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BREAKING RUMOR: NBC Entertainment head Kevin Reilly to be fired

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 18th 2006 6:35PM
Kevin ReillyJust got a tip into TV Squad HQ; there is scuttlebutt that NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly is going to be fired sometime later this afternoon. Apparently, Reilly's failure to create a hit for NBC during his tenure is going to cost him his job.

If you recall, Reilly programmed a number of expensive, lavishly-done pilots for this fall season, like Kidnapped, Friday Night Lights, and Studio 60, all of which are tanking in the ratings. That along with a history of tentative decision-making was his undoing. The announcement will be made this afternoon; expect to see it in the trades tomorrow.

(Update 11:49 ET: No announcement tonight, as our tipster told us would happen. We contacted NBC for a response to this rumor and they didn't confirm or deny it. Guess we'll just keep waiting.)

(Update 10/19 8:23 PM: Well, folks, looks like the rumor -- as with all the past rumors of Reilly's firing -- didn't pan out, since he spoke at a panel of network heads earlier today. Our tipster has been thrown into TVS HQ's moat. Let's hope said tipster can avoid the crocs and piranha...)

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"Heroes took a ratings hit this week and I have a feeling it'll keep dropping."

WTH? Heroes again scored a respectable 11 share and was number one in key demos...


Actual Data:

... "Heroes" (households: 7.8/11, #5; adults 18-49: 5.7, #1) edged out "CSI: Miami" (households: 11.4/19, #1; adults 18-49: 5.6, #2) for the most-watched program among the key adults 18-49 demographic...

... so, uh, yeah; sure looks like there's room to predict ongoing failure for this show.

October 19 2006 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hope nothing comes of it. Would love to see some egg on your faces. "Breaking Rumor" indeed....

October 19 2006 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This should come as no surprise. The other day I actually read the headline "NBC Weighs Down Profit at GE" on the business section of the LA Times. Both NBC Universal film and television haven't been going well for the past year, something like this was bound to happen.

October 18 2006 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

NBC had the best new shows of any network this season. For whatever reason, people are just refusing to watch them. I can understand why Studio 60 is tanking, but people really should have checked out FNL, 30 Rock, and Kidnapped.

I guess next year we can kiss original series goodbye and welcome another hundred procedurals, since the top 20 is currently filled with them.

October 18 2006 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

But you can see where the confusion might be?

In any case, 8:15 PST. The trades and the LA Times seem clueless about this rumored bloodletting at the top of the NBC foodchain, keeping the "Brilliant Scoop or Crying Wolf?" game alive...

October 18 2006 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Defamer was making fun of our headline and the use of the words "TV Squad HQ". I was pointing out that those two things were meant as humor, that we're not taking ourselves seriously. It doesn't mean that we made up the story.

October 18 2006 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh, so was this meant as a joke? Your posting on Defamer seems to indicate that.

Unless you're Andy Kaufman, jokes work best when they make people chuckle.

Otherwise, readers might start to wonder what percentage of other TV Squad stories are made up...

October 18 2006 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

Kevin Reilly is a fall guy for Jeff Zucker's failures. What has Zucker ever done to run NBC/Universal? He's failed upward, while others get their heads chopped off.

October 18 2006 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What NBC lacked during his time was a hit like Lost, Grey's Anatomy, DH or CSI something. Even crap like The Unit and Criminal Minds do extremely well in the ratings.

Heroes took a ratings hit this week and I have a feeling it'll keep dropping.

As for The Office, the show does really well among 18-49 year olds. Plus combine that with how well the show does on iTunes (and DVD I guess) I think it's a great show to keep.

October 18 2006 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If my theory is correct, it's all part of a big rebranding shakeup at NBC as it becomes the Reality and Gameshow Network. All Reality, All Game Shows, All The Time!

Kidnapped was shafted by having a lousy lead-in: The Biggest Loser.

October 18 2006 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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