And Now A Word From Our Network

Well This Is Interesting

This morning brings a quick news brief, via Twitter, from TV By The Numbers:

Comcast chief Steve Burke said Comcast plans to spend $200 million more on NBC’s primetime lineup this year than former owner GE spent last year. Burke says the difference between winding up in third and fourth place could mean “hundreds of millions” to the company’s cash flow.

I’m no businessman; I’m just an underemployed rocket surgeon. But it seems to me this is an indication that Comcast’s strategy is to fertilize the ground that was planted by GE. Could be a good strategy.

Please read the article for yourself. It’s pretty clear that, with the same number of pilots as last year (21), the money must be going into promotion and show budgets (I’m assuming that executive salaries are not a part of this equation, but part of a different accounting).

This can’t be a bad thing for Chuck, or any other show in the NBC line up.

– joe


About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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15 Responses to And Now A Word From Our Network

  1. atcDave says:

    This will be wonderful news if Chuck can get an S5. Maybe most or all of the infamous budget cuts from a couple seasons back would be restored. And of course, MORE promotion. It still amazes me how many people have never even heard of Chuck. That makes some sense if just no one is watching NBC; but there are all sorts of non-television venues for advertising, and NBC does still have a few things that are well watched like Sunday Night Football, the Today Show, and apparently now The Voice.

  2. armysfc says:

    lol! i posted that under spoilers before this. ya can take that post down!

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    I think this is maybe the new management trying to repair some of the bridges the old management burned. I don’t know a lot about the inner working of the networks, but I’m comfortable trusting Mo Ryan, who explains it here.

    From what I’ve read and absorbed the old NBC team was alienating a lot of the Hollywood creative community well before they decided they could do away with scripted drama and run Leno in primetime. Coupled with apparently a resistance to promoting shows (something confirmed by TPTB at Chuck who basically said they were told by NBC they were on their own in season 3) lead to those with better, or even other prospects resisting working with NBC. If you look at the disasterous 2010 NBC pilot season, virtually every new show with the exception of Harry’s Law and possibly L&O LA virtually certain to be canceled that scenario seems to be borne out.

    If you are a show regularly getting crushed by ratings monsters like DWTS or 2.5 Men being told you’re on your own when it comes to promotion and ratings, and by the way, we need a reduced fee to allow you to come back as a mid-season replacement isn’t going to instill a lot of confidence in your partners.

    If nothing else announcing well ahead of the fall season that you plan on spending money for prime time rather than treating it as a stone to be squeezed till it bleeds regardless the outcome for shows and advertizers, should help at least stabalize their relations with the creative community and the ad world.

    • atcDave says:

      That sounds like more good news for scripted television in general. I REALLY hope Chuck gets to reap some of the benefits.

    • joe says:

      I agree. Funny that this news also seems to underscore what others have said about the optimism coming from TBTP about their chances for S5.

      Maybe the title of 4.24 shows their feelings about the future and may even be an indication about what they’ve been told. I know nothing, of course. But I certainly hope that’s the case.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah it seems like “cautiously optimistic” has been the watch word for a while. Hopefully May 16 will bring that good news.

  4. Faith says:

    The following quote came from Alan Sepinwall’s review of Agent X, posted on Monday night:

    “Demo rating was a 1.3 again last week, and the next night NBC had a huge debut for “The Voice.” Some other TV analyst types are arguing that it still makes sense for NBC to order one last 13-episode season so that NBC has one less new property to launch in the fall, but at this point, I’ve given up guessing. Either renewal comes or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, Fedak, Schwartz and company have already given us 17 previous series finales for us to pick and choose from, regardless of what we get in a few weeks.

    It’s very hard to gauge the ebb and flow of Chuck’s chances but I tend to take anything read or written with a sense of optimism but a healthy sense of caution too.

  5. Ernie Davis says:

    I was doing some background reading on NBC’s problems and their genesis starting with Mo Rynan’s article and I came across a very interesting tidbit. NBC’s promotions department was, and perhaps still is, independant from the TV/Entertainment division. In other words the people in charge of filling the schedule, the creative side doesn’t get to decide what get’s promoted. It sounds insane to me, but there you have it.

    • atcDave says:

      That sure seems odd. Was there any mention of what was more standard?

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Well the standard was for the promotions to be under the control of the same people who find, make, and schedule the shows. Which makes sense.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that makes a lot more sense. It also explains why the tone of the promotion is often so wildly different from the actual episode.

  6. Robert H says:

    Sounds like potentially good news for Chuck if it gets renewed, and IF is the big rub here. Much of the damage to the show for the last 2 years was caused by budget cuts which for the most part destroyed the balance in the show that originally made it so appealing. But let’s be realistic here. Even the if the show got renewed and the budget was restored to preseason 3 levels it will probably be “too little,too late” to get any large portion of the original viewer base back but it might be enough to order a full 22
    fully budgeted final season to reach syndication if the show gets renewed.

    Still potentially good news is better than none at all. If true it’s a step in the right direction and would show Comcast is really serious about turning the situation around at NBC. Nothing to do except wait and see…..

    • patty says:

      Actually I think a lot of people would watch Chuck if they had a better idea what it was like.

      I watched the pilot when it aired but was turned off by the end of helicopter I thought Sarah was mean to Chuck. I did not see the beginning, now it is one my favorite episodes! I also saw the end of Beefcake and thought that they were being mean to Morgan which again turned me off. The next thing I saw was the first 3 season 3 episodes and was completely hooked by the Costa Gravas episode. I made everyone in the family sit down and watch Operation Awesome, bought the DVD’s and was completely caught up by the end of the Olympics! Now we all get together on Mondays to watch Chuck.

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