NBC's fall schedule: Zero comedies, a third 'Law & Order' but no 'This Is Us'

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NBC on Friday unveiled a dramatic fall lineup that for the first time in memory includes zero comedies.

Instead, the network plans a record six dramas from producer Dick Wolf, who will control the entire prime-time lineup on two consecutive nights with returning "Chicago" and "Law & Order" series and a third "L&O" entry, "For the Defense," which focuses on a defense law firm.

The two other new dramas are "Ordinary Joe," starring James Wolk ("Mad Men") as a college graduate who faces three life paths, each depicted in the new drama that will follow "The Voice" on Mondays; and "La Brea," a thriller about survivors of a giant sinkhole that envelops Los Angeles.

NBC will also shelve the sixth and final 18-episode season of "This Is Us" until January, when it will air mostly uninterrupted and with no repeats. And 10 final episodes of cop comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," promised for fall, will instead air two at a time starting in August, after the Summer Olympics.

Danielle Moné Truitt and Christopher Meloni in "Law & Order: Organized Crime," returning for a second season this fall on NBC.
Danielle Moné Truitt and Christopher Meloni in "Law & Order: Organized Crime," returning for a second season this fall on NBC.

Rather than give up on comedies, it's "truly just the opposite," says Susan Rovner, the content chief for NBC Entertainment and Streaming. "We want to build the NBC audience back in the fall with dramas we know NBC viewers will show up for (and then) double down in midseason with two big nights of comedy."

Returning comedies "Kenan," "Mr. Mayor" and "Young Rock" will join newcomers "American Auto," a workplace comedy set in Detroit from the creators of "Superstore"; and "Grand Crew," a "Friends"-style comedy set in Los Angeles from the creator of "Brooklyn."

Still unclear is the fate of "Manifest," "Good Girls" and "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," USA TODAY's two-time Save Our Shows poll winner. None are on the fall schedule; some could return midseason. NBC executives did not set a timetable for a decision but said they'd consider relocating some to the company's Peacock streaming service.

For the first time since 2012, NBC plans only one edition of "The Voice" next season, but will add an "Extreme" edition of "America's Got Talent;" an American version of the Eurovision Song Contest; and "That's My Jam," a variety series hosted by Jimmy Fallon. But it has nixed the Golden Globes, hoping to revisit the scandal-plagued awards show in 2023. And it has canceled 1:30 a.m. talk show "Late Night with Lilly Singh" as of June 4, but declined to elaborate on plans for the post-Seth Meyers time period.

James Wolk stars in 'Ordinary Joe,' a new NBC drama due this fall.
James Wolk stars in 'Ordinary Joe,' a new NBC drama due this fall.

NBC's fall schedule (all times EDT/PDT; new shows in bold)

Monday: 8, The Voice; 10, Ordinary Joe

Tuesday: 8, The Voice; 9, La Brea; 10, New Amsterdam

Wednesday: 8, Chicago Med; 9: Chicago Fire; 10, Chicago PD

Thursday: 8: Law & Order: For the Defense; 9, Law & Order: SVU; 10, Law & Order: Organized Crime

Friday: 8, The Blacklist; 9, Dateline NBC

Saturday: 8, Drama repeats; 9, Dateline Weekend Mystery; 10, SNL Vintage

Sunday: 7, Football Night in America; 8:20, Sunday Night Football

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBC: No 'This Is Us,' lots of 'Law & Order' and no comedies in fall