Laughter is medicine at NBC upfront

Comedy showcase to highlight network's presentation

NBC wants advertisers to be laughing with them next month during its annual upfront presentations.

The network plans to roll out a comedy showcase that includes live and taped performances from the network's roster of stars. Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon and Rainn Wilson are expected to appear. Also possible is Jerry Seinfeld, who's producing a reality show that's expected to make the network's lineup next season.

"We're going to give you one of the best comedy performances you've ever seen," NBC co-chair Ben Silverman said.

Once again, the network is skipping the traditional broadcast presentation week in favor of an earlier event, which will be held May 19.

NBC also has its more intimate "infront" presentations starting May 4 that include a Q&A with Silverman and sales head Mike Pilot.

"They can expect a two-way conversation, which is why we do the infront," Silverman said. "You can ask questions, it's not just a stage show."

Silverman added that interest from advertisers is outpacing last year.

"Even though nobody knows how the marketplace will play out, we have had more RSVPs than we did last year and are already having more tangible conversations versus last year," he said.

NBC ruled against the costly traditional Radio City Music Hall theatrical pitch last year and instead offered an "NBC Experience" interactive presentation and after-party.
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