NBC is working to diversify the writers’ rooms for all of its scripted series for the 2020-2021 season by offering showrunners the chance to add a diverse writer at any level to their team before productions get under way.
“Our brand has always championed positive programming, and the events of this year have allowed us the time to take pause, examine our business with a new lens and take some immediate action. ... It is not the solution by any means, but it is something we can do right now to take a positive step,” said Paul Telegdy, chairman, NBC Entertainment.
This comes as NBC unveiled its new fall schedule, which the network is confident will return intact, despite production delays amid COVID-19.
“Thanks to the ingenuity of our creative teams and our partner studios, NBC has assembled a remarkably stable schedule at a time when stability is called for,” Telegdy said. “With the reopening of the Universal lot for select productions this week, we are confident that our schedule will premiere intact later this fall. We design shows for longevity and this schedule remains a powerful propulsive force for shows to start here and carry on entertaining across generations.”
NBC will bring back 16 shows and one new drama with “Law & Order: Organized Crime” in the fall. Christopher Meloni reprises his role as Elliot Stabler, returning to the NYPD to battle organized crime.
“The Voice” returns to Monday nights with Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani as judges. It’s followed by “Manifest” at 10 p.m.
“This is Us” continues on Tuesdays at 9 p.m., serving as a lead-in to “New Amsterdam.”
The “Chicago” franchise stays steady on Wednesday nights, while Thursdays continue to be home to comedies “Superstore” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” “Law & Order: Organized Crime” will air at 10 p.m.
New mid-season shows include “Kenan,” starring Kenan Thompson as a recently widowed host of Atlanta’s No. 2 morning show who struggles to balance his job and younger daughters; “Mr. Mayor,”which stars Ted Danson as a wealthy businessman who runs for mayor of Los Angeles for all the wrong reasons; and “Young Rock,” starring Dwayne Johnson and inspired by his formative years.
NBC ended the season in second place among total viewers, averaging 6.5 million viewers in prime time, having spent three seasons as the most-watched broadcast network. It’s also No. 2 among adults 18-49 with a 1.3 rating in the demo.