NBC scheduling topper Mitch Metcalf has ankled the Peacock.
Move comes as part of NBC’s makeover under the leadership of Bob Greenblatt, who became NBC’s entertainment topper in January following the finalization of the Comcast merger.
Metcalf, whose last day was Friday, had been exec VP of programming planning and scheduling since 2005, and had been with the network since 1999. Previously, he spent nine years at ABC, where he ultimately oversaw the network’s research operations as senior VP.
His departure follows the January exits of network topper Jeff Gaspin (announced in November) and primetime entertainment prexy Angela Brom-stad. NBC senior veep of scheduling Lisa Vebber will run the department for the time being.
Metcalf was promoted at a rebuilding NBC one year after the departure of powerhouse comedies “Friends” and “Frasier.” The network, which has remained in fourth place for years, continues in its struggle to launch and sustain hits.
During his tenure, Metcalf was handcuffed by programming that was critically bereft and ratings-challenged. Those include a handful of shows during the tumultuous Ben Silverman era, such as “Knight Rider” and “Kath and Kim.”
Also, Metcalf was forced to find new timeslots for the 10 p.m. dramas that lost their home when NBC experimented with giving Jay Leno a primetime show in the 2009-10 season, such as “Law and Order: SVU.”
Among NBC’s achievements under his watch were the launch of reality hit “The Biggest Loser,” the fast start for Monday night drama “Heroes,” and securing a demo-friendly Thursday lineup of comedies, which continues with “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office.” In 2006, NBC also inaugurated what quickly became its most popular primetime offering, “Sunday Night Football.”
NBC will have several key scheduling decisions to make following the coming pilot season, with arguably seven primetime hours to fill and other timeslots to recondsider.