NBC’s Greenblatt Is Down on TV Critics: ‘In Broadcast TV, the Critics Are Just Savage to Us’

Nov 4, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Bob Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, has been in Jerusalem for a TV conference, reports Deadline.com.

The story reports that Greenblatt said at the conference: "We’re in the process of trying to figure out what is the next stage of broadcast TV. We compete with cable every day. Network shows have kind of gotten safe and predictable and a little old-fashioned. … We have to be provocative and do things to surprise people.”

Prior to joining NBC, Greenblatt spent a number of years at pay cabler Showtime.

Then, speaking about NBC’s "The Blacklist," which is the most-watched new drama on TV, Greenblatt said, according to the story, that the show is a "’hybrid’ of the kind of serialized shows that work on cable and the closed-ended franchises that are more familiar to network TV. It ‘could be the next wave,’ he suggested. ‘NBC had to make noise. … We were number four. … If you’re not provocative you’re going to be passed over these days.’ In a nod to some of NBC’s woes (there’s been a lack of breakout comedies for the second straight season), Greenblatt commented, ‘Unfortunately, yes, we read the critics. I think in cable TV, critics are important because they raise the profile of a show. But in broadcast TV, the critics are just savage to us.’ "

Our observation here at TVWeek is that, for the most part, TV critics as a whole take equal opportunities to bash and praise.

For example, the annual awards doled out by the Television Critics Association (TCA) this year included broadcast winners in the categories of comedy programming, news and information programming, and reality programming.

Likewise, at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards this year the broadcast networks won in the following categories: Best Comedy, Best Supporting Actor-Comedy, Best Supporting Actress-Comedy, Best Supporting Actress-Drama, Best Reality Series-Competition and Best Reality Host. Some of the winners were on NBC. Furthermore, of the most exciting new show honorees, the critics picked three from cable and three from broadcast. 

robert greenblatt.jpgBob Greenblatt

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