LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "We're trying to rebuild," Jeff Gaspin admitted to reporters during NBC's executive session at the TCA Summer Press Tour. "And we recognize some of the mistakes that we made over the past couple of years.
We put a lot more money into development this year. We picked up quite a few series, we're taking more shots. Certainly, we feel very good though about the progress we've made over the past year. And we have a lot more stability at the network than we've had in quite some time. So I think if you think about this past year that's a lot to accomplish and we're really proud of that."
Gaspin would later admit, with regards to meeting the ever-changing demands of the industry, "I think you make too many changes too quickly from a position of weakness and so it [becomes] a self-fulfilling prophecy. The goal is to rebuild, get stronger and then if we need to make changes at that point... we won't be working from such a position of weakness, which I think really jeopardized some of the decisions that we made, some of the moves that we made."
Among the other topics tackled by Gaspin and his entertainment head Angela Bromstad:
-- Neither had much to say about Steve McPherson's departure from ABC. Noted Bromstad: "To be honest, I have no inside information or knowledge of anything going on already other than what everybody's read in the press." Likewise, the pair confessed no knowledge of former Showtime chief Robert Greenblatt potentially joining NBC or the NBC Universal family.
-- Bromstad says she, Greg Daniels and Paul Lieberstein were aware of Steve Carell's decision to leave "The Office" before it became public and have prepared accordingly. "They do have a plan in terms of who's going to replace Michael and so there will be a lot of storylines leading up to that," she said. "And there will be some mystery as to who that will be."
-- Still no hard date for "Parks & Recreation's" return nor any specific plans to open up a second night of comedies.
-- Bromstad on what will separate "The Cape" from the similarly-themed "Heroes": "I think that one of the things we found with 'Heroes' was just because it was so much about the discovery of their powers - and that was sort of the premise of the first year - ['The Cape'] is really more of a procedural and this character, The Cape, doesn't have superpowers. He's trained in a way that he just is able to manipulate things. He doesn't actually have superpowers the way the 'Heroes' characters did."
-- Alexandra Cunningham will take over from Hank Steinberg as writer of the "Prime Suspect" two-hour pilot with Film 44's Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey also coming on as executive producers.
-- "Day One" is officially dead: "Basically we had thought that we would run that as a mini-series and just through the course of events we've just moved on from that," Bromstad said.