NBC entertainment co-chair Ben Silverman added that NBC delivered "its most upscale lineup in three years. Patience with comedy pays off," he said, pointing to the success of "30 Rock" and "The Office," and adding that he "loves when advertising and entertainment combine to create culture."
He added the network has "reached an agreement with all the guilds in principle," and did not expect any interruption to prime-time programming.
The programming chief was equally enthusiastic about Jay Leno's move to 10 p.m., calling him "a proven bankable brand" -- an ad-friendly, popular host who would be "in originals all year long."
There are six new scripted shows debuting on NBC this fall, including "Trauma," a medical drama about first-responder paramedics; "Mercy," a drama about three nurses; "Community," a comedy about a community college; "Parenthood," a comedy from Ron Howard and Brian Grazer that re-imagines the film "Parenthood;" "100 Questions," a dating comedy; and "Day One," about survivors in the aftermath of a devastating global event, that will launch after the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
Returning shows include "Southland," "Heroes," six new episodes of "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" and "Parks and Recreation."
NBC confirmed today that "Life" is not coming back. By May 19, the full fall schedule will be unveiled. No official word on the status of "Chuck," "Medium" and "Law & Order," although "Law & Order: SVU" is returning.
Upcoming reality shows include "Marriage Ref," with Jerry Seinfeld as executive producer, and "Who Do You Think You Are?" in which a celebrity embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Sarah Jessica Parker and Spike Lee are slated to participate.
All NBC's shows, whether scripted or unscripted, have strong digital tie-ins. Vivi Zigler, president, NBCU digital entertainment, said NBC's goal was to "distribute original content, not derivative of on-air content ... that impacts traditional brand metrics across all platforms." Zigler touted the 34% increase in monthly Net visitors, as well as a 33% rise in monthly streams. "We also estimate a 400% grown in mobile, "a viable ad platform."
Mike Pilot, NBCU's president of sales and marketing, said that he felt "anecdotally that advertisers were leaning in," and anticipated a strong scatter market. He also pushed the networks custom-marketing projects, noting successful past tie-ins with Turbo Tax, Subway and Hyundai.
For us, "attention is the scarcest commodity of the century," noted Silverman. "It starts and ends with good shows."