NBC Network Upfront: May 12, 2014

 NBC got the packed house at NYC’s Javits Center warmed up with Seth Meyers, who griped to the assembled that the event “could just as easily have been covered in a mass email.” As for the Olympics, which the net picked up last week through 2032, the Late Night host joked, “Because of global warming, they will all be summer Olympics.”


NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt noted that even without Sochi, NBC is still number one in its target A18-49 demo. But “the biggest story for the year”? The Blacklist. Most of the cast was on hand, and James Spader appeared via a taped message, ominously in character. “Today is about the future,” he told advertisers, “your future – if you wish to have one.” Greenblatt called the hit drama’s February relocation to the Thursday-at-9p linchpin spot “a critical move” to change the course of once-might Thursday night, and announced the post-Super Bowl and February 5 shows will be a two-part arc.


Greenblatt also announced that in addition to live special Peter Pan, NBC will air a live production of The Music Man. “You’re going to hear the word ‘event’ a lot this week,” added the exec. “We’re trying to event-ize everything.”


Linda Yaccarino, president of ad sales, said NBC has made “critical investments in analytics and technology” that will give advertisers a better return on investment, including a Nielsen study showing how viewers consumed the Winter Olympics.


NBC unveiled its schedule for the 2014-2015 season, and it includes slipping Katherine Heigl CIA drama State Affairs into The Blacklist’s Monday at 10p slot starting November 17. Blacklist returns with new eps Thursday, February 5 at 9p, after a big Super Bowl push on February 1. The Biggest Loser moves to Thursdays at 8p, replacing a comedy block. Freshman comedies Bad Judge and A to Z fill in the 9p hour.


Parks and Recreation was not on NBC’s sked, but will return for a seventh season – its last. “We have several of our strongest comedies by some of our best auspices being held for midseason, including the final season of Parks and Recreation,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. Other laughers being held: Mission Control, Mr. Robinson, One Big Happy and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.


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