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James Hibberd

'Heroes' Turns Back Reilly's Doomsday Clock

January 17, 2007 4:56 PM

Sitting with Reilly after his TCA session for an upcoming TV Week “12 to Watch' executive profile, Reilly was circumspect about his former high-profile period of occupational uncertainty.

“It was character building,' he says. “I’m ready to put it behind me. It teaches you how to stay focused on your work. It was weird, the reports would come in these clusters. I’d come in and have 10 journalists on my call sheet that all have triple confirmation that my boxes were being packed. You start to feel bad for the organization, it bums people out. It undermines the organization when you’re trying to build confidence … [but] once you’ve been at DefCon 5, being at DefCon 3 feels pretty comfortable.'

Such talk has, of course, subsided in the wake of NBC’s rising ratings tide (specifically, “Heroes,' “The Office,' “My Name is Earl,' “Deal Or No Deal' and “Sunday Night Football'). Reilly’s NBC contract is up this summer and industry insiders say the ball is back his court. Reilly declined to comment on the contract status, saying only that he’s feeling confident about the company.

One last thing. According to Wikipedia, on the DefCon scale, level 5 is actually the most relaxed state of readiness, and 1 is the never-used “24'-season-premiere nuke-attack imminent level. But, c’mon. Reilly has to run an entire broadcast network, he can’t be expected to know everything.


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