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August 29, 2014

NBC Announces Proposed New Late Night Schedule

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jan 10th 2010 1:32PM
NBC might not be winning the ratings war, but their Executive Session at the TV Critics' Association (TCA) Press Tour wins the award for most anticipated and most packed ballroom.

Looking for answers on the late night mess, critics were immediately given the proposed new late night lineup, which would be effective Feb. 12. Jay Leno would move to 11:35PM, Conan O'Brien and 'The Tonight Show' would be pushed back to 12:05AM and Jimmy Fallon would be at 1:05AM.

But, as NBC Chairman Jeff Gaspin admits, "As much as I'd like to tell you we have a done deal, we know that's not true." So when will they know? "Before the Olympics begin [Feb. 12], we'll have everything set."NBC might not be winning the ratings war, but their Executive Session at the TV Critics' Association (TCA) Press Tour wins the award for most anticipated and most packed ballroom.

Looking for answers on the late night mess, critics were immediately given the proposed new late night lineup, which would be effective Feb. 12. Jay Leno would move to 11:35PM, Conan O'Brien and 'The Tonight Show' would be pushed back to 12:05AM and Jimmy Fallon would be at 1:05AM.

But, as NBC Chairman Jeff Gaspin admits, "As much as I'd like to tell you we have a done deal, we know that's not true." So when will they know? "Before the Olympics begin [Feb. 12], we'll have everything set."

Questions about Conan O'Brien and his 'Tonight Show' filled the majority of the 45-minute panel with Gaspin and President of Primetime Entertainment Angela Bromstad. Do they think he'll jump ship? "My goal is and my hope is that he will stay with the network," Gaspin says. How did he take the news? Gaspin politely replied, "Jay and Conan and Jimmy were incredibly gracious and professional."

So, in other words, looks like we won't get the real story until after all the dust settles, if ever. But, going forward, both execs seem confident that this new schedule will do the trick to satisfy viewers as well as their NBC affiliates across the country. "I think we're in a safer zone, having all our late night hosts actually in late night," Gaspin says.

Filling the 10PM slot Jay Leno recently took over is another story, and one that neither Gaspin nor Bromstad has concrete answers about just yet. 'Trauma,' which has six unaired episodes, will make the schedule now; 'Friday Night Lights' will be available for NBC to schedule on March 1; 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' is an option; and Bromstad admits that it's "highly possible" that the original 'Law & Order' will go on beyond this next year.

As for new shows, it sounds like the David Tennant comedy 'Rex Is Not Your Lawyer' could be fast-tracked to premiere in early fall. Bromstad has also spoken to 'L&O' creator Dick Wolf about adding another show to the franchise (Wolf refers to the Los Angeles-based edition as 'LOLA').

There was also a shout-out for one of the biggest casualties of the Jay Leno 10PM programming debacle: "'Southland' was a tough decision ... I personally love the show," admits Bromstad. "If we had it now, would it potentially be coming back on? Maybe. But I think it's probably found a better home on cable."

More to come in the next few weeks ...

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