NBCUniversal made noise at its Upfront

NBCUniversal’s Upfront on Monday at Radio City Music Hall launched with Will & Grace star Debra Messing leading the NBC gang in an opening musical number. Among the highlights of the event: Project Runway is coming home. The series, which aired on Bravo from 2004-2008 then moved to Lifetime, will be back on Bravo for season 17. ”This franchise will be an important cornerstone to complement Bravo’s original premium scripted and unscripted slate,” said Frances Berwick, president of Lifestyle Networks, NBCU Cable Entertainment….Katherine Heigl, new to Suits, said she doesn’t think she “could have joined the USA family at a better time”….Meanwhile the Suits spin-off has a name: Second City. Series star Gina Torres broke the news…Telemundo offered a rousing number celebrating, “I am the majority of the new mainstream”…. “Journalism is at the heart of what we do. And facts do matter,” said NBC News anchor Lester Holt, in a promotion of the news group….Simon Cowell said when tried to sell America’s Got Talent 14 years ago, “It was dead in the water, and I was very fortunate to get a call from NBC. The big reason it is so successful is that they believe in it, understand what it is all about and pushed us to get better and better.”…Kicking up their heels in a final number were Jennifer Lopez and her World of Dance.

NBCUni head of sales Linda Yaccarino pointed to the reception for the U.S. Women’s Olympics hockey team, the first guests of the morning, as demonstrating the power of television. “When is the last time you’ve seen a standing ovation at an upfront?” she asked. “We just blew the doors off Radio City and that was our intention. To give you a taste of what we do everyday, on every channel, on every screen.” Plus, “You get it all under one roof. When the social media guys can do that, just let me know. But I wouldn’t hold your breath. We’re not in the ‘likes’ business. We’re in the results business.”

NBC unveiled its year-round lineup on Sunday, and the slate included two new dramas and a comedy for fall; over the course of the season, the net will air two new comedies, five new dramas and one alternative reality series. For details, go to the Cynopsis Upfronts portal: http://www.cynopsis.com/upfronts2018/?post=127072

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