We’ve talked a good bit about the Stana Katic – Sony series Absentia with great regularity over the past few months in terms of scheduling, but things have changed in regards to one potential home: NBC. We’ve always thought that the peacock network would be a great home for the series, but there was one key problem with the suggestion: Scheduling. There was no room for another show — NBC only has fifteen hours available in the fall, given that they have NFL football on Sunday nights. Add to that Thursday Night Football later in the fall, and it’s even more complicated. You also have three hours of The Voice eating up a lot of time, and many established shows like Chicago Fire, This Is Us, and Law & Order: SVU that are obviously included.
Here’s what has changed: Blindspot and Taken were meant to air alongside each other on Friday nights, but the latter series starring Clive Standen was delayed in part thanks to a showrunner swap. There’s now a gap in the schedule at 9:00 p.m. ET waiting to be filled, and Absentia has the potential to be the perfect show to fill it.
For one, just look at the great relationship that exists between NBC and Sony. The Blacklist, Timeless, and The Night Shift are three primetime Sony series that are on the air, Days of Our Lives is through them and they’ve also aired in the past Community. That’s a good history between the two parties, so they’ll have the familiarity with each other needed to make a good licensing deal for the show. You always want to work with people you’re familiar with!
Beyond all of this, NBC also does have a good history airing shows that have substantial international connections and distribution. Look at Crossing Lines or Hannibal. They’re clearly comfortable in this space. (We could easily go another thousand words proclaiming our love for Hannibal, but alas, we move on.) If you want to see Absentia have a comfortable home, all signs point towards this being it.
Then, there’s the Blindspot lead-in
You can’t discount how valuable it is to have two shows supporting each other to make the night strong, and there is probably not a better, more effective lead-in for Absentia out there than the Jaimie Alexander series. Both shows feature women with mysterious pasts, FBI agents looking for answers around them, and a variety of intense sequences. They have a lot in common, and odds are, viewers who watch Blindspot will probably watch Absentia, even if they aren’t familiar with Katic or anyone else in the cast.
While there may be some limitations that come with airing on a major network, whether it be content or having to have an episode that is roughly the same length every week, it’s a worthy sacrifice to get the show the best numbers. Plus, the only other options for NBC right now seem to be to either run repeats in this spot Fridays at 9:00 or put on two hours of Dateline. Timeless, which was given a surprise renewal after being first canceled, won’t be ready in time.
What do you think about this idea for Absentia behind Blindspot? Be sure to share in the comments, and head over here to see what we think is probably the ideal configuration for the series. (Photo: Sony.)