Network announces early pickups at TCA
NBC has given early pickups to Peacock staples “The Office,” “30 Rock” and “The Biggest Loser.”Renewals were announced Thursday afternoon during NBC’s portion of the TV Critics Assn. press tour by new primetime entertainment prexy Angela Bromstad and incoming alternative topper Paul Telegdy. “These renewals represent our faith in ‘The Office’ and ’30 Rock’ as they continue to represent the gold standard in acclaimed and award-winning series,” Bromstad said. Thursday’s tour stop repped Bromstad’s and Telegdy’s first press tour in their gigs. Meanwhile, NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios co-chairs Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff were roaming the halls of the Universal Hilton but didn’t take the stage to answer questions. During their exec session, Bromstad said that NBC still planned to shoot about the same number of pilots it did two years ago — six dramas and four comedies. Given the loss of five hours to Jay Leno, NBC wasn’t expected to shoot as many pilots this year as it had in the past. In addition, last year, a post-strike NBC opted to greenlight most of its series sans pilots and suggested that it might continue to do so in the future. Bromstad said NBC may indeed still go directly to series on some shows but that it still values the pilot process. “It’s just too critical,” Bromstad said. “One thing we can’t do is we can’t stop taking shots. If we have strong scripts, we’re not going to cut back (on pilots).” Bromstad said she envisions launching as many as three hours next fall depending on the Peacock’s ultimate alternative series pickups. Meanwhile, asked to justify her position as NBC’s top programmer, Bromstad — who’s been in the new job for only 10 days — pointed out that she had already run the Peacock’s TV studio for three years. “Those were the years that ‘The Office,’ ‘House,’ ‘Heroes’ and ‘Friday Night Lights’ were developed,” she said. “And those were some of the strongest shows that have been developed at NBC in a long time. My strategy is to live up to the brand and legacy of NBC.” Other news at NBC’s session:
- “The Philanthropist” is still on tap for a potential midseason bow — which would make for an even busier spring for new NBC series.
- Bromstad said “Lipstick Jungle” isn’t dead — at least not yet — but the long-term future of shows like “Chuck” and “Life” are also still uncertain.
- Although the creative community has expressed concern over Leno’s 10 p.m. berth, Bromstad said she’s had “only positive conversations” with producers such as Dick Wolf (who’s currently shooting the pilot “Lost and Found” for the Peacock).
- The Peacock also announced that Conan O’Brien’s last night on “Late Night” will be Feb. 20, with Jimmy Fallon taking over on March 2.
- As expected, John Wells’ new police drama, renamed “Southland,” will fill the “ER” void on Thursdays at 10 p.m. starting April 9; the “ER” finale, meanwhile, has now been pushed to April 2.
- NBC’s Amy Poehler laffer — still untitled — will air Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. (in place of “Kath and Kim”) starting April 9, while reality competish “The Chopping Block” will air Wednesdays at 8 starting March 11.
- As previously noted, “Kings” — originally slated for Thursdays — will air on Sundays at 8 p.m. beginning in March.