NBC executives meet the TCA press, and there is lots of news to cover. Read on for the live blog!
10:30 a.m. PT: Some announcements right off the top: “Parenthood” (Sept. 14), “Outlaw” (Sept. 15) and “The Apprentice” (Sept. 16) will all premiere earlier than previously scheduled. Also, “Law & Order: SVU” will have a two-hour premiere on Sept. 22, pushing “Law & Order: Los Angeles” back to Sept. 29.
10:33: Rob Lowe is now a regular on “Parks and Recreation.” Also, Drew Carey will guest on “Community” and Kathy Bates is returning to “The Office.”
10:34: Also, “30 Rock” is doing a live episode in October, and “Friday Night Lights” EP Peter Berg‘s production company Film 44 has a new deal with the network and will work on the “Prime Suspect” pilot.
10:36: Regarding “The Office,” NBC Entertainment president Angela Bromstad says they’ve known Steve Carell would be leaving for a while, and exec producers Greg Daniels and Paul Lieberstein have a plan in place for someone to succeed Michael. A good chunk of this season’s story will revolve around that.
10:39: In hindsight, NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin says the Jay Leno-in-primetime move was made from a position of weakness. He hopes the network can rebuild over the next couple years and if the network model continues to change, NBC can change from a better position.
10:45: Jeff Gaspin has never been involved in a sexual harassment case. CoughABCcough.
10:47: Bromstad says NBC will do everything it can to avoid a “FlashForward” situation with “The Event.”
10:48: Alexandra Cunningham, who’s worked on “Desperate Housewives” and “NYPD Blue,” is the new writer on NBC’s long-in-development “Prime Suspect” adaptation. It’s planned as a two-hour pilot; Cunninham’s script is in the early stages.
10:53: “How happy are you with ‘Outsourced’?” is the question for Bromstad. Happier than most of the critics in the room is the answer. “We want super-super funny,” she says. She also wants the show to look “less like an office in the Valley” and more like Mumbai.
10:53: “Parks and Rec” is still set to go at midseason.
10:54: Why a “30 Rock” live episode? “Tina’s up for it,” Bromstad says, and she wants to help bring attention to the show. There will be versions for both the East and West coasts.
10:59: Bromstad says she’s pretty committed to keeping “The Office” on the air after Carell leaves, comparing it to George Clooney’s departure from “ER.” She says the ensemble is strong enough to carry the cast, and “I couldn’t face my 14-year-old son” if she took it off the air.
11:01: Gaspin: “We haven’t taken enough chances” in recent years. This year’s schedule has some more big swings in it, and that’s what he wanted.
11:03: Gaspin is armed with ratings data to show that Leno is still leading David Letterman. Even though the “22 percent lead” is really just a couple tenths of a point in adults 18-49.
11:04: We end on a “Chuck” question. It’s getting a fall premiere because the creative direction is strong, and even though, as Gaspin puts it, “the audience is not as big as we want ‘The Event’s’ audience to be,” they’re still pretty compatible.
Photo credit: NBC