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James Hibberd

In the Reporter's Scrum with Kevin Reilly

July 22, 2006 1:12 AM


NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly had a large but relatively relaxed post-executive reporter's scrum Friday morning at press tour, and offered up some additional information to the assembled crowd.  

Some of the fun facts included:

"Tonight Show" host Jay Leno may be stepping down in 2009, but he will still be working for NBC.
"We have a couple of ideas," Reilly said. "It's way premature."
But Reilly ruled out one genre for Leno.

"Jay's not interested in the specials business," he said, noting that the network is "full speed ahead" on Conan O'Brien taking over when Jay steps down.

NBC is producing more "Dateline: Internet Crimes" specials, which were a big ratings hit this past season, he said.
"We've ordered 13 of them," Reilly said. "They are not going to all air in the fall. We're going to pepper them in on Friday nights."
The child predator element of the show may be uncomfortable for some, but the program is effective, Reilly said.

"They have a few ideas to broaden it out," he said. "The mechanics of that particular segment, the Internet predator, has been so well executed. It is a show that you feel like it is salacious by nature, but if you watch the show, it is incredibly compelling television."

The recent "Nobody's Watching" pilot phenomenon on online video sharing site YouTube is likely to be a model going forward in terms of developing new on-air series, Reilly said.

"I want to increase our relationship with the online audience," he said, "and create more of an ongoing dialogue. I could absolutely see a place where we are sending for a group of loyal viewers who have established themselves in the NBC online club, so to speak…where we are sending them our pilots and letting them weigh in before setting the network schedule, and I think that would be healthy."


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Comments (1)


Any word on how one signs up for the online pilot preview club?

That's a really smart play. Not only are you getting free focus group feedback on pilots, but once you figure out which ones have the support of the group, you can pretty simply convert segments of your online preview club into online evangelists for their favorite series.

Snakes on a Peacock, anyone?

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