’s official descriptions of the new lineup:
POWERLESS — Thursday, Feb. 2, 8:30/7:30c
In a world where humanity must cope with the collateral damage of Super Heroes and Super-Villains, Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) begins her first day as Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer. Full of confidence and big ideas, Emily quickly learns that her expectations far exceed those of her new boss (Alan Tudyk) and officemates, so it will be up to her to lead the team toward their full potential and the realization that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.
Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk and Ron Funches also star.
Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, Len Goldstein, Marc Buckland and Dean Lorey are executive producers of Powerless. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and is based on the characters from DC.
THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION — Thursday, Feb. 23, 10/9c
In this thrilling new spinoff, the world’s most elusive criminals from Red’s infamous list come together to form an elite mercenary team as they try to regain their self-worth after a lifetime of inflicting damage on the world. Seeking redemption for their past transgressions, this new group solves problems governments don’t dare touch. Blacklist undercover operative Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) joins the team’s brilliant and cunning chief, Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen), as well as lethal assassin and Tom nemesis Matias Solomon (Edi Gathegi), as they aim to be a force for good and right dangerous wrongs. Along with highly skilled members Nez Rowan (Tawny Cypress) and hacker Dumont (Adrian Martinez), they will undertake seemingly impossible missions — all in the hopes of repairing their damaged souls.
Jon Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath and David Amann serve as writers and executive producers. John Fox and John Davis also executive produce. Co-executive producer John Terlesky directs. “The Blacklist: Redemption” was created by Bokenkamp, Eisendrath, Lukas Reiter and J.R. Orci. The series is produced by John Eisendrath Productions, Flatwater Scribe, Davis Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television and Universal Television.
LITTLE BIG SHOTS — Sunday, March 5, 8/7c
Little Big Shots, which showcases the world’s most extraordinarily fun and talented kids, features two of the biggest names in comedy — executive producers Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Harvey. Harvey hosts the family-friendly series that celebrates phenomenal kids and goes toe to toe with them in hilarious conversations and interviews.
Ranging from pint-sized dancers and amazing athletes to gifted singers and musicians, these engaging young performers will charm and delight viewers. This is not a competition but a funny feel-good show that celebrates the uniqueness of children. Gifted young performers from around the globe will awe the nation with their talents in this addictively fun series that families can watch and enjoy together.
Little Big Shots is executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey, Jeff Kleeman, Gerald Washington, Robin Ashbrook, Alison Holloway, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner. The series is produced by Warner Horizon Television, East 112th Street Productions and A Very Good Production.
CHICAGO JUSTICE — Sunday, March 5, 9/8c
Powerhouse creator Dick Wolf delivers a captivating new installment to the hit Chicago franchise. Just like their brethren in the Chicago P.D., the State’s Attorney’s dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators navigate heated city politics and controversy head-on, while fearlessly pursuing justice. As they take on the city’s high-stakes and often media-frenzied cases, they must balance public opinion, power struggles within the system and their unwavering passion for the law.
At the center of the show is prosecutor Peter Stone (Philip Winchester), the ambitious Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau. Relentless in his quest for justice, it’s more than a job, it’s a purpose. Son of renowned New York City District Attorney Ben Stone (from Law & Order), Stone is shooting at a target that only he can see. This often puts him in direct conflict with Mark Jefferies (Carl Weathers), the Cook County State’s Attorney who sees the world through a political prism. While Jefferies believes that a good prosecutor gives the jury and the public a clear, clean and digestible narrative, Stone is convinced the law isn’t always best served in a sound bite. Together with their team, Stone and Jefferies strive to bring some much-needed justice to the city of Chicago.
The team also includes Assistant State’s Attorney Anna Valdez (Monica Barbaro), a passionate newcomer, who’s more flexible and willing to bend the rules to get the right result; Laura Nagel (Joelle Carter), a tough-as-nails State’s Attorney Investigator that sees each case through the eyes of the victim; and Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda, formerly on Chicago P.D.), a level-headed and by-the-book detective turned Chief Investigator.
In addition to Wolf, executive producers include Michael S. Chernuchin, Matt Olmstead, Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski. “Chicago Justice” is produced by Wolf Films in association with Universal Television.
SHADES OF BLUE — Sunday, March 5, 10/9c
Harlee Santos (Jennifer Lopez) is a charismatic single mother and resourceful detective at the heart of a tight-knit crew of Brooklyn detectives, led by enigmatic Lt. Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta) who often leads the team to step outside the limitations of the law in order to effectively protect their precinct and their own.
Harlee navigates her fractured relationship with Wozniak, as she struggles to conceal her deepest secret: she killed her daughter’s father. Following his discovery that Harlee collaborated with the FBI, Wozniak is confronted with a gut-wrenching dilemma of his own. The crew is under tight scrutiny from Stahl (Warren Kole) and the FBI as well as from Internal Affairs, in the form of a gregarious detective, Verco (guest star Dov Davidoff), who investigates the disappearance of one of their own. Meanwhile, a former member of their crew, Julia Ayres (guest star Anna Gunn), runs for mayor and her complex relationship with Harlee and Wozniak comes to the fore. Neither Harlee nor Wozniak anticipates that Ayres’ corrupt connections will trap them in a dangerous war with the Mafia.
The cast includes Drea de Matteo, Dayo Okeniyi, Vincent Laresca, Hampton Fluker, Sarah Jeffery and Gino Anthony Pesi.
Showrunner Jack Orman and Jennifer Lopez serve as executive producers along with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, creator Adi Hasak, Ryan Seacrest and Nina Wass. Shades of Blue is a production of Universal Television, Nuyorican Productions, EGTV, Ryan Seacrest Productions and Jack Orman Productions.
TRIAL & ERROR — Tuesday, March 7 at 9:30/8:30c and each Tuesday at 9/8c and 9:30/8:30c
In the spirit of true crime documentaries, this outrageous fish-out-of-water comedy features bright-eyed New York lawyer Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto), who heads to a tiny Southern town for his first big case. His mission? To defend an eccentric “rollercizing” poetry professor (John Lithgow) accused of the bizarre murder of his beloved wife. Settling into his makeshift office behind a taxidermy shop and meeting his quirky team of local misfits, Josh suspects that winning his first big case will not be easy, especially when his client is always making himself look guilty.
The cast also includes Jayma Mays, Sherri Shepherd, Steven Boyer and Krysta Rodriguez.
Jeff Astrof, Matt Miller and Jeffrey Blitz are executive producers of Trial & Error. Astrof & Miller wrote the pilot, which was directed by Blitz. The series is produced by Barge Productions and Good Session Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
GREAT NEWS — Tuesday, April 25 at 9/8c and 9:30/8:30c
Getting along with office colleagues can be rough, but working with your mom? That’s a whole different story, and it’s the headline for Katie Wendelson (Briga Heelan), a smart, ambitious news producer at national cable news show The Breakdown. After 30 years of being a stay-at-home mom, Carol (Andrea Martin) decides that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and lands an internship at her daughter’s news show. This is Katie’s worst nightmare, until she comes to realize that with her biggest cheerleader at her side, she and her mom both might just make it after all.
Sitting in the co-anchor chair at The Breakdown is Chuck Pierce (John Michael Higgins), the blowhard, difficult-to-please news desk veteran. Chuck intimidates everyone on staff except for Carol, who uses her polished mom skills to deal with him. Alongside him is Portia (Nicole Richie), the young, very hip co-host who brings a different perspective to old-fashioned journalism. Leading the news team is Greg (Adam Campbell), the dashing young executive producer. Katie’s closest friend at the office is Justin (Horatio Sanz), the laid back video editor who has seen it all and is always more than happy to dole out his zen-like advice. Rounding out the newsroom is Beth (Tracey Wigfield), the creepy resident meteorologist who is far from your stereotypical weather girl.
Wigfield, an Emmy Award-winning writer on 30 Rock, serves as creator and executive producer. Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, Jack Burditt and David Miner also executive produce. Beth McCarthy-Miller directed the pilot. “Great News” is produced by Little Stranger Inc., Bevel Gears, Big Wig Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment Inc. and Universal Television.