Today is NBC’s day of the 2014 press tour. Here are some highlights, as we will be live-blogging throughout the day.
NBC Executive Session
NBC touted their success of the 2013-2014 season, and they touted the success of their summer and late night programming. NBC will be doing their own “Red Nose Day” like the BBC has done, to raise money for charities. More details about that should be available soon.
Captain Hook in the NBC adaptation of Peter Pan will be Christopher Walken.
Bob Greenblatt acknowledged that Thursday nights have been a problem for NBC, which is why they are making changes with their programming on that night going forward.
NBC is also dedicated to good summer programming at a time when summer used to just mean “burn-off.” No decision has been made yet about the future of summer comedies that premiered this year (aka, Undateable). Jennifer Salke (NBC Entertainment President) also fielded questions about Katherine Heigl’s mother Nancy’s role as part of State of Affairs, with some concerns from the audience over what “Katherine Heigl’s mom” will be doing hanging around.
There was also a series of questions about a recent ad that was meant to include the word “abortion.”
There is an active creative discussion about when and how to bring back The Maya Rudolph Show. “It felt very different, and we got a lot of positive feedback,” Paul Telgedy said.
Greenblatt hopes that the combo of The Biggest Loser, Bad Judge, and A to Z will get some traction in the weeks where CBS is showing Thursday night football.
A multi-cam series called One Big Happy is coming this midseason, and the new comedy in development starring Bill Cosby is also multicam. Salke says the Cosby sitcom is a “multigenerational family show” where Cosby has three daughters. They’re hoping to have Mike O’Malley playing one of the spouses of one of Cosby’s kids. The new Cosby show could be Summer or Fall next year.
The execs talked about diversity, and mentioned that the new female lead for Constantine will be “authentic Latina.”
The pitch for Hannibal Season 3 “blew us away,” Jennifer Salke says, but the execs noted the quality of the series, despite not getting the ratings. If it was a cable show, it would be bigger.
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards
The Emmys will air in late August this year, hosted by Seth Meyers. This year’s nominations were a bit controversial, but the executives seem to think the solution is not to create new categories. There was a bit of a discussion of what is considered when putting a show like this one together. “Our job is just to be entertaining for three hours,” Seth Meyers said.
“Keeping the show moving and paced really well is really the key,” EP Don Mischer said.
Managing Change: Understanding Total Audience Viewing
NBCUniversal President of Research & Media Development talked to the press about the many different ways that things are being watched today. Among the highlights: Would you believe 45% of Parks and Recreation’s viewers are not watching live?
State of Affairs
Katherine Heigl returns to television with this new NBC drama where she plays a CIA analyst. “What was so compelling to me is that this is an actual job,” Heigl said about her character, “an intelligent woman who is a real patriot who really believes she can make a difference and help her President do her job.” Even if you’re not a Katherine Heigl fan, Alfre Woodard as the President seems to be really appealing.
The Mysteries Of Laura
Grace has a gun! Debra Messing stars in a new drama about someone who mixes her cop life with her home life, including bad kids and CGI barf. Greg Berlanti, Ed Bernero, and McG are among the producers.
The new ensemble comedy starring Ken Marino and Casey Wilson had a panel that kept the room awake, and if the show is as funny every week as the pilot and the panel were, the show is in good hands. Wilson promises her new character will be different in certain ways from her character on Happy Endings.
Updating as the day progresses…