NBC may still be in fourth place, but that doesn’t mean they were hurting for news at today’s Television Critics Panel, in which the network’s entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt and other Peacock execs unveiled a slate of exciting upcoming programming…and less than satisfactorily addressed NBC’s shortcomings. Here’s what we learned.
1. A Hillary Clinton Miniseries Is in the Works
Diane Lane has been cast to play the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State in a four-hour miniseries event that will likely air in late 2014 or early 2015. Greenblatt was quick to note that it most likely will broadcast before Clinton announces whether or not she will seek the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination, a decision expected in spring or summer of 2015. No word yet on who will play Bill.
2. Rosemary’s Baby to be Rebooted
Roman Polanski’s 1968 horror-pregnancy classic will become a series, following the network’s success with turning another classic horror movie franchise into a TV series in Hannibal.
3. Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers To Get the Series Treatment
Considering the blockbuster numbers for CBS’ summer adaptation of Stephen King’s Under the Dome, NBC wants a piece of the action. So they’re planning a series treatment for King’s 1987 novel about the residents of a Maine town who slowly fall under the influence of a mysterious object in the woods, The Tommyknockers.
4. NBC’s Ratings Are Fine!
Greenblatt defended NBC’s ever-sagging ratings and suggested that there would be nothing the network could do to replicate the success of say, The Walking Dead, a hit so big he called it “an anomaly.” Way to set the bar low!
5. Sunday Night Football Will Feature Matrix-style Replays
360-degree “bullet time” replays are in the works to give viewers an all-angle overview of key plays during Sunday Night Football next season. Sounds expensive, but considering that it’s the only NBC franchise with blockbuster numbers it’s probably a sound investment.
6. Sean Hayes Has a Bold Proclamation for His New Show
The former Will & Grace star, who despite playing a gay character for years on the hit series only recently came out of the closet himself, says sexuality isn’t at the forefront of his new series Sean Saves the World. Rather, he calls it a “post-gay” series.
7. Sorry, Jessica Simpson
NBC has canceled the reality-competition show Fashion Star.
8. Praise for The New Normal, Just Not Renewal
Greenblatt called the Ryan Murphy-cocreated sitcom “ahead of its time” in its depiction of a gay couple…so ahead of its time that it had to be canceled.
9. They Want Jay Leno to Stick Around
But not on The Tonight Show, nor on a 10:00 variety show. Greenblatt says he’s hoping Leno will become an NBC alumnus like Bob Hope, who in his later years didn’t have a regular show on the network but remained loyal to it nonetheless, popping up for specials every now and then.
10. Why? Whyyyyyyyy?
In time for their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February, NBC Sports will produce an original documentary on the 20th anniversary of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s infamous clubbing attack at the hands of the ex-husband of her skating rival, Tonya Harding.