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October 6, 2015

NBC is Spending Money on TV Shows Again!

by Bob Sassone, posted May 3rd 2010 11:28AM
NBC logoNBC has just realized something: you have to spend money if you want good TV shows.

OK, maybe "realized" isn't the best word to use. More like "remembered." NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin tells The New York Times that the network is changing its strategy and will pay to get some good shows on the network.

For starters, they've ordered almost 20 new pilots this season -- scripted dramas and comedies -- up from ten last season. Instead of strictly going by the numbers and looking for a big profit margin and trying to cut costs in every way possible, they're looking for good shows they can stick with.

There is one thing that worries me about one of the new shows touted as the network's savior for next season, 'UnderCovers,' a new husband-and-wife spy drama (think 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith') from J.J. Abrams. Yes, the title actually is spelled that way according to the official site and Twitter account, not 'Under Covers' as the Times piece says. The pilot episode alone is going to cost $10 million (to compare, 'Lost's' two-hour pilot cost that much).

That's fine and I'm sure it will look fantastic, but it always concerns me when a show spends so much on the first episode to get people's attention and then the episodes that follow either don't have the budget the pilot did or the episodes don't have the same impact. It's great that 'Lost' kept up its quality after a big pilot, but can't say the same for 'Smith' or 'Trauma.'

Dermot MulroneyBut I'm looking forward to a lot of the new shows that NBC might have later this year. Besides 'Under Covers' (anything with J.J. Abrams deserves a chance), the network also has the 'Rockford Files' remake. I would also like to put in a request that 'Heroes' come back for one final season. There's talk that the show will indeed be renewed for 13 more episodes to wrap up the story, and that would be a good thing.

We should all just be happy that NBC is actually spending money on scripted shows. The past four or five years have been pretty bad at NBC, no matter what the bottom line was telling them and telling the industry. Remember when the mandate was "all reality at 8PM?" It's a relief that the network seems to be getting away from that mentality the way they got rid of the 10PM 'Jay Leno Show.'

Update: NBC has indeed picked up 'Undercovers.'

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James Coren

Yah, NBC could spend a bit more in Undercovers. Theres a forum discussing this already. A forum on the TV Show Undercovers by JJ Abrams located here http://www.undercoverstvforum.com/

May 03 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fuck NBC. They should have spent money on a good lead-in show for Conan. I'll watch the last few episodes of Chuck (which we all know NBC will cancel because Chuck's a good scripted show and good scripted shows are just not a "fit" with the "NBC Family").

There is no new show NBC could air which would make me tune in to watch. And since it looks like all they've done is order 20 remakes of old TV shows and probably some reality shows with more celebrities (hence the higher cost), it doesn't look like I'll be missing out on anything by continuing to ignore NBC.

What's sad is when I was growing up, NBC was the greatest. Cheers, Night Court, it seemed like all I ever watched was NBC. Now the literally decided to build a show around some creepy little guy with bleached blond hair and face piercings. Way to go, NBC. And after how they screwed Conan it makes me sick to my stomach to have my TV tuned in to NBC for one hour a week just to watch Chuck. It would be great if some other network picks up Chuck after NBC cancels and replaces it with "Celebrity Laundromat" (hosted by creepy smiling pedophile). That way I could watch Chuck and keep my food down at the same time.

May 03 2010 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whose boneheaded idea was it to remake "The Rockford Files"? Don't get me wrong, it was a reasonably well-crafted show, but the real reason we still remember it fondly can be boiled down to two words: James Garner.

Also, if they're going to bring back "Heroes", they officially have no excuse to not bring back "Chuck".

May 03 2010 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to backbackheyhey's comment

Agreed there is no reason to bring back a dying show like Heroes just to wrap it up and not bring back a show in its prime and with such a dedicated fan base like Chuck.

May 03 2010 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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