NBC reaffirmed its devotion to all its veteran drama series yesterday, ordering additional seasons for The Blacklist (season three), Grimm (season five), Chicago Fire (season four), Chicago PD (season three) and Law & Order: SVU (season 17).
After a lackluster 2014-15 season for the network, it makes sense that NBC would commit to another year with its known quantity series. Jennifer Salke, the network’s entertainment president, released an official statement today, announcing the pick-ups and stating:
“The creative vision of the executive producers who’ve guided these outstanding dramas has been nothing short of incredible. We’re highly appreciative of the passion they bring to their shows at every step of the creative process and we’re thrilled to reward that dedication with these renewals.”
The five shows received NBC’s first scripted renewals for the 2015-16 television season. Still awaiting news of their fates are midseason return Hannibal, which is expected to air this summer, and sophomore comedy About a Boy. The futures of freshman series Mysteries of Laura, State of Affairs, Allegiance, Constantine, Marry Me and One Big Happy will likely be decided in May, after NBC evaluates its midseason performance.
However, the chances of returns for Mysteries of Laura, State of Affairs and Constantine, all modestly rated after heavy marketing campaigns, seem slim. Marry Me does have unanimous critical praise and solid ratings going for it, which may be enough to garner another season. It’s still too early to tell though for Allegiance, which premiered last night, and One Big Happy, which is still waiting in the wings.
The pick-ups come as the network considers a third Chicago series, Chicago Medical, which will air as the 19th episode of Fire this season. Should the potential spinoff, from Dick Wolf, Matt Olmstead, Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, meet the network’s expectations, it will be launched as its own series next season, becoming Wolf’s fourth NBC series (after the two Chicago shows and Law & Order: SVU. Salke noted at this year’s TCA:
“It’s a bit of an experiment to see how those characters come out. [Dick Wolf] had such a good run with the crossover episodes and created a world that moves around, with these shows that move around each other. I think it’s natural that he wants to create a medical component to that. He looks at will the paramedic stories and fire butt up against that? I think it’s sort of an organic way to see if it feels like it can sustain its own show.”