NBC may scale back hours

NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker has announced that the network is considering "all options" in an effort to come out ahead in a time of economic hardship and a swiftly changing media milieu. One such option involves the potential cutting of prime-time hours--or even the dropping of an entire broadcast night.

NBC, currently ranked fourth in viewership, is facing a new climate in which advertisers have less to spend, viewers aren't chained to set airtimes, and weekend TV is gasping for breath.

"Can we continue to broadcast 22 hours in primetime? Three of our competitors don't," Zucker mused during today's UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. "Can we continue to broadcast seven days a week? One of our competitors doesn't."

Though Zucker stressed that schedule cuts are only on the bargaining table and not yet written in stone, it's possible that the network could benefit from a little CW-style streamlining. The latter, newer network boasts a small stable of successful shows, and shies away from weekend and late-night programming--indeed, the CW washed its hands of Sunday-night doldrums by selling that time to an independent production company looking for a place to call its own.

Though this "evolution" of broadcasting could be a boon for the network, management seems a bit nervous about the impression such a move could give. "It's not giving up," said Zucker. "It's not retrenching. It's not throwing in the towel."

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NBC, don't touch 30ROCK!
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tjaman i agree that chuck is amazing...im actually a little worried that if they do cut back the hours of broadcast tv will chuck be a show to suffer? what do you guys think? i think nbc loves chuck so thats always a good thing but its not that highly rated at 6+ million an epp this season.
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"Chuck" kicks ass. Program more "Chuck," please. :)
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I think it's a wise idea but why not open up the NBC vaults and bring out the classics to air Late Night just like the good ole days. I wouldn't mind tuning into M Squad or Bob Hope Shows, they have quite a library so why not fill it with something a new generation might enjoy and appreciate.
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I can see dropping weekend programing but why cut back primetime?
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the only time people watch nbc is on thursday and with saturday night live
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Sunday night football is part of those hours .Saturday is reruns .... So now with Leno at 10 pm . you need 10 hours of good shows.... Good shows get a following..Puts some of those on Jeff.
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well for me The Office and 30 Rock are the only things worth watching on NBC right now, so maybe some fresh thinking needs to be brought in.
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The only shows worth watching right now are ironically on ABC and FOX. Hopefully better ratings for my shows then. :D
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That is just the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Just make better shows and people will watch. Don't downsize primetime!
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I guess they can knock off a few shows and start showing XFL reruns since that was a brilliant move. With the new Leno show on before the news, this means that there is now only 2 hours of programming a night to work with...we really need 4 talk shows on at night now? Bad NBC, Bad....where's my rolled up news paper.
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maybe try adding a little variety, and i don't mean variety shows. crime dramas and "reality" shows are clogging up primetime.
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All these years the bigwigs have tried to tells us what to watch, what to wear, and what to eat. Even now they still don't get it. In the 70s and 80s the shows were full of life, the characters were large as life, usually light hearted, had a good message to boot. A few others were variety shows that had often off the wall zany comedy and beloved stars. They can't see their fault and may never. They are so stuck in their ways that if their can't change their busimess model they will even fail further.
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Good thinking of NBC. Next step don't broadcast anything.
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Rae75309 it's all about ratings. If reality shows (which cost less to produce) do better ratings than shows like Crusoe why would they not run them?
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BeachfrontGlass, you do make a valid point; unfortunately, it will never come to pass.
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BeachfrontGlass, you do make a valid point; unfortunately, it will never come to pass.
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This almost seems inevitable. These big corporations don't really seem to understand that people's viewing habits are totally different now. Far more people watch stuff online than they ever did, or buy episodes from download sites or DVR them or whatever. And what about the international audience? Shouldn't some attention be paid to them? Wake up and move with the times!
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NBC has done a terrible job marketing their programs and in setting their lineups. The networks really aren't looking at why some shows succeed and others don't. I do think that Crusoe is one of their better programs and I can't believe they're just tossing it out the window. Apparently, somebody at NBC is just making one bad decision after another. The true bottom line is that by giving their viewers fewer reasons to tune in, fewer viewers will tune in at all because they'll be watching that other show they saw a promo for while watching that other channel.



NBC, fire your entire marketing and promotions team! Try hiring outside of California for a change. Oh, and axing those reality shows would be nice.
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would there be economic hardship if they didn't make shows that suck?
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Lets face it. Saturday is not a Primetime night anymore. t hasn't been for years. 1/2 of the shows on NBC Primetime are gameshows now! Maybe that is why people aren't watching! If they would just ignore the 18 yr olds for a minute and start catering shows to the 30-60 yr olds with a college education...



Boston Legal just broadcast it's final episode on ABC. They had a great episode this season on the fact that there are no intelligent shows on major networks anymore! Maybe they should try to enlighten America instead of dumbing it down. Let Sorkin and David E. Kelly run wild on a few shows! Give them 13 episode seasons. Get some quality back on the air! Shows like Hll Street Blues, Boston Legal, The West Wing, etc...



Hand Saturday nights over to intelligent programming. It will deliver a following better than 2 week old reruns on Law and Order. Don't give up. Take it on as a challege!
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This would be an absolute shame if it happens. As someone who watches way to much TV (yet very little NBC) this would upset me greatly. I already dislike the fact that FOX and the CW only have 2 hours a night?



So, how can you keep the same amount of programming while in an economic hardship? 1) Bring back the pilot system. TV networks used to show te pilot episode of a show and if it got good reviews/ratings it would be picked up for a series. Now shows do not have to go through this and it is the reason that Kath and Kim, Life, Crusoe and Lipstick Jungle are on the air.



2) Do not sell a show based on who's in it. Gossip Girl did not have any big name stars yet now the general public knows who Blake Lively, Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick are because it's a concept a lot of people like. Even if it's just hiring hot actresses people will watch just as much as if you cast Meryl Streep.



3) Re-air shows, Bring in Canadian/British shows etc. Splitting costs with another network like HBO/BBC did with Extras and CBS/CTV did with Flashpoint can not only sve money but produce a better product. Tapping into cable shows and either reshowing them or showing a few original episodes a season on NBC and the rest on USA could help both the cable and the broadcast networks ratings in the long run.



There are numerous ways to do this, but only broadcasting from 8-10 will only make matters worse.
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Gintsrock: I think it's because 30 ROCK is on NBC.
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Thank the lord! I've been waiting for this to happen. Networks without the best need to mimic things like the UK series on the BBC with shorter seasons (like between 6-13 episodes) rather than dragging out what might be okay programming into too much filler! Or like FOX who only do 2 hours of programming a night (8-10pm) rather than the usual 3 hours (8-11pm) The CW should be next for shorter seasons with some shows more like a miniseries.
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things are bad out there :(
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If anything it was announced Leno may get the 10-11pm EST timeslot 5 days a week!



Fox gets away with 2 hrs of primetime... CW, but why campare yourself to CW Zucker?... What's the other one? MYNetwork? AWFUL!
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BBC has really gone down hill since we lost firends and will and grace. NBC was the best but these last few years It went down hill. So what does this mean if NBC don't get more viwers then were losing NBC?
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Why does 30 Rock have anything to do with this article...?
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