Please Stand By, Your NBC Program Will Be Available Momentarily

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POSTED BY MICHAEL SCHNEIDER

The most-anticipated session in all of this summer’s TV Critics Association press tour happens tomorrow. Monday, 9 a.m., the Beverly Hilton: It’s Ben Silverman, along with partner Marc Graboff.

To quote NBC circa 1984: “Be there!”

To paraphrase NBC circa 1996: “It’s must-see TCA!”

To whet our palate, Graboff made a brief appearance at the tour Friday, to discuss the state of Guild negotiations and labor questions (along side Warner Bros.’ Bruce Rosenblum and AMPTP’s Nick Counter).

When asked about the Peacock’s strike contingency plans, Graboff scored a few chuckles with this quote:

“I’m not going to get into the details of what our schedule will look like just for competitive reasons. We are committed to providing quality entertainment programming. You are not going to see a test pattern, although maybe on NBC a test pattern in some cases would be OK.”

NBC has traditionally (and I’ve always found this unusual) been the most self-deprecating of the broadcast networks. Even when it was top-rated, the Peacock would open its Upfront presentations with some sort of comedy routine or video that mocked the web — be it Triumph the Insult Comic Dog or a video starring the entertainment president of the moment. Now that it’s in fourth place, those jokes may hit a little too close to the bone — but expect at least a few moments of gallows humor at Monday’s executive session.

Bethere — Michael Schneider

Mr. T says, “Be there, fool!”

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