NBC revealed its fall 2023-24 TV schedule on Friday ahead of its Monday upfront event. The broadcast channel’s lineup was in no way impacted by the WGA strike, NBCUniversal’s president of program planning Jeff Bader told IndieWire.
Bader said what he put out today is “the exact same schedule” that NBC would have unveiled if the WGA and AMPTP came to terms earlier this month. “The schedule was actually done before we knew whether or not the strike was going to happen,” he said during a telephone interview.
It helps that the schedule is, in Bader’s words, “very stable” with last year’s lineup. That will be NBC’s main talking point Monday when the network pushes its programming on advertisers and tries to ignore the Linda Yaccarino- and Jeff Shell-sized elephants in their Radio City Music Hall room.
All of NBC’s scripted fall shows were either “out of production” or “just finishing shooting,” he said — or at least, “the scripts are all written.” A few examples: freshmen “Found” and “The Irrational” were picked up last fall and thrown into off-cycle production (“Found” was originally supposed to air midseason last season) and the returning “Night Court” stayed in continuous production.
Dick Wolf’s shows returning to NBC for the fall are the only ones that could pose a problem for NBC if the WGA strike goes on “for a very extended period,” Bader said. That’s because “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Law & Order,” and “Law & Order: SVU” all aired full seasons last year and are on a more traditional cycle.
Should the writers strike last (and last), NBC has “La Brea” and “Magnum P.I.” episodes ready to move up from midseason to fall. There are other contingency plans in place as well, Bader said.
“At some point the strike will end,” he added, probably reassuring himself as much as us.
Bader has been here before with the 2007-08 WGA strike. As has Steve Kern, NBC’s senior VP of content planning and strategy, who said: “We are much better planned out for the strike than three years ago, when we were sent home to work from home on a Friday and told to not come into the office ever again.
“We’ve been through this drill in different scenarios, and I think we are the most prepared that we’ve been,” Kern continued. “We’ve been thinking about ways to handle this for a while.”
Below is NBC’s fall 2023-24 TV schedule. As is their format, new programs are in UPPER CASE; all times E.T.
8-10 P.M. — The Voice
10-11 P.M. — THE IRRATIONAL
8-8:30 P.M. — Night Court
8:30-9 P.M. — EXTENDED FAMILY
9-10 P.M. — The Voice
10-11 P.M. — Quantum Leap
8-9 P.M. — Chicago Med
9-10 P.M. — Chicago Fire
10-11 P.M. — Chicago P.D.
8-9 P.M. — Law & Order
9-10 P.M. — Law & Order: SVU
10-11 P.M. — FOUND
8-9 P.M. – The Wall
9-11 P.M — Dateline NBC
7-7:30 P.M. — BIG TEN COUNTDOWN / Notre Dame Pregame (also live on Peacock)
7:30-11 P.M. — BIG TEN SATURDAY NIGHT / Notre Dame Football (also live on Peacock)
7-8:20 P.M. — Football Night in America (also live on Peacock)
8:20-11 P.M. — NBC Sunday Night Football (also live on Peacock)