It seems like whatever Thursday-obsessed demon that NBC sold its soul to in the ‘90s in exchange for Friends and Seinfeld has finally returned to claim his prize. “Your days of comedy are over, NBC,” he shouts in a voice as bleak and endless as a lifetime of nightmares. “Never again shall someone laugh at one of your shows on a Thursday!” Then the demon ripped out the heart of what was left of NBC’s Thursday night comedy block, and with a crack of his whip-like tail and stomp of his fiery hoof, he disappeared as terrifyingly as he arrived. All that was left for NBC to do was pick up the pieces and find some drama shows to schedule on the rest of its midseason Thursdays.
Whether that demon story is true or not—we like to think it is—NBC’s Thursday nights early next year are going to be completely devoid of comedy shows for the first time in literally decades. For some people, this will be the first time they’ve seen a comedy-less Thursday on NBC in their entire lives. It really makes you think, doesn’t it? Anyway, the change is happening for a couple of reasons: First, NBC couldn’t make a new comedy into a success if its life depended on it, and second, it wants to start seriously competing with the dramatic juggernaut that is ABC’s Thursday night lineup.
To do this, NBC is moving the James Spader-in-a-hat show, The Blacklist, to Thursdays, starting in February. There it’ll be joined by two new dramas, Allegiance and The Slap. The former is a Scandal/Homeland/The Americans espionage thriller about a CIA analyst who discovers that his parents are Russian sleeper agents. The latter is a star-studded romp about a tragic chain of events that occurs after a guy slaps another family’s child while at a party. The Slap stars Uma Thurman, Peter Sarsgaard, Thandie Newton, and Zachary Quinto, and—even though Thursday comedies are dead at NBC—it sounds like it’ll be loads of fun.