NBC is beefing up on four of their hit drama series.
The network has ordered one additional episode apiece for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, freshman thriller Blindspot, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., TVWise has learned. Each of those four series will now produce 23 episodes this season.
Dick Wolf’s trio of shows (Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.) have long been strong ratings performers for NBC and as such tend to produce more episodes than the 22 most shows do. They also exist in the same creative universe, with big crossover episodes across all three taking place during key sweeps months helping to boost ratings.
The additional order for Blindspot is a rare move for a freshman show, especially after it already scored a back-nine/full season order. Still the reasoning is clear, as the thriller series starring Jaimie Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton has been pulling in strong ratings behind The Voice. The feeling at the network is that this is the new Blacklist; a show that can pull in the numbers even without The Voice as a lead in.
NBC has been busy of late tinkering with episode orders. Notably Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Blindspot, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. are the first series to get additional orders outside the usual 22 pick ups; while the network has trimmed down the orders for freshman drama The Player and comedies Telenovela, Superstore and Truth Be Told.