January 19, 2014 6:42pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Peter Pan,' Thursday Changes and More Lessons From NBC
What's the follow-up to ratings smash The Sound of Music Live? Will bubble comedy Parks and Recreation see a seventh season? Will comedy remain the anchor of NBC's Must-See TV Thursday night lineup? And what will Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers bring to their new late-night series?
NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt came to his session at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour armed with a long roster of news as the network trotted out midseason programming including Growing Up Fisher, Chicago P.D., Believe, Hollywood Game Night, Crisis, American Dream Builders, About a Boy and The Tonight Show and Late Night.
Here are six things we learned:
1. Peter Pan is returning to NBC. Greenblatt hopes lightning strikes twice after its live performance of The Sound of Music drew nearly 20 million viewers, and has set Peter Pan as its follow-up. The network is reteaming with Music EPs Neil Meron and Craig Zadan to for a live Pan some 60 years after the network televised a live performance of the former Broadway play. But don't look for Music star Carrie Underwood to return as the central role of Peter likely will be played by a male actor.
STORY: 'Peter Pan' Set as NBC's Live 'Sound of Music' Follow-Up
2. Amy Poehler will remain in the NBC family. After inking the newly minted Golden Globe winner to a three-year development pact and ordering a comedy pilot co-created by the actress, Greenblatt said Poehler starrer Parks and Recreation likely will return to NBC for a seventh season. Also earning a pilot order: Katherine Heigl vehicle State of Affairs, a drama from Joe Carnahan.
3. More limited series. Clarifying that there isn't a big difference between "limited series," "event series" and "miniseries," Greenblatt picked up two short-order programs: Wizard of Oz take Emerald City (10 episodes) and The Slap (eight episodes). After a dig at CBS' monster summer hit Under the Dome's "event series" billing -- the drama was renewed for a second season -- Greenblatt noted Emerald also could continue on for multiple seasons given the wealth of storytelling in L. Frank Baum's books.
4. Thursday change-up? With freshman half-hours Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show struggling, Greenblatt noted the network could abandon its Must-See TV Thursday comedy lineup. "Anything is open for discussion," he said. "We may shuffle the whole deck in terms of genres [on Thursday night]."
5. Farewell, Jay. Greenblatt used his platform to both praise outgoing Tonight Show host Jay Leno and make a plea for the late-night leader to remain in the NBC fold in some capacity -- whether it be specials or other kinds of series for the network. Also set: Leno's final Tonight Show guests.
6. Welcome, Jimmy and Seth. Addressing changes to The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon noted his monologue would be expanding to 10 minutes and his first show would feature Will Smith and musical guest U2. Seth Meyers, meanwhile, shared advice from Fallon about taking over the latter's former home. As for his dream guests, Meyers -- who will open the show with his former Weekend Update host Poehler -- said he'd love to see Hillary Clinton and other influential politicians.