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July 30, 2014

NBC executive session part one - TCA report

by Michael Maloney, posted Jul 16th 2007 4:35PM
Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff, Co-chairs of NBC Enterainment and Universal Media Studios, start off their first TCA executive sessoin by reading some programming changes.

Deal or No Deal is moving to Friday night at 8, providing a nice lead in for critically acclaimed Friday Night Lights and Las Vegas, which has Tom Selleck joining its cast.

Isaiah Washington is going to join The Bionic Woman. He'll be in five of the first eight shows.

Jerry Seinfeld will appear in a role on 30 Rock in the show's season premiere.

Silverman says his pursing of TV legend Norman Lear has paid off. He'll be returning to television and overseeing the work of a new writer.

On the reality front, NBC's going to be searching for next great mentalist with the help of famed mentalist Yuri Geller.

NBC's inked a development deal with Charlie Corwin -- best known for putting together the films Squid and the Whale and Half Nelson.

The Apprentice is coming back -- this time with celebrities and the money will go to charity. "We believe in The Apprentice," says Silverman.

Asked about Kevin Reilly, Silverman's successor, being booted after being renewed earlier this year for millions of dollars, Graboff maintains Reilly wasn't fired. "Kevin realized there was no role at the company and decided to move on."

This spin results in laughter from members of the press. "Thanks for that clarification." (I can just picture Saturday Night Live's Amy Poehler's Aunt Linda would really roll her eyes at this one.)

Silverman's asked about tweaking the fall schedule set up by Reilly. "I was a fresh pair of eyes on the schedule," says Silverman.

Ben's asked why he's taken the job and how much power he has? "I have immense power," he quips, making his first official joke as NBC's top guy.

"I love the opportunity of not only co-managing the network with Marc...it's something I've wanted to do since I was a young person."

Why go with the controversial Uri Geller? "We had goosebumps watching [the Israel version]," says Silverman.

Can you talk about hiring Isaiah? "He's a wonderful actor and performer and he became available," Silverman shares. Realizing his comment has elicited some laughter, Silverman clarifies, "I started talking to him before he was available -- I didn't understand what had gone on there [at Grey's]...."

I can hear Aunt Linda now: "Oh, puh-leeze!"

More to come....

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Ryan

D'oh. I understand now that you seem to be referring to the character as "Amy Pohler's Aunt Linda." It's a little confusing, but I guess the whole thing is.

July 16 2007 at 10:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

I'm sure Kristen Wiig would have noticed if Amy Pohler was doing her Aunt Linda bit during SNL's Weekend Update (which Amy co-anchors and wouldn't be able to play a secondary character). I do agree that Aunt Linda would be pretty "p-o'd" about the spinning out of Monday's presentation.

July 16 2007 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave T.

A mentalist show? Seriously? NBC is just going down the tubes more and more.
Not moving Friday Night Lights to a real TV night is the biggest mistake of all.

Didn't the Apprentice BOMB last season? What do they believe in about it?

July 16 2007 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gilbert0

I'm not sure what I think about the Apprentice being laced with celebrities (although I'm glad its back) - but I couldn't help but start thinking about choice canidates other than Rosie:

- Celebrities who already dish out crappy products/services. I'm thinking either of the Jenny Craig girls (Valerie Burtenilli or Kristie Alley)

- B list journalists (and no I don't mean Katie Couric)

- Retired football players/coaches (Mike Ditka)

- A rapper who no longer makes hit albums (Da Brat has been doing a lot of reality lately)

- Too bad Rosie said no - however, they will find an overweight, loud mouth woman to take that role.

July 16 2007 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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