It seems that when it comes to high ratings and consistent audiences, networks are beginning to realize it’s better for business to announce renewals earlier than the typical May upfronts. That would explain why NBC has just announced several of its renewals for the forthcoming 2015/2016 television season.
As of now, the peacock’s officially renewed series include: The Blacklist for season 3, Grimm for season 5, Chicago Fire for season 4, Chicago P.D. for season 3, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for season 17 (!).
As it stands, NBC has yet to issue renewals for any of its freshman dramas, which include The Mysteries of Laura, Constantine, and State of Affairs. However, what may have sparked the renewal of these veteran series is The Blacklist’s move to Thursdays starting tonight at 9pm. Given the series has to now compete with its top-rated rival, Scandal, it may send a better message to audiences worried the series could be cancelled if it sees a ratings dip just because it has stronger competition now.
As for the other renewals reported by Variety, the renewal of the Dick Wolf produced Chicago shows aren’t shocking since NBC is already planning an embedded spin-off in the form of Chicago Med (for those that may not recall, Chicago P.D. was a planted spin-off of Chicago Fire when it was first conceived). As for SVU, the series’ renewal will put it at just 3 away from the original mother ship’s 20.
Pertaining to NBC’s genre slate, Grimm is the only consistent performer at the moment – and is aided by the fact that its owned by Universal and one season away from the magical 100 episodes tally. However, it remains unclear how its renewal may or may not help Constantine – produced and owned by Warner Bros. – come May. As it stands, NBC opted not to pursue a back 9 order on the DC drama; and with a new genre series heading to pilot, in Warrior, it remains unclear what the network’s plans are on the science fiction and fantasy fronts.
For the most part, the renewal of these series doesn’t come as much of a surprise; however it does instill a great deal of confidence that they’re coming this early. Last year, the only show to receive a renewal at this time was The Blacklist, and that was only because the James Spader led drama was breaking DVR records left and right over the course of its initial 10 episodes.
Stay tuned for more NBC TV show-related news as it develops.