NBC kicked off the network portion of the television critics association meetings going on in Los Angeles over the next two weeks.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt had a lot to brag about especially with the summer ratings for “America’s Got Talent” and the upcoming Summer Olympics Games from Rio.
Here are a few highlights of what Greenblatt had to say about what is happening with the network.
Question: What is the state of network TV?
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Greenblatt: I’d like to make the case that NBC has defied a lot of the doom and gloom, downward trends we’ve been hearing about network television for the past few years. In fact, we’re thriving in an era of unprecedented change, and our slate of entertainment programs has actually generated ratings gains for the last three years in a row.
Q: What is the thinking behind making TV shows based on movies?
A: For every failed show based on a movie, there’s probably an example of one that worked well. What I think we try to do if we go into territory that is familiar or an old show that we’re kind of bringing back is to not do it in a straightforward way. So “Taken” is not a reboot really, but it’s the same character, but he’s 30 years younger, and you’re seeing the origin of where that Liam Neeson character started from.
Q: You will have four shows in the “Chicago” franchise. Will there be more?
A: Every time I think Dick Wolf has kind of finished what he started, he comes up with a new idea. And I usually go, ‘Oh, now, let’s think about that. Is that really the right way to go? Is that a good idea?’ And more often than not he proves me to be wrong. So I don’t know. Conventional wisdom would probably say if you get one spin off, you’re probably in the 90th, 99th percentile of success. But to have three spin offs, I probably think we’re gilding the lily if we go beyond that.
Q: What did you think about the way “Marty and Maya” did?
A: I think ‘Maya & Marty’ was great, and we did only a handful of episodes of it because it’s a big new franchise. And I think in the early going of a new show, you experiment with things and try different things. And I think the six episodes we did yielded a lot of great stuff and some extraordinary work that was done by both of them and the guest stars and the writing staff. And, you know, we were pretty pleased with the ratings. I wish it had been of course, you always wish for more ratings, but I think it did well.