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NBC announces fall schedule

City News Service | 5/13/2013, 9:05 a.m.


NBC unveiled its fall schedule today that includes "The Michael J. Fox Show" and two other new comedies and a remake of the 1967-75 crime drama "Ironside" with Blair Underwood in the title role.

Series not returning include the musical drama "Smash," the news magazine "Rock Center with Brian Williams," the comedies "Up All Night" and "Whitney," which all ran two seasons, the first-season comedies "Go On," "Guys with Kids," and "The New Normal," the midseason comedy "1600 Penn"
and the midseason drama "Deception."

Of the six series NBC introduced last fall, two will return for second seasons, the dramas "Chicago Fire" and "Revolution."

None of NBC's series that debuted at midseason have been renewed. A decision on the fate of "Hannibal" will be made "in the new few weeks" according to NBC, as well of that of "Celebrity Apprentice," whose sixth season will conclude next Sunday.

"The overriding strategy this year was to develop enough strong comedies and dramas to take advantage of the promotional heft of the Winter Olympics and devise two schedules for the upcoming season -- one for fall and a slightly different one for midseason," NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said.

"And aside from our Olympics planning, we also wanted to create better flow and compatibility on each night and deploy our strongest lead-in ('The Voice') to maximum effect."

The three new comedies will run consecutively on Thursday nights.

"Welcome to the Family" will air at 8:30 p.m. following "Parks and Recreation," the only returning comedy on NBC's fall schedule. It stars Ella Rae Peck as a college-bound recent high school graduate who learns she is pregnant and wants to marry her Latino boyfriend from East Los Angeles (Joseph Haro), bringing together two very different families.

The series was created by Mike Sikowitz, who had been a writer on "Friends" and an executive producer on "Rules on Engagement."

"Will & Grace" alumnus Sean P. Hayes stars in "Sean Saves The World," which will air at 9 p.m., portraying a divorced gay father whose teenage daughter (Sami Isler) moves in full time. It was created by Victor Fresco, whose producing credits include "Evening Shade" and "Mad About You."

The autobiographical "The Michael J. Fox Show" completes the trio of new comedies. Fox portrays a beloved New York City anchorman who returns to work after putting his career on hold for five years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, just like Fox.

The series was created by Sam Laybourne, a producer on the ABC comedy "Cougar Town" in the 2010-11 season.

NBC announced in August in had given the series a 22-episode commitment, rare for a new series. The series is the first for Fox since he left the ABC comedy "Spin City" in 2001, citing Parkinson's disease.

The series marks Fox's return to NBC, where he rose to fame by playing Alex P. Keaton on the 1982-89 comedy "Family Ties."

"Ironside" keeps the premise of the Raymond Burr-starring original -- a police detective in a wheelchair -- but changes the setting from San Francisco to New York City.

NBC's other new dramas are "Dracula," starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and "Blacklist," starring James Spader as a longtime fugitive who mysteriously surrenders with the offer to help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, under the condition that he speaks only to a rookie FBI profiler (Megan Boone).

NBC's fall prime-time schedule will consist of eight hours of drama, four hours each of competition and sports programming, three hours of reruns, two hours of comedy and one hour of news.

NBC also announced midseason orders of "American Dream Builders," a home renovation competition hosted by Nate Berkus, three dramas and two comedies.

Here is NBC's fall schedule: Sunday: "Football Night in America"; "NBC Sunday Night Football"; Monday: "The Voice"; "Blacklist"; Tuesday: "The Biggest Loser"; "The Voice"; "Chicago Fire"; Wednesday: "Revolution"; "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"; "Ironside"; Thursday: "Parks and Recreation"; "Welcome to the Family"; "Sean Saves the World"; "The Michael J. Fox Show"; "Parenthood"; Friday: "Dateline NBC"; "Grimm"; "Dracula" Saturday: Reruns.