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TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.

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Marianne Paskowski



NBC Gets It Half Right, But Mostly Wrong

April 3, 2008 12:09 PM

Borrowing a page from cable, the broadcast Peacock network will stagger new shows throughout the year including summer, instead of waiting for the traditional fall premiere window.

That’s the half-right part.

The half-wrong part is the mish-mash of programming slated to appear on NBC’s so-called 65-week schedule. At best, this lineup is a working mess in progress.

Not surprisingly, NBC will borrow some successful hits from its more successful cable sibling USA, including “Psych,” “Nashville Star” and “Monk.” That makes sense.

But new content includes adaptations of foreign series and, yes, more cheap reality fare.

To dig a potentially deeper hole for itself, the fourth-place network will air more family-oriented programming, including a revival of “Knight Rider” and a new show about Robinson Crusoe.

NBC honchos said there was plenty of wiggle room in the schedule. So how will already apathetic NBC viewers build loyalty to anything if shows come and go, as they will, at the first sign of trouble?

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Comments (13)

Maria:

Wasn't Knight Rider horribly reviewed? How is NBC expecting to get over that?

Jonathan:

Why NOT borrow from the success of NBC-Owned USA Network? And as far as the new Knight Rider being "family-oriented"......unless the series is VERY different from the pilot movie, in which the opening scene featured a menage a trois, and later reveals the featured female cop has a lesbian lover......I'm thinking it's not exactly your Father's "Knight Rider"...IF it were "family-oriented," and I am hoping the re-do of Swiss Family Robinson IS...WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Maria,

Knight Rider is a blur to me, think it had something to do with a talking car. Not sure. Don't care. Don't think anyone else will either.

Thanks for asking the question, someone will know up here.

Marianne

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jonathan,

Well where shall I start? I really don't think it's a bad idea to borrow from USA. But that move could dilute the USA audience.

Whatever. Now about all this retro programming, it's a snore. This dribble belongs on the Hallmark Channel, not NBC.

My two cents, thanks for your response,
Marianne

Cruiser:

Yo, Blondie --

You're carrying on as if the average TV viewer has any discernment. Remember Mencken's famous comment: "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public!"

Besides, I like Knight Rider, and wish my car would talk to me ("Time to pick up some chicks," etc.) But if it's a talking coconut on Robinson Caruso, I'll switch channels to Masterpiece Theater, thank you.

Cruisin not bruisin

Marianne Paskowski:

Cruiser,

Well, the way thinks are going at NBC you could get your talking coconut on Robinson Crusoe.

Always a pleasure to hear from you,
Marianne

Jason:

NBC should certainly take a page from USA, which from what I read is now NBCU's most profitable network. Who would've thought!? The main problems with NBC's lineup are: 1)This whole thought that Heroes can launch new hits. The show's fans are more interested in online chatting afterwards than whatever NBC launches. That's why an all returning Monday of Chuck, Heroes, and Medium is what should've happened. At midseson some newer programs could replace these shows for 6 or 8 weeks. 2)NBC's decision to pull Law and Order for Lipstick Jungle, a flop. I know they wanted something female skewing back but wouldn't the better option have been to launch Kath and Kim on Thursdays and LJ after a one hour Biggest Loser on Tuesdays? 3)Too much extended Biggest Loser. They are going into overkill mode with this show. It needs to be off the air for 2 or 3 months in the winter before coming back for spring duty. 4)Cancelling 1 vs. 100 when it pulled as good of numbers as DOND on Fridays and could've kept that show from overkill as well. Plus, then NBC could've used DOND on another more valuable night to replace repeats at midseason, like Sundays. Finally, as much as I love Friday Night Lights and am glad its renewed, Fridays are not a good night for this show. Why not do Sundays after football is over along with Criminal Intent USA repeats and a new cop drama?

Marianne Paskowski:

Jason,
You know the problem is really nets are so cheap the hype the hell out of everything, like Millionaire. Remember, four nights a week just about impaled it.

Like your programming suggestions, but I've given up on the Peacock accept for Leno and the occasional SNL.

Don't even watch the Today show anymore. The proud bird is off my radar, and I used to watch it a lot.

Funny, not only USA, but CNBC, NBC's sibs are far more riveting. Yikes, even CNBC's series American Greed is actually better than anything the broadcast network has.

Did you see the one about Seth Tobias? A docu about the downfall and death of a Wall Street biggie. You can't make this stuff up, it's great stuff.

Keep on chirping in Jason, appreciate your eagle eye. Not to be confused with the Peacock's current status of tunnel vision.

Best,
Marianne

Jason:

Marianne,
I actually watch more stuff on MyNetworkTV today than I ever do on NBC anymore. I like Chuck, but don't follow it religiously. I at least know I am going to see all the episodes of my "very guilty" pleasure Paradise Hotel. There's just nothing exciting at all about this new NBC lineup and let alone what they're airing right now. They even want to rid themselves of an American daytime icon, Days of Our Lives, which gets zilch promotion anymore. I do agree the NBC cable units are more riveting. While I disagree with most of their people, MSNBC has built itself into a recognizable news organization these days. USA has quite a few hits and CNBC is also on a roll.
Take Care,
Jason

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jason,

You are spot on about the other NBC sibs, MSNBC and CNBC on a ratings roll. It's raining and blah out here on the Cape, so I'm cleaning up my computer, with a Lifetime movie running in the background.

Not surprising about MSNBC or CNBC. MSNBC has become the place to watch the upcoming elections, even though Chris Matthews gets on my nerves,

And CNBC, if you can tolerate Larry Kudlow and Jim Cramer, some good fundamental advice there for the at home investor. Just don't follow their advice and do your own homework.

Saw an interesting headline about the Olmypics committee saying the air was just dandy in China, even though athletes are dropping out.

So much for days of our lives.

Be well,and thanks for your insights,
Marianne


Andy S.:

"Saw an interesting headline about the Olmypics committee saying the air was just dandy in China, even though athletes are dropping out."

Christie Whitman wasn't on that committee by any chance, was she?

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Andy,

As far as I know, Christie Whitman is still living in horsey country in New Jersey, probably raising champion sires.

I don't know, but I don't like what I'm reading. I am getting to the point that I firmly believe the US has to boycott the Beijiing Olympics.

It happened before when the U.S. boycotted the Olypics in what was then the Soviet Union. I doubt it will happen now with no many U.S. industrialists investing in China, this Commie country.

Whatever,
Marianne

Illiteracy Sucks:

"Dribble" and "drivel" have very different meanings.

"Accept" and "except" have very different meanings.

Whatever you are paid for your work, it's too much. You are a borderline illiterate, posing as a journalist.

Get thee to an elementary school. You have much to learn.

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