×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC Chief Talks ‘This Is Us’ Scheduling, ‘Will & Grace’ Revival, Jimmy Fallon’s Ratings

When NBC unveiled its fall schedule in May, the centerpiece was a relaunch of the “Must-See TV” brand powered by the move of hit drama “This Is Us” to Thursday nights. Two weeks later, the network reversed course, announcing that the 20th Century Fox Television-produced series would stay on Tuesday nights.

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt defended the scheduling back-and-forth Thursday.

“We went into scheduling with a really great and exciting idea to take our biggest new hit show, rebrand Thursday, and take over Thursday,” Greenblatt said at the Television Critics Association press tour, adding that the creative team for the show was on board with the decision. “I’m happy to say that we’re not afraid to say, oh, maybe lets rethink something or maybe let’s change what we thought was a good idea. We started to take a close look at the football schedule.”

NBC execs began to rethink an exceptionally long hiatus that would be forced on the show by “Thursday Night Football” and the holiday season.

“Then we started to think, ‘Is that the best way to run the show for the rabid fans who are going to hopefully come back in droves?'” Greenblatt said. After discussing the creative plan for the show with executive producer Dan Fogelman, “We all collectively agreed maybe that interruption is not the best thing for the show. Let’s just move it back to Tuesday.”

Greenblatt added, “Maybe in hindsight, maybe we should have done more of that extensive thinking before we announced the move.”

The programming chief also discussed the upcoming revival of “Will & Grace” — and the recent revelation that the new series would ignore the plot of the previous series finale, in which the two title characters are shown to have drifted apart.

“There’s jokes about it in the first episode,” Greenblatt said. “I don’t think you want to see them with aging children. We love the essence of the old show, and there’s clever ways about why they’re still living together. We just love the old show.”

Regarding the late-night ratings wars that have heated up since CBS’ “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” began regularly outpacing NBC’s “Tonight Show” in total viewers, Greenblatt expressed confidence in NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, emphasizing his continued dominance in the 18-49 demo.

“I have no concern about it whatsoever,” he said. “Jimmy is the greatest at what he does. Clearly we’re living in a news cycle that tops itself from the day before. I think that will even itself out.”

NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, who joined Greenblatt and alternative and reality group president Paul Telegdy, also addressed the network’s decision to cancel comedian Jerrod Carmichael’s family sitcom “The Carmichael Show.”

“Looking at the show with Jerrod and feeling like, ‘What’s the long-term plan and is there a route for real big success for the show?’ I think the collective decision was maybe it’s best to let the show end,” Salke said. She added, “It’s one of those difficult, difficult decisions that kind of live with you for a while that you don’t feel great about.”

More TV

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gains, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations on international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • vudu-free-movies-tv-shows

    Walmart Brushes Off Reports of Streaming Development Halt

    Walmart isn’t ruling out options for a potential streaming video service, a company spokesperson says. Responding to a CNBC report that the mega-retailer had decided not to launch its own streaming entertainment service after all, Walmart would not confirm that there was any halt in development of such a platform, and did not have anything definitive [...]

  • THE KOMINSKY METHOD

    'Kominsky Method' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

    Netflix has picked up “The Kominsky Method” for a second season. The comedy stars starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin recently won two Golden Globe Awards, one for best comedy series and the other for Douglas in the best actor in a comedy series category. Arkin was also nominated in the supporting actor category. Season 2 [...]

  • Crackle Latin America

    Sony Shuts Down Crackle Latin America Business

    Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription VOD service, which has 400,000 subscribers across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable. Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service — like the U.S. version of Crackle — before switching in 2016 to a subscription video-on-demand [...]

  • Empire of Sand Book

    Kronicle Media, Amyale, Rebel Maverick Option YA Novel 'Empire of Sand' for TV (EXCLUSIVE)

    Production companies Kronicle Media, Amyale and Rebel Maverick have partnered to develop the YA fantasy novel “Empire of Sand” by Tasha Suri as a TV series, Variety has learned exclusively. The novel by first-time author Suri is centers on Mehr, the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother–a member of a race of [...]

  • 'NYPD Blue' Sequel Pilot Casts Fabien

    'NYPD Blue' Sequel Pilot Casts Fabien Frankel in Lead Role

    The “NYPD Blue” pilot at ABC has cast newcomer Fabien Frankel in the role of Theo Sipowicz, Variety has confirmed. Theo is the son of Andy Sipowicz, who was played in the original series by Dennis Franz. Like his father he is described as a hard-drinking, hard-headed, and quick-witted cop. Frankel is a recent graduate of the London Academy of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content