Short and Sweet
May 15, 2007 6:31 PM
If brevity is the soul of wit, NBC’s short presentation brought a smile to many of the ad buyers getting warmed up for the upfront marathon.
Otherwise, NBC had little new humor for sale. In what some buyers said might be an unprecedented move, the network of “Cosby,” “Cheers,” and “Seinfeld” presented no new sitcoms. “Chuck,” their geeks-in-love/peril hour is more of a drama than the laughs caused by its upfront clips indicate, according to NBC insiders.
Buyers got a nervous laugh during NBC’s Olympics presentation, which boasted that the network would be presenting about six days worth of programming every day during the games. After being told how many events would be held in the morning in Beijing so the could be televised live here in the U.S., NBC’s taped presentation glitched, and repeated itself once, twice, then three times before getting all the way through.
Backstage, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol advised NBC Universal Sales President Mike Pilot to make light of the snafu. He did, but a better joke came from one wag who suggested that running tapes over and over again was how NBC planned to fill so many hours of coverage.
The best joke came from Jerry Seinfeld, who remarked on how much things have changed since his show went off the air. These days, the airwaves are full of people eating worms and one-legged dancers. “It’s like the industry packed up and joined the circus,” he said.