“There’s an affinity and appreciation for those shows and not something I would cavalierly toss aside even if they weren’t meeting expectations. We can’t stop striving for that but we won’t replace shows beloved by fans,” she said. Minutes earlier, however, she told journos gathered at TCA: “We live in a world we have to have both (quality and ratings). We have to have ratings."
If the messages seem contradictory, it might be the only way Bromstad, the Peacock’s newly crowned primetime entertainment chief, could handle the inevitable questions.
On other networks, shows such as “Friday Night Lights,” “Life” and “Chuck” would probably have an extremely hard time to return but the NBC numbers have been so poor, it could be worth it – maybe for nothing more than pleasing a small but hardcore fan base – to bring these shows back.
That being said, with Jay Leno now taking up five primetime slots, competition for the remaining hours will be fierce, especially among scripted shows since reality takes up a sizeable chunk of the Monday-Friday schedule.
Bromstad is well aware that the network didn’t do itself any favors this past fall with shows such as “Kath & Kim” and “Knight Rider” – “The were a fair try but not holding up and may or may not come back. We’re going to try and beat that.” – and that quality of future programming will have to be held to a higher standard if the network is to recapture its glory days.
As to how that philosophy will help shape the fall lineup, everything’s up for grabs at this point.
“There’s not going to be any hard and fast rules. I’m not making any proclomations about specific shows.”
-- Stuart Levine