NBC announces projects, pickups at upfronts
NBC will kick off upfront week Monday by unveiling a latenight host, announcing a few projects and sharing details on previously announced pickups.Among the entries set to be revealed at the “NBC Universal Experience” event at Rockefeller Plaza is the romantic reality series “Are You a Momma’s Boy?” Peacock has also scheduled a noon press conference “for a special announcement regarding NBC’s ‘Late Night,'” in which “Saturday Night Live” alum Jimmy Fallon is expected to be formally named Conan O’Brien’s successor as the show’s host. Also, NBC will likely announce during its festivities that “Battlestar Galactica” exec producer David Eick is taking over the drama “The Philanthropist” as showrunner. Ryan Seacrest and Andrew Glassman are behind the competish show “Momma’s Boy,” which centers on a group of mothers who are brought in to help their complacent sons choose a bride. “It’s a dating genre turned on its head,” said NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studio co-chair Ben Silverman. Show will revolve around four guys with tight maternal bonds. “Some of these guys may be a little too close to their moms,” Seacrest said. The four guys will live in a house with their mothers, as well as several “brides to be.” “Momma’s Boy” will air immediately out of the Olympics, said Silverman — who got on the phone with Seacrest to confirm that both he and the “Idol” host-radio personality-E! anchor-TV producer are “momma’s boys and proud of it.” (“That’s probably why we’re both single in our mid-30s,” he added.) “We think it’s a fantastic and loud format,” Seacrest said. “The most outspoken characters in our lives are our mommas. Every decision I make, there’s a voice in my head — it’s my mother judging me, like a judge on a talent show. She’ll give me a piece of her mind — and I think that’s common for a lot of people.” To market “Momma’s Boy,” Seacrest said he’ll also take advantage of his radio platforms. As part of the deal he signed with Clear Channel earlier this year, Seacrest owns and controls a portion of the ad time on his show. “It’s a great opportunity at my company to use my inventory on our radio platform to promote the show, promote the Olympics, to promote other broadcasts,” Seacrest said. Ryan Seacrest Prods. and Glassman Media are behind the show; Seacrest and Glassman are exec producers. Beyond “Momma’s Boy,” Silverman promised other announcements but wouldn’t elaborate. Meanwhile, Eick is said to be close to taking over the showrunner spot on “The Philanthropist” now that Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson have left the show (Daily Variety, April 22). Fontana and Levinson departed over creative differences — NBC was looking for a lighter, more escapist feeling on the show, while Fontana wanted to explore more challenging issues. Eick, meanwhile, recently signed an overall deal with Universal Media Studios. He’s been busy shepherding the “BSG” prequel “Caprica” as a producer. Eick’s credits also include last season’s “Bionic Woman.” “The Philanthropist,” from Universal Media Studios, is set for a winter launch Mondays at 10 p.m. (Cynthia Littleton in Hollywood contributed to this report.)
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