So much for the big, bold move NBC was making in shifting “This Is Us” to a new night.
The network did an about-face Tuesday, deciding to keep “This Is Us” in the 9 p.m. Tuesday spot where it aired in its breakout first season. That in turn necessitates a shakeup on Thursdays, where the network had planned to move the show.
NBC is essentially swapping two hours on Tuesday with two hours on Thursday, plus rearranging the Thursday lineup and moving the “Will & Grace” revival to an hour later. “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” will also move from Thursday to Tuesday. Comedies “Superstore and “The Good Place” go to Thursday nights, along with “Chicago Fire,” which is moving from its Tuesday home of the last four seasons.
“Chicago Med” will also presumably move to Tuesdays to join the lineup after “True Crime” ends its run. It had been set to take over the 10 p.m. Thursday spot from “True Crime,” but with “Fire” set for the full season, that won’t be necessary.
The revised lineups thus look like this:
8 p.m. “The Voice”
9 p.m. “This Is Us”
10 p.m. “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers”
8 p.m. “Superstore”
8:30 p.m. “The Good Place”
9 p.m. “Will & Grace”
9:30 p.m. “Great News”
10 p.m. “Chicago Fire”
The switch means “This Is Us” can have an uninterrupted run in the fall, rather than having to leave the schedule in early November for NBC’s portion of the “Thursday Night Football” slate. It also means that the heavily serialized “Good Place” will likely have to take another sizable break for football.
But if the choice is between taking its No. 1 scripted show off the air (even for higher-rated NFL games) and benching comedies with middling ratings and a veteran show with a built-in audience like “Chicago Fire,” NBC opted to go with the latter. It’s arguably a lower-risk move, but one with potentially lower reward as well.