• Neil Patrick Harris variety show part of new mix
• NBC will have just two comedies this fall
• FOX has ‘X-Files’ waiting in the wings
NBC and Fox have kicked off the week when the five major networks announce their schedules for the 2015-16 TV season. While FOX is making only a few adjustments, NBC is starting from scratch after a less than stellar 2013-14 lineup.
The only NBC series that survived from last year’s new batch of programs is “The Mysteries of Laura” and its fate was uncertain until the midnight hour. The ax fell on “Allegiance,” “A to Z,” “Bad Judge,” “Constantine,” “Marry Me,” “One Big Happy,” “The Slap” and “State of Affairs.” No decision has been made on “A.D. The Bible Continues” or “American Odyssey.”
Add to that, long-running “Parks and Recreation” and “Parenthood” came to an end, and NBC will be banking heavily on this year’s crop of shows to win back viewers.
Most of that luring will come from dramas. NBC only has two comedies — the returning “Undateable” (where every episode will be done live) and the Mark-Paul Gosselaar series “People Are Talking.” The network is bringing the comedy “Coach” back from the dead as a mid-season replacement.
When it comes to dramas, NBC is also looking to an old favorite with “Heroes Reborn.” The original “Heroes” ran four seasons and ended in 2010 when the ratings had dropped off dramatically from the first season.
The other new NBC dramas include:
• “Blindspot” — Jaimie Alexander stars in this tale of a woman with no memory but tattoos that help solve crimes and unravel the mystery of her identity.
• “Heartbreaker” — Melissa George plays a heart transplant surgeon who operates on her own terms.
• “Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris” — variety show hosted by Harris.
• “The Player” —Wesley Snipes and and Philip Winchester star in this action thriller set in Las Vegas.
NBC has several series waiting in the wings, including “Superstore” with America Ferrara and in the police drama “Shades of Blue” with Jennifer Lopez.
FOX executives put together their 2015-16 lineup by building on three successful launches from the previous season: “Gotham,” “The Last Man on Earth” and “Empire.”
That means there are only five new programs on the schedule:
• “Minority Report” — A series based on the Tom Cruise movie.
• “Grandfathered” — John Stamos plays a bachelor who learns he’s a grandfather.
• “The Grinder” — Rob Lowe plays a TV lawyer who joins his family’s practice
• “Scream Queens” — Comedy-horror anthology from “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy.
• “Rosewood” —Morris Chestnut plays a super pathologist in Miami.
One opening will fill the spot left when “Glee” ended. FOX also canceled “Backstrom,” “Gracepoint,” “Mulaney,” “The Following,” “Red Band Society,” “Utopia,” “Weird Loners” and “The Mindy Project.”
FOX has several shows waiting to as mid-season replacements, including a return of “New Girl” and a reuniting of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson for a new “X-Files” series.
The network also announced that the next season of “American Idol” that launches in January will be the show’s last.
ABC is scheduled to announce its fall lineup on Tuesday, May 12, followed by CBS on Wednesday, May 13, and the CW on Thursday, May 14.