Winter TCA Press Tour 2012: The 5 Biggest Stories to Come Out of NBC’s Executive Session

COMMUNITY Fans: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.
While NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt was quick to reinforce the fact that COMMUNITY has (a) not been canceled, and (b) will return to the air at a date to be determined in the Spring, he was slightly less forthright when asked about the potential of a fourth season. Translation: Fans of Greendale Community College should pretty much expect to hold their breath until the last possible moment (Read: the annual May Upfront) when a decision on the show’s future (or lack thereof) will be made based on NBC’s scheduling needs and pilot development.

“Sexytime” is coming to SVU
In a not-so-subtle attempt to re-energize the waning interest in NBC’s once dominant LAW & ORDER franchise, Greenblatt enthusiastically introduced a clip of SVU series star Mariska Hargitay expressing excitement for the show’s latest guest star Harry Connick Jr., who will be joining the show for a 4 episode arc as an assistant deputy attorney and love interest for Benson.

13 might be the new 22
In news that sure as heck won’t come as music to the ears of any of our fellow TV Addicts reading this, Greenblatt — whose previous job was that of President of Showtime Entertainment — spent an inordinate amount of time pointing to the advantages of cable. More to the point, Greenblatt foresees a day when the Networks move to more of a cable model with… wait for it… shorter seasons! “I don’t know if every show benefits from 22 episodes stretched across 9 months with all kinds of repeats,” said Greenblatt. “I think there are going to be some shows that benefit from compacted schedules and putting them on either in the fall or spring and the resting them and bringing them back the following year,”

NBC’s Fall was a Disaster
While news of NBC’s less that successful Fall probably won’t come as much of a surprise to all seventeen of you who sampled THE PLAYBOY CLUB, PRIME SUSPECT or FREE AGENTS, Greenblatt was very open about the Network’s lacklustre start to the season. And while he was quick to voice his support for the likes of WHITNEY, UP ALL NIGHT and GRIMM, he wasn’t shy about expressing his disappointment in PRIME SUSPECT (“Maybe I should just blame the hat and move on”), THE PLAYBOY CLUB (“It was just a rejected concept”) and FREE AGENTS (“Great elements don’t always equal a hit show”).

SMASH isn’t the be all or end all
Despite what the increasingly ubiquitous marketing campaign might have you believe, the fate of NBC’s midseason schedule doesn’t rest solely on SMASH’s shoulders. True, enough money to feed a mid-sized developing country has been put aside to market the show, and yes, very soon you won’t be able to turn on your television without hearing Katharine McPhee belt “Beautiful”, that said, expectations remain realistic. Said Greenblatt, “I think SMASH is going to be very important to us. I don’t believe it’s a make it or break it kind of show for us, but I think we’re proud of it and excited about what it could do.”

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • Sanen85

    Eff NBC. If Community goes, the only thing left that I will bother to watch on that channel is P&R.