NBC: GM Supports 'Enemy,' New Show For Poehler
But that still doesn't mean Leno is totally leaving the network. NBC is looking at other program possibilities in prime time or on a special basis. "We are still talking to Jay," says Marc Graboff, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.
Leno made a special appearance at the TCA, posing as a reporter asking questions about himself and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel. Earlier at the TCA, Kimmel also posed as a TV reporter asking questions about whether Jay Leno was coming to ABC.
When the fun stopped and serious questioning started, Graboff said Leno's last day of "The Tonight Show" will be May 29, 2009, and Conan O'Brien's first night as host will be June 1. Jimmy Fallon, who will replace O'Brien as the host of "Late Show" sometime in March, will be testing comedy bits online in preparation for his late-night debut.
Graboff also announced that NBC would be holding another "Infront" upfront advertising conference in early April, just as it did a year ago. Both Graboff and Silverman said that early meetings with advertisers went a long way toward getting General Motors as a major sponsor and branded entertainment partner of the new show "My Own Worst Enemy."
"It ended up working out really well," said Silverman, who noted that new on-air promos with GM will start with "Enemy" star Christian Slater running in the Beijing Olympics next month. General Motors is launching some new models about the same time as the launch of the show in mid-October.
In regard to new measurement and guaranteed results for advertisers with big branded entertainment deals, such as General Motors and "Enemy," Silverman says NBC is working on new metrics that will pin results not just to ratings, but to actual product sold.
Silverman did not disclose what, if any, of those metrics GM got in its deal for "Enemy"--but added that GM has a traditional media deal that includes a guarantee on ratings fixed to the price-per-thousand viewers.
NBC also announced that it had signed "Saturday Night Live" star Amy Poehler for an as-yet-unnamed comedy that will run on Thursday night. At the same time, Silverman noted "The Office" executive producers Greg Daniels and Mike Schur would be working on an "Office" spinoff.
NBC didn't have a schedule for when either of those shows would be ready, or whether any would get the prime post-Super Bowl time slot.
Silverman said the network would continue to air originals of its dramas straight through with no repeats. This applies to shows such as "Heroes" as well as "My Own Worst Enemy."