NBC’s lack of successful new shows coupled with the impending end of “Parenthood” and “Parks and Recreation” had network boss Robert Greenblatt pushing for a more expanded look at the TV year. He suggests that the entire 52 weeks should be considered when talking about the network.
That’s because NBC has upcoming programming such as “Heroes: Reborn” and the short-run series, “The Slap.” It’s a TV production but “The Slap” boasts the kind of cast you only expect in a major feature film: Thandie Newton, Peter Sarsgaard and Uma Thurman to name a few.
Here’s a sample of some of Greenblatt’s other comments to critics:
QUESTION: “Peter Pan” got panned. Will you do another musical?
Television networks don’t rise in the ratings without finding success on certain nights. NBC bounced back years ago when it created a Thursday night of comedy hits. CBS has used strong dramas to dominate on Tuesdays. ABC has been finding success with Wednesdays and Thursdays by building off the success of “Modern Family” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Being able to build off two solid nights like that are making life easier for ABC boss Paul Lee. He talked about the positive way things have been going with TV critics.
One of my favorite network executives is FOX’s Chairman of Entertainment, Kevin Reilly. He’s one of the few TV bosses who doesn’t treat what he’s doing like it’s curing cancer. He so fully understands that it’s all about entertainment that he’s even willing to poke fun at himself. After he tells TV Critics that everyone makes mistakes he adds “Just look at my fall schedule.”
He’s right. The FOX fall schedule was pretty lame. But, things are looking up for 2013 with the next edition of “American Idol” and the launch of one of the best new network TV shows to come along since “24” in “The Following.”
Here are a few of Reilly’s updates from the FOX session at the TV Critics Association winter tour.
A skeleton crew: The network has ordered a ninth season of the procedural drama “Bones.”
On the quality of network TV: Reilly says there’s a reason a film actor like Kevin Bacon comes to television to star in a show like “The Following” and its the “great work being done pound-for-pound on television.” Reilly adds, “The challenge in this day and age is, we are competing with television. And what I mean by that is we’ve always competed against the other broadcast networks. Every day we measure it. I like being first. But in the grand scheme of things, with TV right now, there are so many access points, so many different availabilities — the over the top services and the watching of our own product outside of the measurable window and the DVR stack and the binge viewing.”
Future fodder: Efforts to make a new version of “In Living Color” has been shelved. Reilly says the pilot episode that was shot just didn’t measure up to the standards of the original comedy series. The launch of another comedy series, “The Goodwin Games,” has been delayed. Reilly says that the comedy block the network has with “Ben and Kate,” “Raising Hope,” “The Mindy Project” and “The New Girl” has not been a resounding hit and a change right now would make matters worse.
A flying leap: Asked about whether the scheduling of a FOX special about celebrity diving was a way to kill interest in an upcoming reality series ABC will launch. Reilly would only say “It’s all fair.”
On the “Fringes”: The end of “Fringe” doesn’t mean an end to FOX looking at genre type programs for the network. He explains that “We’ve had some bad fall starts and broken some hearts. It was great to finally see one through and finish it in a great way for the fans and to not leave them hanging. But we’ve never left that business, and we always look for it. And, we set the standard many years ago with ‘The X Files.’”