NBC makes announcement nine months before show

The news that Ricky Gervais will return for the second year as host of the Golden Globes was kind of a no-brainer for NBC, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Prods. The timing, however, was intriguing.

The Globes won’t air from the Beverly Hilton Hotel until Jan. 16 — nearly nine months away. The Peacock has now let the world know that it has a Golden Globes host in place before naming one for the Emmy Awards on Aug. 29.

Paul Telegdy, head of alternative programming for NBC, said all parties agreed there was little reason to delay the news once a decision was reached to bring Gervais back.

“It just didn’t make sense to sit on the announcement. Ricky wanted to do it, and we did too,” Telegdy told Daily Variety .

The most recent Globes, in which Gervais was the first host of the ceremony in 15 years, saw a nice year-to-year ratings uptick. It attracted 17 million viewers and earned a 5.5 rating/14 share in the 18-49 demo, a 12% increase in the demo and 14% improvement in total viewers.

It’s difficult to say if Gervais’ appointment as emcee was the reason for the better numbers. But the popular British comedian did his fair share of publicity prior to the Jan. 17 telecast by making the rounds on several talkshows and participating in NBC’s thorough marketing push.

Besides the Globes, Gervais has ties to NBC as exec producer on “The Office,” the sitcom he originated in the U.K. Also, he has an animated skein on HBO with writing partner Stephen Merchant and comedic foil Karl Pilkington that has already been renewed for a second season.

On stage, Gervais is in the midst of a worldwide comedy tour. He played in London this week and plays L.A. and New York in May.

On coming back to the Globes for a second time, Gervais offered: “I can’t believe they invited me back after the awful things I said. Let’s see how far I can go this time.”

Telegdy said he would like to see the producers free up more time for Gervais to have fun with his off-the-cuff comedy bits next time around. Much of what Gervais said in January was spontaneous, and the NBC exec said more of that would play into the Brit’s sweet spot.

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