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Friday Night Lights Gets Renewed for Two More Seasons March 30, 2009 8:50 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in DirecTV, NBC, News, Renewals, Television.
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fridaynightlights-033009DirecTV and NBC have finalized a deal to produce 26 more episodes, to be aired over the course of two seasons, of the critically hailed, but poorly rated, NBC series Friday Night Lights.

The 26-episode order will likely be the last for the series, given its low ratings.  The 26 episodes will be produced consecutively without a break, but DirecTV will air the episodes as two 13-episode seasons.  NBC will get a second window of Friday Night Lights episodes after they air on DirecTV, just as they’re doing currently with the third season.

Through 11 episodes this season, Friday Night Lights has averaged a 2.7/4 HH rating/share, 3.98M viewers and a 1.3/4 A18-49 rating/share on NBC.

But forget the ratings, I love this series and am thrilled to see it’ll be around for at least two more seasons.

Source: TV Week

Lipstick Jungle Officially Canceled March 29, 2009 9:42 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Cancellations, NBC, News, Television.
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lipstickjungle-032909What’s been expected for months is now official,  NBC’s Lipstick Jungle has been officially canceled, that according to star Brooke Shields:

“It was going to stay and we just were officially told it’s finally not coming back,” Shields, who played movie exec Wendy Healy, told E! “I think a lot of people were really sad, but I think we hung on a really long time. It was three great years that we’ve been working on it.”

While NBC hasn’t officially made the announcement of the show’s cancellation, a source to TV Guide confirmed Shields’ version of the story.

Source: TV Guide

NBC Cancels The Chopping Block March 29, 2009 9:21 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Cancellations, NBC, News, Television.
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nbclogo-513After just three weeks on the air, NBC is pulling its weak performing original cooking competition series The Chopping Block.  According to THR’s James Hibberd, the network informed affiliates of the decision Thursday night.

Beginning this Wednesday, the show will be replaced with repeats of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The repeats will be episodes that have already aired on the network.  USA Network episodes will still make their broadcast debut on NBC starting on April 29th.

The Chopping Block premiered on March 11th with just 3.77M viewers and a 1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share.  In week two the show fell to just 3.40M viewers and a 1.2/4 A18-49 rating/share, before completely fizzling out last week with just 2.58M viewers and a 0.9/2 A18-49 rating/share (32 and 36 percent slides, respectively, from the already low series premiere).

NBC plans to burn off the remaining episodes sometime in the future.

Casting Bites: Amanda Seyfried, Anne Hathaway, Tom Selleck, Peter Krause and More March 24, 2009 12:52 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in ABC, Casting, CBS, HBO, Lionsgate, Movies, NBC, Summit Entertainment, Television, Warner Brothers, Warner Independent.
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amandaseyfried-032409Here’s a round up of the latest casting related news for television and film.

  • Amanda Seyfried won’t be able to take on the lead role in Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch because HBO won’t release her from her contract on Big Love. Snyder’s film begins shooting this fall, which would conflict with scheduled shooting on the fourth season of Big Love. [EW]
  • Actors Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman have all signed on to star as members of the wolf pack in Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon. [STYD]
  • Anne Hathaway has signed on to star as Judy Garland in the film and stage adaptations of Gerald Clarke’s biography Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland. [Weinstein Co.]
  • Giovanni Ribisi has joined the cast of Hunter S. Thompson’s adaptation of The Rum Diary from Warner Independent. Ribisi will play a carousing journalist in the film, which stars Johnny Depp.  [Variety]
  • Amanda Bynes has landed the starring role in the ABC pilot Canned.  The actress will play Sarabeth, a naive Midwesterner who’s being exploited by her boss – and doesn’t realize it. [Variety]
  • Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Mull have all joined the cast of Five Killers, a Lionsgate action comedy that also stars Ashton Kutcher (as a retiring hitman) and Katherine Heigl (his computer tech girlfriend).  Selleck and O’Hara are playing Heigl’s overprotective father and doring mother, while Mull is playing Holbrook, Kutcher’s handler. Robert Luketic is directing the film which is scheduled for release on June 4, 2010 release. [THR]

More casting bites after the jump. (more…)

Fallon Finishes His First Week #1 March 13, 2009 3:56 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, NBC, News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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jimmyfallonlatenight-031309Jimmy Fallon’s first week as host of NBC’s Late Night was a successful one, with the late-night program beating all cable and broadcast competition as well as Conan’s season average.  For the week of March 2-6 the program averaged nearly 2.4 million viewers and more than 1.2 million adults 18-49, out-rating its nearest competitor (CBS’s Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson) by 25% among viewers and 60% among adults 18-49.

Additionally, Fallon’s debut week ranked as the most-watched ever in the last decade, besting the bows of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (2M viewers in January 2005), ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.7M in January 2003) and The Late Show With Craig Kilborn (1.5M in March/April 1999).

Source: Variety

NBC Announces Summer Schedule March 12, 2009 5:48 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in 2008/2009 TV Season, NBC, News, Television.
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nbclogo-513NBC has unveiled their summer schedule, announcing key dates for new scripted projects including The Philanthropist, overseas co-productions including the BBC series Merlin and the CTV (from Canada) series The Listener as well as two new miniseries (The Meteor and The Storm) and two new reality series (I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Great American Road Trip).  Here’s the schedule (shows in CAPS are new):

MONDAY, JUNE 1
“I’M A CELEBRITY…GET ME OUT OF HERE!” — premiere (8-9 p.m.)
“Medium” season finale (10-11 p.m.)

TUESDAY, JUNE 2
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” — season finale (10-11 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3
“Law & Order” — season finale (10-11 p.m.)

THURSDAY, JUNE 4
“THE LISTENER” — premiere (10-11 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JUNE 7 and JUNE 14
“METEOR” — miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

MONDAY, JUNE 8
“Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (NBC season premiere; 9-10 p.m.)
“Dateline NBC” (10-11 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JUNE 21
“MERLIN” (premiere 8-10 p.m.; June 28 airs 8-10 p.m.; July 5 resumes regular time 8-9 p.m.)

TUESDAY, JUNE 23 and WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
“AMERICA’S GOT TALENT” (9-10 p.m. both nights)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
“THE PHILANTHROPIST” – premieres (10-11 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1
“GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP” — premieres (8-9 p.m.)

SATURDAY, JULY 4
“MACY’S 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR” (9-10 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JULY 19 and SUNDAY, JULY 26
“THE STORM” – miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

The full press release, which includes official show descriptions, follows after the jump. (more…)

Friday Night Lights Close to Renewal? March 10, 2009 4:37 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in DirecTV, NBC, News, Television.
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fridaynightlightskitsch-031009Just came across this very interesting report over at Michael Ausiello’s EW page.  Apparently, and despite declining ratings, NBC and DirecTV are close to renewing their partnership, announced last year, to keep Friday Night Lights on the air.

According to Ausiello, NBC says they’re only interested if they can get a commitment by DirecTV to air TWO more seasons. Although a spokesperson for NBC Universal declined to comment, an NBC insider acknowledged to Ausiello that the studio is “actively looking at ways to keep FNL going,” with another adding, “We’re very optimistic a deal will be worked out.”

About those ratings.  Eight episodes into its third season, Friday Night Lights is averaging just 3.99M viewers and a 1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share (its household rating/share is 2.5/4).  The season high came with the season premiere (2.8/5; 4.53M; 1.6/5) and the season (also series) low came at episode five (2.1/4; 3.46M; 1.1/3).

Knight Rider Probably Not Coming Back March 8, 2009 7:33 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in NBC, News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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knightrider-102608Last Wednesday’s season finale of Knight Rider will likely serve as the show’s series finale.  TV Guide is reporting that despite heavy reto0ling, the show will not be returning for a second season.  Last Wednesday’s finale drew just 5.68 million viewers and a 1.7 A18-49 rating, down 23 and 32 percent, respectively from the show’s season premiere last fall  (7.35M viewers and a 2.5 A18-49 rating).  NBC refused comment.

Heroes Likely Returning for a Fourth Season March 5, 2009 10:59 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in NBC, News, Television.
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heroes-121708NBC entertainment president Angela Bomstad tells THR that Heroes is not “on the bubble”, despite series low ratings, and will be renewed for a fourth season of 18-20 episodes.

That would be a smaller full-season order than usual for network television (usually 22-26 episodes).

Despite the low ratings — which I’ll address in an upcoming post (by the end of the weekend) — the show has one thing still going for it: international appeal.  Bromstad said that she experienced the drama’s global popularity first-hand in her previous NBC post, heading the network’s international efforts:

“Every single place you go has heard about ‘Heroes’ — whether you’re in China or Japan or Russia,” she said. “And to me, that is global content.”

Despite Bromstad’s confidence that the show will be renewed, nothing is official until it’s official, but apparently NBC is not deterred by the current ratings.  The THR article also notes that the network has privately discussed setting a series end date for Heroes, but if such a move were to be made, they wouldn’t want next season to be the conclusion.

Jerry Seinfeld Returning to NBC For Reality Series February 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in NBC, News, Television.
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jerryseinfeld-022609NBC today announced a new comedy-reality series created by comedian and producer Jerry Seinfeld.  Seinfeld has partnered with Ellen Rakieten, a 23-year veteran of The Oprah Winfrey Show for the project.

According to the press release, the new series, tentatively titled The Marriage Ref, will feature opinionated celebrities, comedians and sports stars who will candidly comment, judge and offer different strategies for real-life couples in the midst of a classic marital dispute.

The announcement was made by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, who promises that viewers “will love this highly relatable new comedy.”

Describing the new series, Seinfeld said, “This is not a therapy show, it’s a comedy show. After nine years of marriage I have discovered that the comedic potential of this subject is quite rich.”

The full press release follows after the jump. (more…)

NBC Wants Carson Daly to Stay at Network February 18, 2009 5:17 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Last Call with Carson Daly, NBC, Television.
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carsondaly-021809TelevisionWeek is reporting that NBC has begun conversations with Carson Daly to renew his contract to stay with the network for the late-night show Last Call.  Daly’s current deal with the network expires in August.

“We have begun conversations with Carson,” Rick Ludwin, NBC’s executive VP told TelevisionWeek. “We do want to continue with Carson Daly, both with ‘Last Call’ and with [his] New Year’s Eve [specials].”

Nick Cannon To Host America’s Got Talent February 16, 2009 12:09 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in America's Got Talent, Casting, NBC, Television.
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nickcannon-021609With Jerry Springer announcing his departure after two seasons on the NBC hit series America’s Got Talent, the network has announced a new host, Actor/Rapper Nick Cannon.  Cannon will take over the NBC job for the show’s upcoming fourth season.

Source: Variety

NBC Orders 12 More Episodes of Howie Do It January 30, 2009 1:09 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Howie Do It, NBC, News, Television.
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nbclogo-513NBC has ordered 12 more episodes of the Howie Mandel-led reality series Howie Do It. After three weeks, Howie Do It has averaged a 3.7/6 HH rating/share, 6.20M viewers and a 1.8/6 A18-49 rating/share, a good deal higher than shows that previously held its Friday night timeslot (Crusoe and America’s Toughest Jobs).

Source: Variety

NBC Developing TV Version of Parenthood January 29, 2009 3:02 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in NBC, News, Parenthood, Television.
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parenthood-012909NBC has greenlit a pilot for Parenthood, an adaptation of the 1980s theatrical film of the same name.  Friday Night Lights writer/executive producer Jason Katims is heading the project along with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.

Variety reports that the show will retain the tone of the movie — but with new characters, and with storylines that center on the modern challenges that come with raising kids in this post-Facebook, post-iPod world.

NBC Orders Futuristic Drama from Heroes Writer + Parker and Sarandon Join Who Do You Think You Are? January 27, 2009 11:00 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Day One, NBC, News, Television, Who Do You Think You Are?.
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nbclogo-513NBC has given a pilot order to Day One, a futuristic drama from Heroes writer/producer Jess Alexander.  According to THR, the series will chronicle the aftermath of a global event that devastates the world’s infrastructures when a small band of survivors strive to rebuild society and unravel the mysteries of why the event took place and what the future has in store.

NBC also announced today that Sarah Jessica Parker and Susan Sarandon have been tapped to star in the networks genealogy reality series Who Do You Think You Are?.  The series will run for six episodes and premiere Monday April 20th at 8:00pm.

Amy Poehler’s NBC Comedy Gets Tentative Title January 27, 2009 6:08 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in 2008/2009 TV Season, NBC, News, Public Service, Television.
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amypoehler-012709A recent NY Times article discussing the upcoming TV season, read it here, reveals the likely title for the new NBC comedy starring SNL-alum Amy Poehler: Public Service.

The show, which deals with small-time local government, will begin April 9 at 8:30. Its creators, Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, both of “The Office,” described the show as not a spinoff of “The Office,” although it will borrow at least a few conventions from that show, including a cast of ordinary office workers.

ABC and NBC Pick Up Eastwick and Mercy Pilots January 25, 2009 5:21 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in ABC, Eastwick, Mercy, NBC, News, Television.
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witchesofeastwick-012509ABC and NBC have handed out pilot orders to dramas Eastwick and Mercy, THR reports:

“Eastwick,” from Warner Bros. Television, is loosely based on the 1987 feature “The Witches of Eastwick,” which starred Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeifer and Jack Nicholson.

Penned by Maggie Friedman (“Jack & Bobby”), the project follows three women in the town of Eastwick who embark upon lives with new powers after an enigmatic stranger comes to town.

NBC’s “Mercy,” Universal Media Studios, is a drama with comedic elements that revolves around three nurses bound together in friendship by the highs and lows of their personal and professional lives.

Liz Heldens (“Friday Night Lights”) wrote the script and will exec produce.

ABC ordered the pilot script for Eastwick back in August of last year (related article here).

CNN Tops Cable Networks In Inauguration Ratings UPDATE: Inauguration Draws 37.8 Million January 21, 2009 6:18 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in ABC, Broadcast TV Ratings, Cable TV Ratings, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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presidentbarackobamaswearingin-012109

UPDATED ON 1/22/2009
Nielsen reports that from 10am to 5pm ET, an average 37,793,008 tuned into the ceremony, swearing in, speech and coverage of the Inauguration.  That’s the second-most ever, slightly below the 41,800,260 who watched Reagan’s nomination in January 1981.

Keep in mind that the number does not include any online viewers or radio listeners and this covers a very large time period (President Obama’s oath took place shortly after noon and his speech lasted about 20 or so minutes ending shortly before 12:30pm).  The amount of Americans who tuned into that segment was decidely larger.

It must have been, because Gallup has releaed a poll indicating that a massive 60% of the nation tuned into all of the address.  Do the math and you’ll see there’s a large discrepency between the two numbers.

Original article follows below.

CNN was the ratings winner among cable-news networks during coverage of Tuesday’s inauguration of President Barack Obama, according to data released today by Nielsen.

For the swearing-in ceremony and Inaugural Address in Washington — from noon to 12:30pm — CNN drew 8.5 million total viewers, well ahead of Fox News Channel (5.5 million total viewers) and MSNBC (3.1 million total viewers).

Breaking out the numbers more fully, CNN was also first from 11am to 2pm Tuesday, with 6.9 million viewers, followed by Fox News Channel (4.4 million viewers) and MSNBC (2.6 million viewers). CNN’s numbers are the most ever 11am to 2pm average in its history.

And finally, for the total day of the inauguration — 6am to 3am — CNN placed first with an average of 4.0 million total viewers, with Fox News following in second with 2.5 million viewers and MSNBC in third with 1.7 million viewers.

Demo data — which CNN also dominated (beating Fox News and MSNBC combined) — follows after the jump. (more…)

Kristin Chenoweth Cast in NBC’s Legally Mad December 19, 2008 7:40 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Legally Mad, NBC, News, Television.
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chenoweth_kristen-121908Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) has been tapped to star in NBC’s David E. Kelley legal drama, Legally Mad.  

According to Variety, Chenoweth will play Skippy Pylon, who although is a cheerful and brilliant attorney at a Chicago law practice, also exhibits flashes of psychosis–and enjoys being mistaken for a teenager.

“I’ve wanted to work with her for a long time and can’t wait to reveal her as someone who’s completely mad,” Kelley said.

NBC To Use Super Bowl to ReIntroduce Programming December 17, 2008 3:44 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Chuck, Heroes, Kings, Medium, NBC, News, Television.
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heroes-121708With several of the network’s high-profile shows experiencing series low ratings, and NBC still unable to successfully launch a new series this fall season, the network is looking to capitilize on the large audience tuning into the Super Bowl to to reintroduce its programming to America.  

Promotions are being planned for Heroes, Kings, Medium and NBCU Cable shows among others. NBC will have five minutes’ worth of promotional time during the Super Bowl, plus a potential of between two and four minutes during halftime.  Additional time will be available in the network’s pregame and postgame programming.  NBC Entertainment president of marketing Adam Stotsky said that the Super Bowl gives the network an opportunity to “reintroduce” viewers to NBC programs they might not currently be watching “as well as give current fans some of the respective shows some special episode points to keep them coming back.”

The network’s Monday night lineup will be most highlighted, set to debut one day after the game airs.  They include a special 3-D episode of Chuck at 8pm, the new volume of Heroes at 9pm and the season premiere of Medium at 10pm.

“You want to have a trailer version so [viewers] know what it’s about,” said Mr. Miller. “We also plan a different kind of spot that gets attention, the type of thing that will be displayed on YouTube the next day.”

Source: Advertising Age

Giants/Cowboys Matchup Most Watched Game in SNF History December 16, 2008 6:25 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in NBC, NBC Sunday Night Football, NFL, Nielsen TV Ratings, Sports, Television.
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nbcsnf-12160823.1 million viewers tuned in to watch the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Super Bowl champion New York Giants 20-8 on NBC Sunday Night Football this past Sunday.  That’s the most viewers ever for a ‘Sunday Night Football’ game and the third-most viewers in primetime this season, behind only the November 16th telecast of 60 Minutes that featured President-elect Barack Obama (25.1 million) and the October 9th season premiere of CSI (23.5 million).

Sunday Night Football is currently averaging 16.8 million viewers over 14 broadcasts.  That’s a five percent gain over last season’s average of 16.1 million.

The full press release follows after the jump.

(more…)

Jessica Alba and Jack Black to Guest Star on NBC’s The Office December 16, 2008 5:53 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Casting, NBC, News, Television, The Office.
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jackblackandjessicaalba-121608NBC has announced that Jack Black and Jessica Alba will both be guest-starring on the hour-long post-Super Bowl episode of The Office on February 1, 2009.

I’ve included both press releases after the jump.

(more…)

Bryan Fuller Talks Heroes + John Glover Cast as Sylar’s Dad December 11, 2008 7:17 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Casting, Heroes, NBC, News.
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heroestitle-81908Entertainment Weekly got a chance to chat with Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) who’s returning to the show as a consultant.  Fuller talked a bit about the show’s new volume, titled Fugitives, which kicks off on February 2nd:

It really is a fresh start. All of the characters are back in their real lives. You see Peter as a paramedic. Claire is looking for colleges. We get away from the world of formulas and quasi-magic.

Yes. Episodes 14, 15 and 16 are amazing. The whole “Fugitives” arc starts out very strongly, and then it gets a little dense in the middle in terms of the mythology. So I came in right at the point where everybody was realizing, “Oh, we’re getting too dense here and we need to put faces on stories because there is no face to a formula; there is no face to saving the world.” So it’s turning this big ship back into a character stream, and everyone on the writing staff shares that desire. We need to get back into a character place, because that’s where this story started: Very clean, superhero metaphors to everyday life. That’s the path that we’re taking. But it is a big ship so it’s going to take a little while to turn it.

You can read the rest of the interview at Entertainment Weekly.

Entertainment Weekly is also reporting that NBC has just cast John Glover (Smallville) to play Sylar’s father on the series.

“When Sylar meets his father, he’s going to see a path ahead of him that he doesn’t want to take,” says a source. “He has a lot more in common with his father than he realized.”


Jay Leno Gets Primetime 10PM Spot on NBC December 9, 2008 7:27 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Late-Night, NBC, The Jay Leno Show, The Tonight Show.
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jayleno-72308He may be losing his late-night hour on NBC, but Jay Leno isn’t leaving the network.  NBC today announced that The Tonight Show host Jay Leno will be moving into primetime with The Jay Leno Show. The five night a week series will begin fall 2009 and air from 10-11pm ET.

“As broadcast television continues to change, success demands a new paradigm,” said Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal. “For the past few years, we’ve been very vocal about two things: Transforming broadcast television for today’s media landscape, and keeping Jay at NBC. In this one announcement we have done both. It’s great for NBC, for our viewers, and for our advertisers.”

“Jay has played a major role in defining NBC’s brand of high-quality entertainment,” said Silverman. “The 10 o’clock hour will bring Jay a whole new audience and provide a great lead-in both for our local affiliates and for Conan O’Brien, the next great host of The Tonight Show.”

Jay Leno signs off as the host of The Tonight Show on May 29, 2009.  Late Night host Conan O’Brien will take over hosting duties on June 1, 2009, while Jimmy Fallon will take over O’Brien’s spot on March 2, 2009.

The full press release follows after the jump.

(more…)

New Meet the Press Host: David Gregory December 9, 2008 2:26 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Meet the Press, NBC, NBC News, Television.
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davidgregory-120208It’s now confirmed.  NBC has announced that David Gregory will take over hosting duties on Meet the Press, effective immediately. Gregory’s debut will take place this Sunday.

In Sunday’s edition, temp. host Tom Brokow passed the baton to Gregory, who will become the 10th permanent host of the show:

“This is an honor,” said Mr. Gregory. “You nurtured me in this business. Tim did. And I was in a unique place where I got to see two of the very best in journalism up close. I tried to learn a lot. I’ve thought a lot abut what it means to succeed somebody like Tim Russert. I’m not Tim, but along with this great team, I can just work real hard to make him proud.”

“Well, part of the deal is that you no longer can break up Washington parties by doing your drop-dead imitation of me,” Mr. Brokaw said.

Source: TV Week