Inside the NBC Upfront

Donald Trump bows out of presidential run to cheers, Bob Greenblatt gets more laughs than the show clips -- and more inside THR editor at large Kim Masters' live blog.

The Hollywood Reporter's Kim Masters is live blogging NBC's upfront from NYC in real time:

1:07 p.m.
Greenblatt is said to hate It when people say Smash is his Glee. It definitely has some Glee flavor, but It looks like its own thing and it looks fun. Best applause of the day. Clearly this is Greenblatt saying this is my show and an indicator of what I want to do. One more shot at Zucker on the way out: "We have no mandate to manage for margins."

Presentation ends with Christina Aguilera belting out a bluesy, "It Must Be Love." That is a voice! Here's Cee-Lo… not singing "Forget You" but a doing a duet with Aguilera at the finish. A hot ending to a lukewarm presentation -- but give Greenblatt time. He's only just begun.

12:51 p.m.

Donald Trump says, "I will not be running for president as much as I'd like to." The crowd cheers. He cites the funds Celebrity Apprentice has raised for charity as a reason to continue the show.

12:46 p.m.
Home stretch.

Clips from Awake look pretty interesting. Very Inception. Too complicated for primetime in broadcast? Creator Kyle Killen (Lone Star) has a thing for people who inhabit two worlds. Which seems to be what Greenblatt will try to do--inhabit broadcast but still live a little in cable.

Brian Williams is here to talk about the planned news show. He reads a vivid and harrowing email from foreign correspondent Richard Engel about what's happening on the ground in Libya. Maybe these stories will find a forum. Imagine.

12:35 p.m.
Dick Ebersol talks Sunday night, tosses footballs into the crowd, touts Olympics and Michael Phelps going for an all-time medals record -- one of many American stars to get the home crowd watching. More than 2,000 hours streamed live--and streaming on mobile devices. Love those platforms.

Greenblatt touches on midseason comedies all designed to appeal to women. Greenblatt promises these are not second-string. These clips really make me miss Sex and The City. The real Sex and The City. Not the movies.

12: 15 p.m.

Fallon is in the house. The upfront equivalent of the seventh-inning stretch. He's leading a song called,  "Have a Com-castic Day."

Now he's blowing a ... shofar? And singing "NBC 's got Bob Greenblatt!"

And... he's gone. Odd. Jimmy Kimmel -- your crown as upfront comedy king is safe this year.

12:07 p.m.

Friday: Grimm's: Okay, this looks weird. It's Friday, though, paired with Chuck in its final season. Maybe it finds a weird, niche-y audience that can keep it around while NBC sorts itself out. Don't bet the rent. What is up with the fixation on fairy tales?

12 p.m.
Thursdays: Greenblatt says, "I'm confident the show can continue without losing steam.  Obviously finding a replacement for Steve Carell is a priority."

Whitney looks quirky and potentially fun but there is very loud, canned-sounding laughter throughout the clips. Still people are laughing. Definitely best received of the batch.

Prime Suspect is on at 10. Maria Bello looks sort of Helen Mirren dressed down. Reaction in room seems … cautious.

11: 46 a.m.
Jumping to Wednesday, Greenblatt says he recognizes the risk of launching a new comedy block but promises patience. 

Up All Night clips do not seem to be getting laughs. Uh oh.

This may take more than patience. Greenblatt is getting bigger laughs with his intro.
Free Agents very much a sex comedy -- the word sex uttered at least a thousand times in clips. Again, spotty laughs but more than up all night.

11:36 a.m.
Greenblatt calls Smash the ideal companion for The Voice. "Let me come back to smash at the end of the presentation and maybe even send you out singing." Obviously he loves this show big time.

Starting with Monday, he promises a new judge on the sing-off. The clips get moderate applause.

Greenblatt says The Playboy Club is "honestly quite tame compared to the Jersey Shore."  Drat!

Clips look very Mad Men with extra cheesecake. Lead was separated at birth from Jon Hamm.

There's a murder! Early feminist banter! Racial politics! Smoking! Moderate response in the room.

11: 25 a.m.
Greenblatt says, "I used to be quite happy in the bulletproof world of Showtime. Thank you, God, for The Voice." He says he's dealt with more pilots in three months than he did in seven years at Showtime.

Greenblatt vows to rebuild NBC and make It the premier destination for talent, but admits:  "We know the turnaround will take years."

Te says The Voice could be "a game-changer " and says he expects It to "dramatically redefine the first and second quarter for us."

11: 17 a.m.:
The Roots from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon are doing a warm up.

Seth Meyers hosts a Weekend Update, joking that NBC going first at the upfront "is like getting the hot girl in speed dating." Referring to future judges who could join The Voice, he quips, "Gwyneth Paltrow, if you're listening, they'll call you." He also takes a swipe at Paula Abdul not realizing she's committed to be a judge on X Factor.

NBC Uni co-chairman Ted Harbert repudiates Jeff Zucker-era fixation with new technology.  He acknowledges the importance of digital platforms but reminds people that TV viewing dwarfs viewing online. "The best, most popular,  most sell-able content starts here."

 

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