Skip to main content

NBC Infront News, Plus Fighting the Good Fight for "Chuck"

There wasn't much in the way of news at yesterday's NBC Infront, which I attended at the Globe Theatre on the Universal backlot, although I will say that I did tell Ben Silverman to please renew Chuck. (Yep, right to his face.)

The second annual NBC Infront presentation, overseen by Ben Silverman, Mike Pilot, Dick Ebersol, Angela Bromstad, Vivi Zigler, and Paul Telegdy, was pretty similar to the one given in New York last week (and likely the one in Chicago as well).

Silverman said that the fall schedule was still not locked and urged advertisers to speak up about their support for bubble series like Chuck and that there were still negotiations going on behind-the-scenes on these series. After hearing Silverman (and confronting him later on the red carpet), I do feel like NBC will be bringing back Chuck... if they can reach a financial agreement that makes sense for all concerned parties.

Silverman's reaction to my heartfelt pleas to renew Chuck certainly indicated that he's not only aware of the fan and critical support for the series. (Silverman smiled and laughed and turned to the head of NBC Agency and said, "*This* is what I am talking about!") Methinks that the advertiser love has certainly improved Chuck's chances, but it's all going to come down to dollars and cents at this point. Still, no decision is still good news at this point.

Much of NBC's presentation focused on the controversial decision to schedule Jay Leno five nights a week at 10 pm and execs were quick to point out that the move is not bringing late night to 10 pm, but rather Jay Leno to primetime. Silverman said that Jay Leno is "topical, live on tape, comedic, and branded" and said that the use of Leno at 10 pm weeknights would allow NBC to "schedule more aggressively and surgically between 8 and 10 pm."

Trailers were shown for each of the new scripted series which include Trauma, Mercy, Parenthood, Day One, and comedies Community and 100 Questions. With the exception of a new trailer for Jesse Alexander-created Day One (which I have yet to see anywhere online), the clips were very similar (or identical, in some cases) to those shown to advertisers in New York. Particular mention was paid to unscripted series such as I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, The Marriage Ref, and Who Do You Think You Are?, as well as the Vancouver Olympic Games.

Silverman said that having a "focused lineup between 8 and 10 pm" will allow the network to "build themes across nights." It's still not clear what those themes will be but Silverman offered a slight taste of what we can expect to find on NBC each night, ahead of the release of the official schedule next week.

Mondays: Heroes and a new series (as yet undetermined)
Tuesdays: Biggest Loser
Wednesdays: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Thursdays: Comedies, including six episodes of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday (which Silverman seemed to indicate would air at 8 pm)
Fridays: High-end scripted programs
Saturdays: Drama Encores, Dateline, Saturday Night Live
Sundays: Football, special events like Golden Globes

Execs also heralded the return of freshman series Southland and Parks and Recreation, which it lauded as upholding the high comedic bar set by 30 Rock. (The series' Aziz Ansari and Ben McKenzie, meanwhile, were on hand to open the event and introduce Mike Pilot and Ben Silverman.) Silverman pointed to patience with comedy paying off, believing that Parks and Recreation could join the ranks of slow-to-catch-on NBC comedies like Seinfeld, The Office, and 30 Rock, and said their mission was to offer programming to "inform, entertain, and inspire."

Responding to a question from an advertiser, Angela Bromstad was quick to say that she didn't anticipate any content-related issues at the 8 pm or 9 pm hours stemming from such post-watershed series like Law & Order: SVU airing at an earlier hour. Silverman himself said that Law & Order: SVU now plays around the country around the clock and they did not anticipate any issues with airing the series before 10 pm.

NBC will announce its schedule and any additional series renewals and pickups on May 19th.


kallie said…
Thanks for speaking up to Silverman! Glad to hear that at least negotiations are still being made over Chuck. Hopefully, something can be worked out. Fingers crossed!
Tempest said…
Unleash the Casey (or the Jace)! Way to plug "Chuck."
Annie said…
LOVE that you did this. Way to go Jace!!!!!!
Mazza said…
Bravo, Jace! That took courage to say to Silverman. I hope he realizes just how much support Chuck has from the fans and media. BRING CHUCK BACK!
jn613 said…
thanks for the shout out to silverman, jace! with chuck likely landing on fridays, it looks like fans are in battle for the long haul, not just for the show's renewal, but for its very survival. here's hoping we fans can remain committed and creative in our campaigns so that the show can stay on the air as long as the writers -- and not the ratings -- dictate. if nothing else, at least the Have a Heart-Renew Chuck campaign has raised over $13,000 for the american heart association. chuck fans are awesome -- go team bartowski!

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have

"Gilmore" Guy: Who is New Showrunner David Rosenthal?

A few days later and I am still processing the news that Gilmore Girls showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino--and her exceptionally talented husband, writer and producer Daniel Palladino-- announced their departure from the whip-smart drama after six seasons. The news wouldn't be such a blow, save for the fact that Gilmore Girls is as much about Amy and Daniel as it is about Lorelai and Rory. In their capable hands, the show explored a supremely complicated family dynamic through the beautiful friendship of mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory... and did so with smart dialogue usually found in a Nick & Nora film rather than on television. Zany subplots abounded as did quirky, beloved supporting characters. And now, after six seasons (including this most recent--and very shaky--season where Amy and Daniel wrote less episodes than usual), Amy and Daniel are passing on the showrunning torch to... Dave Rosenthal?!? For those of you in the audience unfamiliar with David Rosenthal ,