NBC -- which rebounded this season from a stubborn ratings slump -- will try to build on its gains with a dozen new series including dramas starring Debra Messing and Katherine Heigl and a pair of comedies produced by Will Ferrell.
In the 2014-15 schedule announced Sunday before its New York presentation to advertisers, NBC also said it will move its freshman series The Blacklist to Thursday starting in February -- surrendering for now its effort to bring a "must-see TV" comedy block back to the night that once housed Friends and other hits.
Messing will star as a homicide detective and working mom in The Mysteries of Laura on Wednesdays this fall, while former Grey's Anatomy star Heigl will return to the small screen as a CIA agent in State of Affairs on Mondays starting in November. Alfre Woodard will play the president opposite Heigl.
Other familiar TV faces starring in new NBC series or miniseries this coming season will include David Duchovny, Kate Walsh and Craig Robinson of The Office.
NBC decided to cancel Dracula, Community, Revolution, Growing Up Fisher, Believe, Crisis, Ironside, The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves the World and Welcome to the Family. Parenthood will air its final season starting this fall and Amy Poehler's comedy Parks and Recreation will get its final run in a mid-season slot, the network said.
The Blacklist, one of the reasons NBC is poised to finish the season as No. 1 among advertiser-favored young adult viewers for the first time in a decade, is being rewarded with the January 2015 post-Super Bowl spot before the James Spader drama moves from Monday to Thursday.
Other series for next season include the Ferrell-produced sitcoms Bad Judge starring Kate Walsh as an unorthodox criminal court judge, which will air Thursdays, and Mission Control, with Krysten Ritter as an aerospace engineer in the 1960s. It's planned for mid-season.
The drama Constantine, based on the DC Comics series Hellblazer, is set for a fall debut and will air on Friday nights.
Duchovny, last seen on network series TV on Fox's The X Files, will star in the limited-run series Aquarius as a Los Angeles police sergeant who's on the trail of future killer Charles Manson in 1967. The air date was not announced.
NBC was the first major broadcast network to announce its schedule for next season. FOX also presents its new shows to Madison Avenue on Monday, followed by the other networks later in this week.