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NBC (ended 2015)

Coming off its best season in several years, NBC had the pleasure of kicking off the network portion of the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday. NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt was joined by Jennifer Salke, network president, and Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late night programming, to discuss the network's lack of Emmy love, Hannibal's ratings, whether Cristin Milioti dies in A to Z, and more.


On the lack of Emmy nominations for The Blacklist and star James Spader:

... Greenblatt sounded a little wistful when discussing the network's lack of Emmy love and the continued rise and dominance of cable shows at the Emmys. "I think emotionally we all care. Despite telling yourself that it doesn't matter ... of course you want that validation," he said. "At the same time, there [are] so many great shows on so many great networks now. And cable has the advantage of doing material that's darker and more interesting. On some levels ... [it] feels cooler than what we can do."


On why NBC doesn't have more shows like Hannibal, which feels very cable-esque:

... "The minute you try to do something that is dark and subversive, you start to peel away the mass audience," said Greenblatt. "Hannibal is one of the best shows we have creatively and one of the best reviewed shows and we still struggle to find an audience for it." Greenblatt also said he thinks if the show were on a cable network the ratings wouldn't matter and it would be deemed more successful. 

Bonus scoop: Salke said they just heard the pitch for Season 3, which will once again premiere at midseason, and it "blew us away." 


On whether the multi-camera comedy is dead at NBC (and everywhere):

... When asked why NBC doesn't have success with the multi-cam sitcom à la CBS, Greenblatt said the network "keeps going back to [the multi-cam]" and "hopes to balance the scales" a bit, but the problem is that there has been an entire generation of shows that moved away from the format, reinforcing the idea that single-camera comedies are better. "We're trying to revitalize the form," said Greenblatt, "but nine times out of 10 [people] want to do a single-cam." Salke believes it's all about finding the people who want to write and cultivate those types of shows.


On the failure of The Michael J. Fox Show/blowing up the Thursday comedy block:

... Greenblatt admitted the network struggled to bring in an audience for the show, and that that they banked a bit on name recognition to bring in an audience for both The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World. "[We] actually thought Michael in and of himself would help us overcome those challenges on Thursday... [but it] just reinforced how difficult of a night for us it has become." That is, of course, why the network is blowing up the comedy block this season. 


On the network's choice to do two new romantic comedies next season:

... Now that How I Met Your Mother has gone to the big MacLaren's in the sky, NBC is hoping to fill the void the CBS sitcom left in network television with Marry Me and A to Z. "Both shows are an attempt to capture a romantic comedy that we don't think is on the air," explained Salke, who was also quick to deny that Casey Wilson's Marry Me is a closed-ended series, noting the series could potentially encapsulate life after the engagement, like the first year of marriage, having babies, etc. New series A to Z, on the other hand, is limited by design as it follows a relationship from beginning to end, but Greenblatt joked they're "adding letters to the alphabet." On a side note: They said Cristin Milioti's character does not die at the end. Whether or not Ben Feldman ends up with Cobie Smulders, though, is still up in the air.


On whether we'll see more of Maya Rudolph's variety show:

... Telegdy called Rudolph's special "an imperfect first episode," noting that the network really enjoyed the experience and is in discussions with Rudolph about how to replicate it on a special basis or as a weekly show. "The fact that ... it did so strongly was very encouraging," said Greenblatt.


On bringing Red Nose Day to the U.S.:

... Familiar to our friends across the pond, NBC is bringing Red Nose Day to the States for the first time in May 2015. The day-long event will culminate in a three-hour primetime broadcast special involving great comedy moments (the network is partnering with Funny or Die!), celebrity appearances, and musical acts. 


On this winter's live performance of Peter Pan:

... Christopher Walken, whose musical stylings have been showcased in films like Hairspray and the recent adaptation of Jersey Boys, has been cast in the role of Captain Hook in NBC's upcoming production of Peter Pan. Greenblatt even joked that "this might be the first tap-dancing Captain Hook you've ever seen."

Bonus scoop: The network approached Kristen Bell to star in the production, but she was not available given the time involved, and the fact that she's pregnant with her second child.



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Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/29/2015

Season 3 : Episode 13

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nbc would continue to be irrelevant if it wasn't for Voice, Blacklist and SNF. Those three shows account for almost all their numbers. With CBS getting TNF, NBC will drop to number 2.
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Ben Feldman does end up on a stretcher though.
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NBC should do a rebranding of the way they appeal to younger, hungrier talent. The problem in part is how much overhead is built into the network, so every show has to cost a lot so it can bring in a lot more viewers to get sponsors to keep the lights on. If they aimed for lower audience shares with their shows and just kept the costs down, they could do more experimental stuff and start rebuilding. But as long as they keep swinging for the fences with no understanding of the material themselves, they will keep hitting singles and grounders and pop flies that keep them from rounding the bases.
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Its a shame NBC doesn't fully grasp why the Michael j fox show and Sean saves the world didn't work. I gave both shows the 5 episode test and they were just bad. It had nothing to do with Thursday nights. Sean was overacting his but off, and it was too full of obvious punch lines and cliches. And tmjfs was just boring. If they could just admit a show was bad and not blame it on the time slot or other networks maybe they could make some progress bringing back the Thursday night comedy. But they are like the person who always blames another for their mistakes then asks why does this always happen to me?
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That would take insight into the content, which they don't have.
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It's surprising how you all think Hannibal would be a hit "if this" or "if that". You seem to forget people may simply not like the show and/or its subject matter. You seem to think a majority of people would enjoy a gruesome show about a serial killing cannibal. You seem to think people would want to watch a show where they already know the outcome thanks to book/movie like "Silence of the Lambs". Time slot and network would not likely boost the numbers in any way significant to make it a huge hit. It may be a technically good show, but people don't care either because of its subject, its cast, or whatever. It's the way it was for me after three or so episodes. Please realize that and take it into consideration that others felt, or feel, the same.

Fox's show was not good. It was not helped by the fact that he, and the show, had to factor in his Parkinson's. If the show were creatively brilliant enough to overcome that, maybe it might have had a chance, but it did not. The premise, cast, and/or material let him down whether he had any say in it all or not. You could intuitively, at least, see Fox struggling to deal with it and do the best he could, but it was not enough to overcome often seeing some of the frustration and irritation in his expressions and/or mannerisms each week despite the attempts at humor to entertain us. He is not the happy, fun person he once may have been, as the Parkinson's seems to be wearing him down a bit. Age is a factor too. I don't believe people wanted to see Fox this way and have to put up with a poor show for it. Credit NBC for giving it a shot though. I applaud his effort and professionalism, and I believe him to be a fine actor, but he does work best now in limited roles like that in The Good Wife where he has been able to make Parkinson's work best to his advantage for the character. Unfortunately, roles like that are probably few and far between for him now.

Honestly? What difference does it make how many cameras you have so long as the show is great? Why is this an issue?

Ummm... Shouldn't PETER PAN be a boy? I get they once cast the likes of Sandy Duncan in the role, but really? You can't find a young, free-spirited, imaginative guy to play he role?


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Peter Pan has to be a pre-pubescent boy, yet with enough acting and singing chops to carry an expensive production. That's a tall order for any pre-teen boy, while a slight-built adult woman generally can make it work.
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I wouldn't have snubbed Hannibal for an Emmy for the infinitesimally small chance that TV characters are real. It's Pascal's wager for TV. He could stand being beaten in a fair contest, but not to be nominated would disagree with him more than last night's Indian.
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Thank you TV Com for showing us a picture of whom to hate for the coming seasons to come. Well if Network tv is dying, maybe its time to invest on a channel cable channel of their own. Or co-produce.Or something. What I can see is that they are still heading towards tv hell.
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On that question, yes it will do better on cable because of the time slot. I think Hannibal is probably the only thing I have watched on NBC (on a very long time) that is not FRIENDS related or Will and Grace.
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With DVRs and On Demand a show there is no excuse why people aren't watching Hannibal. It's easily one of the best shows I've ever seen. It's up there with The Wire as the biggest Emmy snub in history.
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Hannibal won't ever have a big audience hidden away at 10pm on a Friday night. A cable channel would put it on their best night, it would be like their Walking Dead, so it probably would do a lot better on a cable channel.

I'm not sure why anyone expects an Emmy for The Blacklist. As much as I love James Spader, The Blacklist isn't a very good show.
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I would so watch Kristen Bell as Peter Pan

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"Would Hannibal be more successful on cable?" Perhaps. It certainly could be shown on a better night and time slot. Even if its viewer numbers only stayed the same (several million), that would be a big hit compared to most cable shows. I don't mind watching it on network TV, though.
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Hannibal makes about 10% more viewership than the current season of Mad Men (Hannibal did 0.9 key demo and 2.5 mil total), so a modest success by cable standards, but hardly a "big hit" a la Walking Dead's 15 million (and a 10.4 key demo!) or GoT's 7 million viewers, or even a notable take the way Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, True Blood, Duck Dynasty, or Pawn Stars bring in with their 4-5 mil viewers. Hannibal at its current budget vs its current audience share would still challenge a network, cable or broadcast.
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Maybe I'm just brainwashed by all the promo ads for "hit new show" on cable that usually bring in 2M or fewer (total SD). I expect Hannibal would continue to do better than those "hits" like Penny Dreadful, Fargo, The Americans, etc., but probably still less than "bigger hits" like many cop and reality shows. Besides, GoT's numbers are "record-breaking" and WD's are "Whopping". That's much bigger than "big hit". YMMV. :)
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Advertising generally doesn't have to be "true" anymore. ;-) Penny Dreadful's and Fargo's ratings on tv were dismal. I know Penny Dreadful did around 400% more viewers from alternate platforms to justify calling it successful for Showtime, but I dunno what Fargo did in that regard and how that compares to FX.
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Would Hannibal be more successful? It would depend on how the other network promoted it. If it was on something like AMC and they promoted it and it carved out a good viewership, then yea it could be successful. NBC's problem is promotion and time slots. 10pm on a Friday night isn't going to win over any new viewers, it isn't going to win over any of the key demos because they are out on a Friday night. If they did it like AMC and put in on a Sunday where viewers are desperate for anything good and heavily promoted it, got the word out on Twitter then I think it would be as successful if not more so than something like The Walking Dead. It would have an after show hosted by Chris Hardwick and them talking about the gruesome kills and amazing visuals of the show. And make no mistake, it is better than TWD in damn near every facet save for maybe the Zombie hook. But that is on its way out despite them saying they could go 10 seasons.

AMC is in the 21st century, NBC is still stuck in the 20th in how they promote their and run their shows.
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As I just mentioned in a reply just above this, AMC brings in a very small audience share on Mad Men, smaller than Hannibal's on NBC at Friday night. It may be a critical darling, but those numbers are paltry compared to Rizzoli & Isles and Pawn Stars, much less getting it to Game of Thrones numbers or Walking Dead numbers. Walking Dead brings in a huge key demo audience as well, but Hannibal and Walking Dead are wildly different shows, they have very different tones and appeals, there's no guarantee it'd do any better on cable than it does on network, it's a very challenging show to get into, it's dense, its titular actor has a thick accent and is difficult to understand, it's flashy and tries to be cerebral. So to think that it would have greater appeal on AMC is to assume it'd do better merely because it's gory, and that clearly hasn't been enough so far.
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So no one asked if we'd be getting burnoff for the remaining MJFs? This is why even I could be losing my hat with the peacock after this coming year. That their comedy belt may be loosening towards death. At the very least, please end it with dignity.
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NBC also withheld a 13th episode of Believe from the US. (It recently aired internationally, apparently.)
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They have released a poster of Hannibal's second season. Just take a look:











Ha, ha! Did you fall for it?
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seriously? looks like someone has the time machine set back at 1995 hahaha Mads is awesome
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And I'm guessing Hannibal will be hunted.
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No but it was fun to see one of his other works.
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Did they seriously expect any critical acclaim/awards for The Blacklist Started well but the second half of the season was a mess. Sure Spader is fantastic in it but in a mess of a show even his charisma gets diluted
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The problem with the Michael J Fox show was that it wasn't good. It had everything going for it--good characters--MJ Fox. The problem was with the writing and that's never good. There were several good episodes, but on the whole it was awful. I wanted and tried very hard to like it, but it just didn't get it.
As for Hannibal, it's as good as it can be, so no, cable wouldn't help. As good as it is it's audience will always be limited, and as good as it is, I will never watch it, because it's too creepy and sick and twisted. Who knows if the people who created it could write something good that would appeal to mass audiences. It could possibly be just a fluke, with the right people at the right time.
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I wouldn't even give MJF show "awful", Sean Saves the World was awful, but MJF was worse, it was just BLAND. They had too many characters, too many settings, and too many different tones, all of which got less attention than any single one aspect deserved. Plus, it kind of felt like "the troubles of rich people", they were lightly-neurotic upper west side New Yorkers, it wasn't terribly relateable or funny.
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And then, of course there's that.
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These network press events always make me wonder a few things about network execs.
For example, how much do these execs interfere with the shows that fail? Or is it down to the showrunners? How often have the notes the network given the showrunners helped or hindered?

Also, did NBC get offered any of the shows that turned into cable gold? And if so, why didn't they find a home at NBC?

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I also wonder if they will ever get to a point that if a network show "can't find an audience" - will each network have a cable partner they can option it to. Imagine Hannibal going to like NBC Universal cable network. Or having a pay per episode option off their website - to d/l shows like Netflix if they aren't making it in broadcast TV.

ABC has Disney
NBC has Universal
Fox has FX and FXX
I don't think CBS has a cable sister company yet.

To use a baseball analogy ...Kind of like going from the Major Leagues (Main network) - demoted to the minors AAA (cable) or all the way to internet distribution - minors AA


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NBC / Comcast has SyFy and USA as their main cable affiliations. Bravo too, if not mistaken. Technically, Disney has ABC and ABC Family.
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If I'm not mistaken Showtime is subsidiary of CBS. As for me, I don't really see that if Hannibal will move to cable as a "demotion" since there are far better shows now with cable than free TV. The current time slot and the 90's promotion of NBC is going to kill this show.
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Its a great question, though. If NBC and HBO were both interested in the same concept/writers/showrunners ...which one would the show choose? Who has more clout at this point?
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Depends entirely on what the showrunner is looking for. A big network show can command more money up front for the producers even if the show flops, I think; cable can garner a longer relationship and earn greater risks. And there are storytelling differences that each cable and network can offer, so there are a lot more factors.
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I agree totally cable should be considered a "promotion" from the quality standard. But reality tells us the big 4 networks are top dog, FX AMC Showtime HBO are in that 1st rung of cable networks - but still a "step down" as far as perception.

I think that perception is starting to change - much to the big 4's chagrin.

Jeebus. I don't even feel right listing NBC in the top rung of anything.
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NBC doesn't use Universal properly, and I thought CBS had some affiliation with The CW
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CBS and Warner Bros co-own The CW.
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You know what Grumpy - I think you are right. 'S'pose I could look through Wiki
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Nothing say about Community, hmm?
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Not much was said about Community except that it didn't make sense to renew the show with the level of audience it was bringing in.
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Community's biggest draw for NBC was as a crown jewel sitcom, a critical darling with a loyal if small niche audience. It wasn't going to make big waves on its own, but it was something they could hang their hat on as "a benchmark of NBC quality". Community did the same numbers that Parks & Rec and 30 Rock did in that recent Thursday pre-9pm timeslot yet NBC only tampered with Community because they didn't have an existing relationship with its producers while they did with Parks & Rec and 30 Rock. So any cohesive argument outside the "industry nepotism" bubble* one can make for Parks & Rec can be made equally for Community.

* - I will allow that the "industry nepotism" label I used is a tad unfair since developing talent working within a proven production environment can make sense, but at the same time the counterpoint is that the network has become far too reliant on that environment which leads to things like "The Maya Rudolph Show" mentioned in the article above, they have become so dependent on letting others decide what is and isn't good rather than having their own vision that it's blinded them to the shoddy state of the content coming out of that environment. This isn't just about Lorne Michaels and Broadway Video, NBC does that with other producers and even with other production companies too, just that one is an easy face to put on it.
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Business as usual I suppose. I'm just mad they kept giving a shot for years, but kick it out of its house before the sixth season.
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Say what you will about The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, but there's a reason these two shows are always on top, and Community doesn't get the love you people think it deserves. It's good too, no doubt about that. But years ago when Community was compared to Modern Family during their freshman season, Modern Family deservedly got the nod there too. It's just a better more consistent show.
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I'm afraid that all puts you in the minority, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. But you have to agree that the majority disagrees with you, and you have to accept that as well. You're not wrong, and neither am I.
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I watched both shows, Modern Family and Community, when they first aired. I liked the former much more than the latter, but half way through the first season I realized Community was much more than just regular sitcom. Half way through the second season of Modern Family, I got real tired of it, never went back. TBBT, on the other hand... I can't stand it. I'm a nerd, and I think that show is atrocious.
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