May 14, 2007 8:25 PM
Kevin Reilly promised a straightforward, no-frills one-hour upfront presentation and that’s what he gave (though it clocked in at 1:25). Reilly started with a funny joke, “They cut my dance number and I had a whole Irish stepdance planned out; damn you McPherson!” … well, it’s funny if you go to upfronts.
As expected, Reilly chanted “quality” like a mantra. He emphasized that 30-episode seasons of “Heroes” and “The Office” will guarantee nearly uninterrupted schedules, and thanked showrunners for agreeing to “Take the Bulk-Up Challenge” – an oft-repeated phrase that sounds like a euphemism for an anorexia rehab program.
NBC skipped the traditional parade of stars, except for one upfrontacular moment when the cast of “Heroes” unexpectedly rose up out of the stage complete with smoke-machine atmospherics.
Reilly also trotted out Jerry Seinfeld, promoting his “minisodes” that, in turn, will promote his new Dreamworks movie. This must be part of the new paradigm that Jeff Zucker promised: trying to sell advertising against content that is already a commercial.