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November 26, 2014

NBC president Kevin Reilly optimistic about the future - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 18th 2007 10:47AM
NBC logoBesides announcing the renewal of four shows, NBC Entertainment Kevin Reilly spent his executive session talking about "tent posts" and spewing sports analogies. But all of it said that he was pretty optimistic about the future of his network.

He definitely thinks being patient with shows is imperative, especially when you're working from behind as his network is. "Vision is a word that gets thrown around a lot but is in short supply," he spoke of shows like The Office, that started out slow and built audience. "When you got it, grab it." Among his new "vision" shows are 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, and Studio 60.In fact, he feels 30 Rock is getting that "third heat," echoing a line Alec Baldwin uttered in the show's pilot. "30 Rock is well in it's way; I feel that buzz," he said.

Like ABC's Steve McPherson before him, Reilly acknowledged that there were too many serialized shows on the air this past fall, agreeing with his counterpart that the shows with more serious tones to them were the ones that didn't succeed. As for his own high-profile serial failure, he said "Kidnapped was a disappointment. Never have I been involved in such a gap in talent and performance."

Later in the session, when I asked him about why he didn't keep Kidnapped on Saturdays and have it finish out its run like they promised, he pointed out to me that the show did finish its run online, but even keeping it on Saturdays was hurting the bottom line. "Those ratings points count as well. We wanted to leave Kidnapped there. Unfortunately it just could not make the move, and we were giving up a valuable rating point that we needed."

Other bits:
  • The Spike Lee project the network was working on isn't going to happen, due to the ever-present creative differences. "Spike's not someone you do 15 drafts with." The two parties will try again on a different project.
  • He did acknowledge that Studio 60 was a polarizing show. And, not that any of the elements that have been on the show so far will get lost completely, but that Aaron Sorkin and the network "have both agreed that we've got great relationships. We got a show here that should be a lot of fun to watch. You know, let's write to that." They're looking to bring back the fans that liked the show but drifted away from it as the fall episodes aired.
  • As we all know, Passions is gone, leaving Days of Our Lives as the only soap on the network. And it seems like Reilly isn't completely sold on Days either.
  • Reilly thinks DVRs are a small but significant part of their audience, and would like to have those count in the ratings, but those negotiations are ongoing.

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NBC is including product-placement inside the tv-shows... The Office includes mentions of Staples amd the Chrysler Sebring all the time... and follows up with a traditional commercial...so including the DVR users is going to be important in keeping those ad revenues up!

I predict that the networks will start to promote shows with "no commercial interruptions" fairly soon... but with more name brands mentioned within the body of the show.

This could be good or bad depending on how well the show is written... but it means that when you buy The Office on DVD, you're also buying the Staples commercials embedded in the show... and I'm sure the networks will want to collect revenue for THAT.

January 18 2007 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TomB

"Reilly thinks DVRs are a small but significant part of their audience, and would like to have those count in the ratings, but those negotiations are ongoing."

It's this kind of attitude that consistently bites the networks in the ass. They're always a year or two behind technology and playing catch-up.

I don't pretend to understand everything about how the Neilson's/Networks/Ratings work, but if a "significant part" or their audience isn't watching the commercials, then why would they try to get those ratings from DVR users? Don't ratings determine advertising rates? If I was an advertiser, I wouldn't want to pay higher ad rates because DVR ratings are factored in. Am I missing something?

January 18 2007 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Sorry, I don't buy his argument about needing the ratings points for Saturday night. "Kidnapped" was one of the best shows of the fall season--brilliantly written, plotted, acted, and shot. It's nice that he acknowledges that there was a startling gap between the talent on the show and the show's performance, but NBC did virtually nothing to promote it. They just gave up.

It was pathetic.

Then, when he put it online, he only put on an episode at a time. If you were away for a week---well, suck on it, you'd never see that episode. At least if it had been on TV, it would have been TiVoed.

The least he can do is issue the full season on DVD.

January 18 2007 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

Fire Harriet or whatever her name from Studio 60, that would help. Also move Medium to Studio 60s spot and then stick Studio 60 on at, I don't know when just move the show already! They have tried moving FNL, but not Studio 60?

I will be the happiest person if they cancel Days of Our Lives and there are no more soaps on NBC.

January 18 2007 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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