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An Oscar winner, more ‘Law & Order’ for NBC next season

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Renée Zellweger is coming to network TV next season in a dramatization of a murder case recounted by “Dateline NBC.”

The two-time Oscar winner’s role in NBC’s “The Thing About Pam” is a sign of how broadcast networks are banking on eye-catching names and familiar stories to draw viewers in an increasingly crowded TV universe.

The “Dateline NBC” story about a wrongful conviction was one of the true-crime series most popular sagas, the network said Friday in announcing its slate of new and returning series for the 2021-22 season.

The fall season will be dominated by dramas and reality shows, with NBC — once the home of “must-see” comedies including “Friends” — making the unusual decision to hold its sitcoms for midseason to give what its executives said is a better shot at success.

The three new dramas include “Law andamp; Order: For the Defense,” which gives the franchise from producer Dick Wolf all of the network’s prime-time Thursday turf. The new series joins long-running “Law andamp; Order: Special Victims” and newcomer “Law andamp; Order: Organized Crime,” renewed for its second year.

The genre drama “La Brea” is about a massive sinkhole in the middle of Los Angeles that pulls hundreds of people into what’s described as “a mysterious and dangerous primeval land.” It has the ring of “Lost” about it — and may have the added benefit of appealing to those fond of mocking California.

“Ordinary Joe,” the third new drama, is described as the “life-affirming” story about the course that a single decision can have on one man’s life and those around him.

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Those awaiting the final season of “This Is Us” will have to be patient, but for what the network called good reason: It will air in midseason so the family drama can complete its six-season run uninterrupted by holiday or other breaks.

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Source: AP News

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