[05/13/12 - 01:14 PM]
Greenblatt: Not Necessarily Final Season of "30 Rock"; Dan Harmon May Be Out as "Community" Showrunner
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- "I'm just determined to build momentum from night to night, which is something that has eluded us in recent years," NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt told reporters following the announcement of the network's 2012-13 schedule. The executive pointed to "Sunday Night Football," TV's number one show, and the need to push the strength of that audience through "The Voice" on Mondays and Tuesdays with its new shows helping to carry the torch thereafter.

Among the hot topics:

-- "I think broad is synonymous with ratings. I think we're always trying to be broader," Greenblatt said about their newcomers. Ted Harbert (Chairman, NBC Broadcasting) added that they're equally proud of their returning shows. "The advertising community loves them," he said. "We still get a premium on these shows because of the upscale audience that they deliver. Yes, it's smaller than some but [it's] certainly good business for us."

-- "We knew it wasn't gonna get that plum lead out of 'The Voice' forever because it makes sense for us to launch a new show there and try to grow that," Greenblatt noted about the decision to hold "Smash" for midseason. He added that they plan to order 16-18 episodes this year, a season size that likely will continue going forward.

-- On moving "Community" and "Whitney" to Friday nights: "We wanted to get more comedy on the schedule in general, I just think it will be good for the health of the network," Greenblatt said. "There aren't these kinds of shows at 8 o'clock [on Friday nights]. We love 'Grimm' at 9, which is where it's staying, and we thought we're going to help 'Grimm' if there are scripted shows in front of it. And there seems to be an opportunity for some comedy on Friday."

-- "These things take a long time... they've done some fantastic work this year," Harbert said about the Thursday-bound "Rock Center With Brian Williams." "Brian Williams is a huge asset that we want on television. We talked about different scheduling opportunities."

-- On changes in store for "The Voice": "We know that people love the revolving chairs and so we've got a plan to get them into the battle rounds," Greenblatt said. "I think we have some changes and tweaks in the format that are going to make it even better and more competitive." He would later add, "There was never any doubt that we were going to do two cycles a year eventually after we got our sort of sea legs, which is no different than any other of these big reality shows."

-- "You do have to look at the demo of a show like 'Harry's Law,'" Greenblatt said about the show's cancellation. "It did have a big household number - that audience skewed very old - and you have to factor that into the decision. It's just harder to monetize that older audience." Ted added, "We're not against older audience. But we would love it if a show could bring some of 18-49 as well... there's a lot of CBS dramas that have a very large, healthy 50 plus audience but they also have a good size 18-49 audience."

-- Greenblatt on if this is the final season of "30 Rock" or any of their other shows: "As they age it's obviously something you look at each year but we haven't definitively said that to any of them yet."

-- Greenblatt on the status of "The Office" actors: "At this moment in time I expect to see all of that cast back except Mindy [who's going to her own show on FOX]."

-- On if Dan Harmon will return as showrunner of "Community": "I think those conversations are happening as we speak. And I guess what I would say is I expect Dan's voice to be a part of the show somehow, I'm just not sure if that exactly means him running it day to day or consulting on it," said Greenblatt. Pressed if it's a result of the public flare up with Chevy Chase, Greenblatt responded, "I don't think so. I know that was blown up into something. I don't really think that it would determine him running the show or not based on one of the actors. I think it's larger issues that have to do with a lot of things. But I don't think Chevy, I don't think it's that."

  [may 2012]  

· 30 ROCK (NBC)

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