Faces of Fall TV: Will the Next Cookie Please Stand Up?
This season, 22 new broadcast series will be among the 400 across the dial. Still, the hope of a breakout (see: 'Empire') is all it takes for stars big (Rob Lowe) and new (Rachel Bloom) to step up to bat.
This story first appeared in the Sept. 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
With a month and counting before another broadcast TV season was set to begin, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt stood before the industry's top critics and laid out exactly what keeps him up at night. "Too many shows," he said. "Not enough monetization. Fractured audience. Netflix doesn't report ratings. What did Nielsen do this time? And how do we find the next great comedy?" The rat-a-tat headline scroll drew laughs from his Beverly Hilton audience and served as a vivid reminder of the plight of a network executive in today's 200-channel universe. Of course, that won't stop the Big Five chiefs from adding a collective 22 new fall shows for the 2015-16 season — featuring a mix of familiar faces (Scream Queens' Jamie Lee Curtis, Grandfathered's John Stamos) and titles (Limitless, Minority Report) — all vying to break through in a crowd of about 400 scripted series.