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Peacock droppings: Jimmy Smits gets another go on NBC's fall lineup


Prime-time vet Jimmy Smits re-arrives in Bluff City. NBC photo

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NBC is leaving four nights unchanged and adding just three new series to its fall prime-time lineup.

The most visible freshman likely will be Bluff City Law, starring one of TV’s most familiar faces, Jimmy Smits, in his umpteenth series in a cushy Monday slot following two hours of The Voice.

The Peacock otherwise has officially canceled Midnight, Texas, Blindspot and I Feel Bad. And although none of their futures look good, NBC says “decisions are yet to be made” on a quintet of ratings bottom-feeders. The official list is Abby’s, A.P. Bio, The Enemy Within, The Titan Games and The Village. Also in a netherworld is The InBetween, a new drama series scheduled to launch on May 29th.

On the upside, NBC has renewed This Is Us for three more seasons. The network also announced that Melissa McCarthy will be the new host of Little Big Shots when it returns on Sunday nights after NFL football. She supplants Steve Harvey.

Likewise of note: For midseason, NBC has picked up The Kenan Show, starring longtime Saturday Night Live mainstay Kenan Thompson. But he still isn’t officially leaving SNL, and might well return as a part-time player for at least part of next season.

Here are NBC’s three new fall series:

Bluff City Law (drama) -- Smits stars as gruff, crusading Elijah Strait, who runs a famed Memphis law firm and reaches out to his estranged daughter, Sydney (Caitlin McGee), after his wife dies. She grudgingly returns (but of course) with the knowledge that working with pops is her “best hope at changing the world -- if they can ever get along.”

Perfect Harmony (comedy) -- Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) plays former Princeton music prof Arthur Cochran. When he “unexpectedly stumbles” into a choir practice at a small-town church, Cochran discovers a group of singers who are “out of tune in more ways than one.” But hey, they just might be able to help each other “reinvent and rediscover a little happiness, just when they all need it most.”

Sunnyside (comedy) -- Disgraced New York City councilman Garrett Modi (Kal Penn) discovers a new sense of purpose when hired by a “diverse group of hopefuls who dream of becoming American citizens and believe he can help.”

Here is NBC’s night-by-night fall lineup:

The Voice
Bluff City Law

The Voice
This Is Us
New Amsterdam

Chicago Med
Chicago Fire
Chicago P.D.

Perfect Harmony
The Good Place
Law & Order: SVU

The Blacklist
Dateline NBC

Dateline Saturday Night Mystery
Saturday Night Live (repeats)

Football Night in America
Sunday Night Football

NBC also has announced these midseason series:

Council of Dads (drama) -- A loving father of four has a serious health scare, prompting him to call on four buds to “step in as back-up dads for every stage of his growing family’s life.” Tom Everett Scott (Southland) and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break/The Walking Dead) are among the ensemble cast.

Lincoln (drama) -- A hobbled NYPD detective, who was made that way by a notorious serial killer, calls on a young woman officer to lend a crime solving hand. Adapted from best-selling book The Bone Collector, with Russell Hornsby and Arielle Kebbel heading the cast and Michael Imperioli of The Sopranos listed as a supporting player of some sort.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (drama) -- Billed as “joyous and celebratory,” this one chronicles the adventures of a “whip-smart computer coder” who after an “unusual event” begins to hear “the innermost wants and desires of the people around her through songs.” Jane Levy stars, with veterans Mary Steenburgen and Peter Gallagher in support.

The Kenan Show (comedy) -- The aforementioned Thompson strives to be a “super dad” to his two daughters.

Indebted (comedy) -- Young parents are ready to have some fun after bouts with diapers and sleepless nights. But of course their “boomerang parents” then arrive unannounced and broke. Fran Drescher and Steven Weber are part of this.

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