As the broadcast networks prepare to host the media during the winter edition of the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour, NBC found themselves in the unique position of being in the ratings lead. As a result, network topper Robert Greenblatt was only too happy to address reporters today and shed some light on a number of programs.
The biggest topic of the day proved to be “Revolution,” where Greenblatt again defended NBC’s decision to put the show on a long hiatus and not have it return until late March. In fact “Revolution” executive producer J.J. Abrams later went on to defend the decision and say for him and series creator Eric Kripke it was a relief.
“When we were doing Lost, that (kind of scheduling) helped us enormously. So when the idea came up for Revolution I was really relieved. I thought, and still think, that it will get us to a place where it will be the best possible way for the viewer to watch the show.”
Kripke later added he also supported the break as it seemed to work well for cable series such as “The Walking Dead” and the majority of programs on TNT and USA. While Kripke is correct, the difference is that “Walking” and the other shows that support that model made sure audiences were aware of the break BEFORE the shows started to air and especially in the case of TNT and USA, the tactic is generally apply to every show on the network not just one or two.
When viewers are surprised midway through the first season of a program by news that the series is going to go on an extended hiatus it is jarring for them. As a result there is a high level of risk involved that they won’t come back for the second half. For proof of that look no further than CBS’ “Jericho” or NBC’s “The Event.”
Still Abrams, Kripke and Greenblatt promised big storyline shifts immediately following the series’ return which was further teased by the release of a brand new trailer (that you can see immediately below this article).
The other big topic of discussion was NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” which promises even more chaos when it returns in March. Greenblatt even got in a few good one-liners about the show’s always controversial star Donald Trump. While Greenblatt acknowledged Trump inserted himself into the conversation during the latest political election cycle, he said he had no plans to get involved unless things escalated saying that after all “we talked him out of running for president. Wasn’t that enough?"
Producers also released a new trailer which seems to allude to the fact that for the first time it is possible teams would not initially be divided along gender lines. However male or female, working with Gary Busey seems to elicit the same response as season one runner-up Trace Adkins stated at the end of the new footage.
“You know what…men in black are going to come get him.”
Then again it wouldn’t be “The Celebrity Apprentice” without Busey, who told reporters he was coming back because “he didn’t have anything else to do.” Admit it, whether or not you’re a fan of Trump, characters like Busey, Omarosa and Bret Michaels make you want to watch.
Other interesting pieces of information gleamed from today’s NBC panels included:
-Michael J. Fox’s untitled return to TV will take a major step in New York tomorrow with its first table read. The comedy will revolve around Fox’s character returning to work as a newscaster while dealing with the effects of Parkinson’s disease. The show was ordered straight to series and will be on the network’s 2013-2014 fall schedule.
-NBC is in various stages of production with its other ordered to series rookies including Bryan Fuller’s “Hannibal,” “Dracula” starring Jonathan Rhys-Myers and pirate drama “Crossbones” which is rumored to star “House’s” Hugh Laurie. While “Dracula” is being prepped with an eye towards the fall, it’s possible “Hannibal” and “Crossbones” could be called up sooner if needed or air as a summer series.
-Even though “Community” had a rough 2012, the cult comedy could “absolutely” get a fifth season according to Greenblatt, who also said he expects daytime sudster “Days of Our Lives” to “not be going anywhere,” despite its contract being set to expire in September.
-“The Office” will have a super-sized one hour finale (reportedly on May 3) and the overall feeling is that Steve Carell will not be involved with the episode.
So what’s your take New York? What do you think of the trailers? Hit the comments and let us know. Remember to also subscribe to this column at the top of the page for all of the latest television news coming from the new winter season.