NBC has scheduled drama “Awake” to premiere March 1 in the Thursday 10 p.m. timeslot that has been occupied by “The Firm.”
Exec produced by Kyle Killen and Howard Gordon and starring Jason Issacs, “Awake” will attempt to solve NBC’s season-long problems in that slot that began with now-canceled “Prime Suspect” and the struggling “Firm,” whose roots are in the John Grisham novel and subsequent movie but which slipped to a 0.8 rating among viewers 18-49 in its most recent airing (2.9 million viewers overall).
“The Firm” will move to Saturdays at 10 p.m. beginning Feb. 11, while repeat episodes of “Grimm,” a modest Friday success for the Peacock, will air at 10 p.m. Thursdays before “Awake” launches.
“Awake” has received strong initial critical buzz based upon the pilot that NBC released to the press last summer, but some have wondered whether it is too dark too succeed. Killen’s last show, the similarly praised “Lone Star,” was canceled after two airings by Fox in September 2010.
Issacs plays a man who, after a car accident, finds himself living in two separate universes, one where only his wife (Laura Allen, “Terriers”) has survived, the other where only his son (Dylan Minnette, “Saving Grace”) did. Steve Harris, Wilmer Valderrama, Cherry Jones and BD Wong co-star in the 20th Century Fox TV production.
By splitting production costs with eOne, NBC’s investment in “The Firm” was not as great as it would have been as a pure Universal TV effort. However, its ratings struggles were apparent from the outset.