NBC Abandons 'Must See TV' Thursdays For Fall

Jun 6, 2017

Never mind! NBC has canceled plans to revive its Thursday night "Must See TV" branding.

In May, NBC announced that the "Will & Grace" remake would anchor a "Must See TV" revival – the slogan  goes back to "Cheers," "Seinfeld" and "ER" in the 1980s and '90s – with Tina Fey's "Great News" newsroom comedy at 8:30 p.m., the critically acclaimed "This Is Us" at 9 p.m. and Dick Wolf's latest, "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders" at 10 p.m.

"This Is Us" stars include Chrissy Metz as Kate and Chris Sullivan as Toby.
Credit NBCUniversal

NBC has shelved the risky plan, apparently to avoid stiff competition from NFL Thursday night games on CBS; "Grey's Anatomy" and "How To Get Away With Murder" on ABC; and "Gotham" on Fox, the New York Times says.

Moving "This Is Us" to Thursdays also would mean the popular drama would be pre-empted in November sweeps and December when NBC broadcasts Thursday Night NFL games.

So "This Is Us" will stay at 9 p.m. Tuesdays, following "The Voice" this fall. "The Menendez Murders" limited run series will air at 10 p.m. Tuesdays.

"Chicago Fire" will move from 10 p.m. Tuesdays to 10 p.m. Thursday this fall, along with two sitcoms originally slated for Tuesdays this fall ("Superstore" and "The Good Place").

The revamped Thursday  fall lineup will have "Will & Grace" at 9 p.m. surrounded by three returning comedies: "Great News," "Superstore" and "The Good Place."

Jennifer Lopez as Harlee Santos on "Shades of Blue."
Credit NBCUniversal

NBC was the first of the four major networks to release a fall TV schedule, as usual.  Many were surprised by NBC being so "aggressive in rebooting Thursday night," in the words of NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt.  "To create another undeniable night of television, we're aligning some of our most potent shows on Thursday in order to bring back 'Must See TV,' " he said in the May 14 media release.

The Times also reports that a live telecast of "Bye Bye Birdie" with Jennifer Lopez has been moved from December to sometime in 2018. Lopez stars in NBC's "Shades of Blue" police drama which will return at midseason.