NBC arrived at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Sunday, riding the wave of its stunning fall comeback.
Among some of the tidbits from the network's executive session with NBC Chariman Robert Greenblatt, entertainment president Jennifer Salke and alternative/late-night programming chief Paul Telegdy:
-- The previously announced Michael J. Fox sitcom is about to go into production and is on taraget for a fall debut. Salke said the show is inspired by Fox's real life, though his character will be a newscaster, not an actor. He'll play a husband and family man dealing with Parkinson's disease. At one point, he left his job, but thanks to medical advancements, he now feels healthy and ready to return to work.
"At the end of the day, he approaches his work and his life with a lot of irreverence," Salke said of the character. "He laughs at himself."
-- Greenblatt insisted that he is not worried about a ratings dropoff for Jay Leno in late night, now that ABC is shifting Jimmy Kimmel to 11:35 p.m. As for any talk of a succession plan in which Jimmy Fallon would take over "The Tonight Show," Greenblatt said, "Those conversations are premature."
-- Asked if he has ever considered putting a muzzle on the ever-controversial Donald Trump, Greenblatt replied, "We live in a country where you can say pretty much whatever you want. ... If he becomes hurtful or says things that cross the line, then we will talk about it.
It comes with the Trump territory"
-- Greenblatt defended NBC's risky decision to pull its biggest scripted hit, "Revolution," off the air until late March. "It's a little more of a cable model," he said. "If you market it properly and have the goods, I actually think that's the better long-term play (than stretching a handful of original episodes over several months)."
-- "The Office" will end its run in May with a one-hour farewell, episode, but Greenblatt said it's "doubtful" that Steve Carell will return for the send-off. No date for the finale has been set yet.
-- NBC has ordered a light-hearted summer dramedy called "Camp." It's a 13-episode series set at a lakeside summer youth camp.
-- "The Voice" will return in March and run into June, after May sweeps.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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