The most anticipated TV premiere next fall won’t be a series; it’ll be the primetime slate that Robert Greenblatt puts together for his first season at the helm of NBC.
Greenblatt’s enviable track record as a producer and executive made him the hottest commodity in television last summer when he made the unusual move of resigning (without being pushed) from the top programming job at Showtime. Execs rarely give up their perches when things are going well, as is the case for Showtime, but Greenblatt felt that after a strong seven-year run at the pay cabler it was time for a fresh challenge.
He has taken on a big one in his role as chairman of NBC Entertainment, which translates to being the executive in charge of rebuilding NBC’s primetime schedule.
Greenblatt brings to the assignment a resume that ranges from being part of the exec team in the early days of the Fox network (he helped bring us “The X-Files,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Party of Five” and “Ally McBeal,” among others) to being a hands-on producer in more than one discipline (HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” Broadway’s “9 to 5” tuner) to turning Showtime into a contender with distinctive original series including “Weeds,” “Dexter,” “Californication,” “The Tudors,” “Nurse Jackie” and “The Big C.”
Friends and colleagues say the undercurrent of authenticity in the shows he champions is evident in his own life. GLAAD will salute Greenblatt’s contributions with its award that recognizes an openly LGBT media maven whose work has helped promote equality.
“I’ve always felt his creative risk-taking was his greatest asset,” says Peter Chernin, who was Greenblatt’s boss in the Fox days. “He has a wonderful way of nurturing new and exciting, and, at times, outrageous voices.”
The new regime at NBCUniversal earned major points in the creative community with Greenblatt’s appointment in January.
“Bob’s really good at knowing how to let people do what they’re good at. And he’s got great taste,” says “Weeds” creator/exec producer Jenji Kohan. “When you work for him, he really roots for you. That combination is so rare.”
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