NBC at TCA: Executive Session Live-Blog - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

NBC at TCA: Executive Session Live-Blog

July 13, 2014 by  

NBC is kicking off their Television Critics Association press tour by bringing out execs Robert Greenblatt, Jennifer Salke, and Paul Telegdy to talk with reporters.

Follow along to see what they have to say about their lineup…

8:50 AM: “I’m going to start, again, by stating the obvious: we had a pretty good year this year,” Greenblatt says. He notes they’re the only network up year-to-year, and they’d still be the number 1 network if the Olympics were excluded.


8:53 AM: Greenblatt notes that the late night transition has done well. Even repeats of Fallon’s TONIGHT SHOW have beat Jimmy Kimmel’s originals, and Seth Meyers’ LATE NIGHT repeat beat the numbers of a Letterman original in an earlier hour.

8:54 AM: NBC is bringing “Red Nose Day” to America next May.

8:57 AM: Captain Hook — in their upcoming PETER PAN live musical — will be played by Christopher Walken.

9:00 AM: The execs are asked about refusing to air an ad with the word abortion. Greenblatt says when he worked at Fox, the writers of PARTY OF FIVE intended to have Neve Campbell’s character have an abortion and they weren’t allowed to show that, so the writers had to cave to pressure and her character ended up miscarrying.

9:02 AM: “For us, we struggled and worked really hard to bring an audience to that show,” Greenblatt says of THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW’s difficulties. He thought Fox’s presence would be enough to help their night, but it didn’t work.

Salke mentions that losing THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW and SEAN SAVES THE WORLD’s cancellations “particularly heartbreaking.”

9:05 AM: Salke says MARRY ME and A TO Z aren’t intended to be short-run shows. Salke says MARRY ME “extends into the ensemble.”

Greenblatt says that he doesn’t think MARRY ME’s marriage is the ultimate end game for the show — the show will last beyond the actual marriage.

9:07 AM: Greenblatt says they’ll make decisions about their summer comedies in the next few weeks. He notes they have higher expectations for UNDATEABLE than their imports.

9:09 AM: Salke says Katherine Heigl’s partnership with her mother works for them. She says, “So far, so good.”

9:12 AM: Greenblatt says he doesn’t think there’s a policy for how abortion mentions is addressed in ads.

9:14 AM: “It was a show we’re really proud of,” Telegdy says of the Maya Rudolph variety special. He says they’re in discussions with Rudolph about possibly bringing it back.

9:15 AM: “I adjust my expectations every day,” Greenblatt says of BAD JUDGE and A TO Z airing opposite CBS’ Thursday night NFL deal. He notes they’re not happy about CBS putting their big comedy elsewhere, but they’re hoping they can draw an audience while CBS’ scripted lineup is taking a knee.

9:18 AM: “I think emotionally we all care,” Greenblatt says about Emmy nods. He points out there’s no evidence that acknowledgement from awards brings viewers, but they would love more. He points out that James Spader is a phenomenal actor, and while the debate is valid, what good it does is up for debate.

9:20 AM: Yes, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE will be back, but the execs claim they have no spots for it right now.

9:22 AM: Greenblatt says he thinks MODERN FAMILY could have been a show with a studio audience. They do have a few multi-cam shows in the mix during the mid-season.

9:24 AM: Salke says she hopes Mike O’Malley will play a part in the upcoming Bill Cosby multi-cam comedy they’re developing. (O’Malley is a co-creator.)

9:26 AM: Greenblatt thinks their next level of execs (just below the people on stage) is the most diverse exec system than any other network.

9:28 AM: They apparently found a new female lead for CONSTANTINE. Salke says they insisted the character be played by “an authentic Latina actress.” (Update, 9:52 AM: Apparently they haven’t cast someone, but Greenblatt told reporters they have someone in mind.)

9:30 AM: “We’re always behind on production with dramas,” Greenblatt says. For them, THE BLACKLIST being off the air for a few months between November and the Super Bowl, it helps them breathe a little in terms of production. The good news? There will be a huge cliffhanger in Nov. and then the two-part Super Bowl week episodes will be big ones.

9:32 AM: “The minute you try to do something that is dark and subversive…you start to peel away the mass audience,” Greenblatt says of HANNIBAL. It’s a great show, but getting it to a big audience is difficult.

9:33 AM: The new Cosby series should launch late mid-season or summer.

9:35 AM: “For me…you have to love the medium. If you don’t really want to be in the broadcast landscape, you shouldn’t be. You have to find the best people you can…every show is a challenge to put together…and hopefully you want to make a lot of shows. And you’re OK with the volume, because the volume is the killer…if you’re doing two shows a year, you can handcraft them…but when you’re doing 15 or 20, the volume gets away from you.” – Greenblatt says of his advice for whomever the new Fox boss is going to be.

Filed under NBC, TCA


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