NBC Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin made the most of the spotlight during an executive session Friday at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills, criticizing his network’s strategic failure with its late-night schedule and commenting on the challenge of competing with “American Idol,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"We made too many changes too quickly from a position of weakness," Gaspin said, addressing NBC’s ill-fated 10 p.m. strategy culminating in its late-night scramble involving Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. "The goal is to get stronger and then if we need to make changes at that point [make them]. But it won’t work from a position of weakness, which jeopardized some of the decisions we made."
Asked about late-night after the panel, Gaspin said, "I’m done with late night for now. I’m going to focus on prime time," the article reported.
Gaspin said he sees opportunities for networks trying to compete with “American Idol,” given the numerous changes that are in the works at the Fox ratings juggernaut.
"I do think ‘Idol’ could pose an opportunity but I don’t think it’s specific to a music show," he said, adding that with all the changes at “Idol” it may be a good time for other networks to compete by placing key shows against it.
One critic expressed concern about NBC’s fall pilot "The Event," which some observers fear might suffer the same fate as ABC’s ambitious "FlashForward," the story adds.
NBC Entertainment President Angela Bromstad fielded that one, saying, "We are going to do everything in our power to guard against the ‘FlashForward’ [problems]. We take those lessons very seriously. Audiences and critics will rightly be skeptical."