NBC's Latest Bright Idea Is a Live Multi-Cam Comedy Produced by Sean Hayes
NBC's latest bright idea with regard to original programming is to go old-school. Like, all the way back to your parents' parents' school. The network is teaming up with frequent collaborator Sean Hayes and actor/writer Chris Moynihan for a new sitcom that would air live each week, Deadline reports.
The potential series, dubbed Hospitality, is a multi-camera comedy set in a Manhattan hotel and focusing on the staff that works there. (which sounds a bit like Fox's atrocious 2008 sitcom Do Not Disturb). Even the commercial breaks would live.
To some degree, live "event broadcasts" allow networks to combat time-shifted DVR/online viewing, which damages their ad revenue earning potential. NBC actually has a long history with live scripted programming. Saturday Night Live is still going strong as it prepares to kick of its 40th season this fall, and 30 Rock aired two different live episodes during its seven-season run. However, the network's decision to give Hospitality a shot most likely stems from the success of its late-2013 special The Sound of Music Live!, which drew a whopping 18.62 million viewers in its initial airing. NBC also has a live production of Peter Pan in the works.
If Hospitality gets picked up—and I hope it does—it will be a disaster. No one is going to rush to their TV set to check out a live multi-camera comedy, and sitcoms, whether they're multi-cam or not, require a lot of editing. There's nothing like a joke falling flat on live TV.
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