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NBC Gives up "We'll Never be #1"


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#1 of 47 mattCR

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Posted March 19 2009 - 11:55 AM

MediaPost Publications Zucker Weighs In On Leno, NBC's Future 03/19/2009

I love the quotes:

Quote:
"I don't think we'll ever be able to say, 'NBC is No. 1 in prime time,'" Zucker said at an industry event.

"Sometimes, you see the world more clearly when you're flat on your back," he said.

Wow. I mean, I guess that's one way to keep your job as boss, to say that you should expect failure and call it good.

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#2 of 47 Greg_S_H

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Posted March 19 2009 - 01:26 PM

The good thing about low expectations is maybe Friday Night Lights and Chuck don't have to perform as well in order to earn further seasons.

#3 of 47 WillG

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Posted March 19 2009 - 01:55 PM

Quote:
I guess that's one way to keep your job as boss, to say that you should expect failure and call it good.

Assuming the quote wasn't taken out of context (which is often the case) Immediately fired!
STOP HIM! He's supposed to die!

#4 of 47 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted March 19 2009 - 04:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattCR
Wow. I mean, I guess that's one way to keep your job as boss, to say that you should expect failure and call it good.
This has been Zucker's strategy since day one. He is notorious in the industry for "failing upward" after acheiving mild success as producer on the Today show. When he took over as president of NBC Entertainment, NBC was the number one network period, especially in primetime. He maximized profit margins by shifting the schedule heavily toward reality TV, a decision that left the network without a bench to build from when heavy hitters like "Friends" left the airwaves. When General Electric bought an 80 percent stake in Vivendi Universal and merged it with NBC, he was promoted to president of NBC Television Group. During his tenure, NBC went from #1 to #4, falling behind Fox for the first time ever. For such a colossal failure, he got another promotion: CEO of NBC. Fortunes at the network continued to decline. For his continued failure, the bosses at GE forced Bob Wright (who had lead an incredibly successful 21 year tenure at NBC including the long stretch at #1 during the 90s) into early retirement and installed Zucker as President & CEO of NBC Universal. One of his first decisions was to fire NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly, who'd nurtured "The Office" through its troubled early season and brought the network hits like "My Name Is Earl," "Heroes," and "30 Rock", and replaced him with independent producer Ben Silverman who has seen the network drop to new lows. Reilly was promptly hired at #3 Fox for the same job. Silverman is currently pinning NBC's hopes for revival on a show called "Without Breasts There Is No Paradise."

#5 of 47 MatthewA

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Posted March 19 2009 - 11:29 PM

I could do a better job running this network. Seriously. So could anyone on this board.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#6 of 47 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted March 20 2009 - 12:49 AM

At this year's up-fronts NBC will reveal their new slogan: "We Try Harder" Posted Image

We may have to coin a new term, "The Zucker Principle", to explain something like this. "The Peter Principle" doesn't apply, because in that case the employee is actually successful at all levels prior to finally reaching his level of incompetence, where his career stalls. I can't recall another case of "failing upwards" like this. (Outside of politics, of course. Posted Image)

Regards,

Joe

#7 of 47 Josh Steinberg

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Posted March 20 2009 - 01:55 AM

I thought it was hilarious that the promo on NBC for next week's Heroes essentially said, "Watch it this week! We promise it won't suck! We mean it this time!"

(Whether or not you think the show is sucking, it was one heck of an amusing promo)

#8 of 47 Rocky F

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Posted March 20 2009 - 02:20 AM

When Jeff Zucker speaks, people giggle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt
This has been Zucker's strategy since day one. He is notorious in the industry for "failing upward" after acheiving mild success as producer on the Today show. When he took over as president of NBC Entertainment, NBC was the number one network period, especially in primetime. He maximized profit margins by shifting the schedule heavily toward reality TV, a decision that left the network without a bench to build from when heavy hitters like "Friends" left the airwaves. When General Electric bought an 80 percent stake in Vivendi Universal and merged it with NBC, he was promoted to president of NBC Television Group. During his tenure, NBC went from #1 to #4, falling behind Fox for the first time ever. For such a colossal failure, he got another promotion: CEO of NBC. Fortunes at the network continued to decline. For his continued failure, the bosses at GE forced Bob Wright (who had lead an incredibly successful 21 year tenure at NBC including the long stretch at #1 during the 90s) into early retirement and installed Zucker as President & CEO of NBC Universal. One of his first decisions was to fire NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly, who'd nurtured "The Office" through its troubled early season and brought the network hits like "My Name Is Earl," "Heroes," and "30 Rock", and replaced him with independent producer Ben Silverman who has seen the network drop to new lows. Reilly was promptly hired at #3 Fox for the same job. Silverman is currently pinning NBC's hopes for revival on a show called "Without Breasts There Is No Paradise."

Good summary of the the Zucker/Silverman history at NBC, except for the last line. Silverman first tried to import "Without Breasts . . ." from Brazil or Argentina or where-ever nearly two years ago, but I haven't seen it in any coverage of the current development season, so I don't think he's "currently" pinning any hopes on it.
Rocky

#9 of 47 Walter C

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Posted March 20 2009 - 03:41 AM

Will he still have a job when it falls below the CW?

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#10 of 47 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted March 20 2009 - 05:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky F
Good summary of the the Zucker/Silverman history at NBC, except for the last line. Silverman first tried to import "Without Breasts . . ." from Brazil or Argentina or where-ever nearly two years ago, but I haven't seen it in any coverage of the current development season, so I don't think he's "currently" pinning any hopes on it.
Happy to be corrected on that one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter C
Will he still have a job when it falls below the CW?
He'll probably replace Jeffrey Immelt as CEO of G.E.

#11 of 47 todd s

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Posted March 20 2009 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter C
Will he still have a job when it falls below the CW?

Thats what irks me. Is their are some shows on the CW that are better than Kath & Kim. Yet lose to that show weekly.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#12 of 47 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted March 20 2009 - 09:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by todd s
Thats what irks me. Is their are some shows on the CW that are better than Kath & Kim. Yet lose to that show weekly.

The CW is a marginal network that isn't even available in many cities and isn't carried on some cable systems. Hardly surprising that it gets trounced in the ratings by the original "big three" and Fox, all of which established themselves before the cable/satellite revolution really took off. Even the Hollywood union contracts treat the CW (as they did UPN and The WB when they were still separate networks) differently than "The Big Four". I don't remember all the details, but I know in the SAG and WGA MBAs prior to the last go-round, The WB and UPN were in either the 2nd or 3rd tier, down with first-run syndication or maybe basic cable when it came to minimums, residuals and other items.

NBC is simply available to a larger universe of eyeballs, and therefore even its crappy shows are going to be seen by more people than will see most CW shows. (OTOH, because they are available to a bigger audience, NBC shows have to draw a larger minimun audience to stay on the air, which is why the few decent shows they attempt are often cancelled. Ratings that would make a show an unqualified success on The CW - or the Food Network Posted Image - will get you dumped in a heartbeat on NBC, ABC or CBS. Even with their declining market share they still require big numbers - even more so with ad revenues down.)

Regards,

Joe

#13 of 47 mattCR

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Posted March 20 2009 - 11:34 AM

I'd take "Gossip Girl" (CW) over a majority of the crap on NBC... add "Reaper" to that as well. Outside of "Chuck" and "30 Rock" NBC has been pretty barren, and when they switch to Leno at 9 every night in June, even more so.

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#14 of 47 MatthewA

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Posted March 20 2009 - 04:36 PM

And what do they do if Leno fails, give the 10 PM time slot back to the affiliates?

Seriously, he must have incriminating pictures of the entire board of directors of GE. That's the only thing keeping him around.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#15 of 47 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted March 21 2009 - 12:41 AM

Hmmm... Let's see.

1) The president seems to want to do a primetime address to the nation pretty much every week, which is pissing off viewers and disrupting schedules on all the major networks.

2) NBC has no primtime programming and no viewers.

I think I see a solution - why doesn't NBC just give the president a weekly series? He gets the airtime, they get an audience, ABC, CBS and Fox can run talent shows, dancing contests and re-enactments of The Lord of the Flies to their hearts' content. Everybody wins! Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#16 of 47 Chris Lockwood

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Posted March 21 2009 - 04:23 AM

I must be the only one watching NBC prime time this season: Friday Night Lights, Kings, Celebrity Apprentice, Knight Rider, Crusoe... probably watched more on NBC than ABC or CBS.

#17 of 47 mattCR

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Posted March 21 2009 - 05:00 AM

Considering "Crusoe" and "Knight Rider" were canned; and "Kings" had the lowest ratings of any premiere, I'd say you're the only one. Posted Image They only wish you were a neilson home. Posted Image

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#18 of 47 MatthewA

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Posted March 21 2009 - 07:09 AM

Ever since cable TV began and the internet took off, we've known that eventually there would be a point where the traditional network TV model proved unsustainable. Is this it, or is it still a ways to go? Either way, at this rate NBC will be the first domino to collapse.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#19 of 47 Chris Lockwood

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Posted March 23 2009 - 04:36 AM

I thought Crusoe was supposed to be a limited-run series.

#20 of 47 Aaron Silverman

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Posted March 23 2009 - 05:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA
Ever since cable TV began and the internet took off, we've known that eventually there would be a point where the traditional network TV model proved unsustainable. Is this it, or is it still a ways to go? Either way, at this rate NBC will be the first domino to collapse.

Imagine a TV version of the Mendoza Line -- you must broadcast a minimum amount of decent programming in order to sustain the traditional network model, just as you must maintain a certain level of stats in order to maintain a major league baseball career. NBC may be crap-shoveling itself into the dustbin of history.

Call it the "Zucker Line." Posted Image

PS Remember also that NBC runs "Syfy." Will the unintentional comedy never cease?
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