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Rough HRTS confab for NBC

'Hitmakers' take turns teasing troubled network

The Hollywood Radio & Television Society billed Tuesday’s lunchtime panel discussion featuring top showrunners as “The Hitmakers.”

Call NBC the “hit takers.”

Fresh off major restructurings to both its programming department and its primetime sked, the Peacock was the subject of relentless rounds of playful shots at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel event, starting with the introductory remarks of moderator Peter Tolan (“Rescue Me”).

“Who knows, if I screw this one up, maybe I can take a page of the Jeff Zucker playbook and become chairman of the HRTS,” Tolan said, zinging the NBC Universal prexy-CEO before asking the panel what they thought of NBC’s decision to cede its 10 o’clock hour to a Jay Leno-hosted talkshow.

“I think they should remake ‘Johnny Carson’ and put it on at 9 o’clock,” said “The Simpsons” exec producer Al Jean.

“I think it’s wonderful that NBC has completed its transformation into AM radio,” added James Duff, creator and exec producer of TNT procedural drama “The Closer.”

And those were only the opening remarks. As the wide-ranging discussion continued, the panelists plucked the Peacock at almost every opportunity.

For example, Chuck Lorre, creator and exec producer of CBS comedies “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory,” corrected himself after using the term “big four networks.”

“Wait, is NBC considered ‘big four’ anymore?” he asked.

“They’re the big 3.5, how’s that?” Tolan shot back.

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