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NBC's 2015-16 schedule emphasizes drama, shifts comedy to Fridays

NBC fall schedule doubles down on drama, kicks comedies to Friday night

NBC's new fall schedule is betting big on drama — and backing away big-time from comedy.

The new lineup announced Sunday morning includes some noteworthy bids on splashy new dramatic fare in the 10 p.m. hour, including "The Player," a Las Vegas thriller with Wesley Snipes, on Thursdays and "Blindspot," a crime drama from prolific producer Greg Berlanti, on Mondays. "Heartbreaker," a new medical drama, will get a berth after "The Voice" on Tuesdays.

But the network is running away from comedies, after vowing a few seasons ago to rebuild its glory days in the genre.

INTERACTIVE: Network TV Shuffle

NBC in the fall will use comedy to kick off Fridays, typically a low-traffic night for broadcasters. "Undateable," a romantic comedy that has never earned much love from critics, will return with live episodes as a selling point, followed by a new sitcom that also looks at love lives, "People Are Talking."

The network has dropped its comedy block on Tuesdays, where this season "Marry Me" and "About a Boy" failed to connect with audiences. Both shows were canceled last week. NBC executives have no appetite to reenter the comedy fray on Thursdays, either.

Other notable moves include "Heroes Reborn," the reboot of the superhero drama from writer-producer Tim Kring, landing at 8 p.m. Thursday and "Best Time Ever," a new variety show hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

NBC will keep its Wednesday schedule intact, with "The Mysteries of Laura" returning to join "Law & Order: SVU" and "Chicago P.D." "The Blacklist" will remain in its 9 p.m. Thursday time period.

The singing competition "The Voice" will likewise remain in its Monday and Tuesday slots, and NFL games will continue on Sundays in the fall.

The network is also banking on some event programming, including "Coat of Many Colors," a TV movie based on the early life of country singer Dolly Parton, and "The Reaper," a miniseries about the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

"We're attacking the new season with the same programming strategy that successfully turned NBC around — a slate of provocative and innovative series and events that cut through the clutter and will continue to build on our momentum," NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt wrote in a statement.

NBC, following its tradition of recent years, did not offer a news conference in which executives took questions about the new schedule.

Here is the entire lineup (with new shows in CAPS):

MONDAY

8 p.m. "The Voice"

10 p.m. "BLINDSPOT"

TUESDAY

8 p.m. "The Voice"

9 p.m. "HEARTBREAKER"

10 p.m. "BEST TIME EVER WITH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS" (followed by "Chicago Fire" in November)

WEDNESDAY

8 p.m. "Mysteries of Laura"

9 p.m. "Law & Order: SVU"

10 p.m. "Chicago P.D."

THURSDAY

8 p.m. "HEROES REBORN"

9 p.m. "The Blacklist"

10 p.m. "THE PLAYER"

FRIDAY

8 p.m. "Undateable"

8:30 p.m. "PEOPLE ARE TALKING"

9 p.m. "Grimm"

10 p.m. "Dateline"

SATURDAY

8 p.m. "Dateline Saturday Night Mystery"

10 p.m. "Saturday Night Live" classic encores

SUNDAY

7 p.m. "Football Night in America"

8:20 p.m. "Sunday Night Football"

Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

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