Live-Blogging the NBC Executive Session
July 21, 2008 11:14 AM
Co-Chairmen of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios Marc Graboff and Ben Silverman are here and ready to go.
They've got some announcements:
—"SNL" will start early on Sept.13.
—Oct. 9 will be the launch of "SNL's" live prime-time political series.
—"Life" will air Monday at 10 p.m. for two weeks, starting Sept. 29. "My Own Worst Enemy" will premiere on Oct. 13 in that slot afterwards.
—"30 Rock" stays at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. "Kath and Kim" takes the 8:30 block.
—Formally announcing that Amy Poehler is moving to a Thursday night comedy. Starring in a show from Greg Daniels and Mike Schur that is NOT a spinoff of "The Office."
—However, NBC, Mr. Daniels and Mr. Schur are still pursuing "The Office" spinoff.
—NBC will be doing the April infront once again.
11:25 a.m.: Jay's last show will be May 29. Conan's first show will be June 1. Mr. Leno is here asking questions, a la Jimmy Kimmel during ABC's panel.
11:27 a.m.: Mr. Graboff says NBCU is still talking with Mr. Leno to keep him in the family.
11:28 a.m.: "Heroes: Origins" would have dragged down the ability to make "Heroes" as strong as possible, especially with the writers strike.
11:30 a.m.: Conan's last show on "Late Night" will be "early first quarter of 2009," Mr. Graboff says.
11:32 a.m.: Mr. Graboff says NBCU is presenting Mr. Leno with a multitude of options.
11:33 a.m.: March-April is the likely launch date for Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night."
11:35 a.m.: Both Mr. Graboff and Mr. Silverman say they believe product placement can go too far. Mr. Silverman says about "Knight Rider" that "the star of the show is the car," so it didn't go too far with that placement. But the advertising around "Knight Rider" might have hammered too hard with the auto tie-in.
11:38 a.m.: Mr. Silverman says Mr. Daniels and Mr. Schur are resistant to give out any information about this Amy Poehler show. All Mr. Silverman will say is that it will be "funny."
11:40 a.m.: That post-Super Bowl slot that was going to have "The Office" spinoff? Who knows what's going to be there now. It might be a tease for Ms. Poehler's show, it might be something else, Mr. Silverman says.
11:45 a.m.: Mr. Graboff says NBC is committed to airing "Friday Night Lights," even after its been seen on other platforms (DirecTV). The numbers on any audience erosion still came back positive for NBC in this experiment.
11:48 a.m.: Mr. Silverman says he loves the creative community that NBC has.
11:50 a.m.: Mr. Graboff says Fox's move to Monday during the upfront doesn't bother NBC because the network is doing an infront in April. As for the NBC Experience in May, it might come back, maybe not. NBC will have "at least a party" during the traditional May upfront week, Mr. Graboff says.
11:54 a.m.: On-screen banner ads are annoying, specifically NBC's. Mr. Silverman says he'll take the note, and that Lorne Michaels offered the same complaint to him last week. The network is experimenting with it, so deal with it.
11:57 a.m.: How has the strike changed the industry? Mr. Graboff says the industry can't go back to the way it was. NBC is going to be a little bit more strategic about how it produces new shows. International productions, like "The Listener" and "Crusoe," are important, too, for cost-effectiveness and adding new voices to the mix.
12 p.m.: They weren't fooling about the schedule. We're done.