The executive makeover at NBC under new chief Bob Greenblatt continues. Following the departure of Angela Bromstad last month, NBC’s longtime head of scheduling Mitch Metcalf also is leaving the network effective immediately. The move comes just before the most critical time of the year for broadcast network schedulers as they are assigned with putting together the networks’ lineups for next season that are presented to advertisers in May.
Metcalf’s No.2, SVP scheduling Lisa Vebber, will now step up and take charge as interim head of scheduling presumably at least through the upfronts.
Metcalf has been at NBC since 1999, serving as EVP of programming planning and scheduling since 2005. In 2007, he took back seat for a year or so when former NBC marketing guru Vince Manze was given the reins of the network’s scheduling department. He is credited with successfully launching Deal or No Deal as a strip and moving Law & Order: SVU from Fridays to Tuesdays. Metcalf recently had to oversee the complete overhaul of NBC’s schedule as it went from 3 to 2 hours of programming a night Monday through Friday to make room for the ill-fated Jay Leno Show.
UPDATED: In the first executive fallout from the pending post-merger restructuring at NBC, Angela Bromstad, primetime entertainment president for the network and sister studio UMS, will be leaving. She told her staff about her departure this afternoon. There had been rumblings that Bromstad may not be part of the new NBC programming team under new entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt after the Comcast/NBC Universal merger is completed next week, but Comcast’s November announcement of NBCU’s post-merger executive structure made a point of listing her as staying on. (There was a potential scenario, in which Bromstad would take over her old job of running UMS should Greenblatt decide to give it more autonomy.) If she hadn’t left on her own, Bromstad would have probably been pushed out within the next week or so, sources said. Greenblatt had reportedly been telling people that Bromstad “will be gone within 48 hours” of him starting at NBC. The latter is expected to finally happen next week when the Comcast-NBCU merger is approved. And in another sign that she was probably not going to factor into NBC’s future executive plans, Bromstad didn’t hold a Q&A session at TCA last week. This is the second time Bromstad leaves a top NBC post after a new chairman is brought in. In 2007, she was pushed out as president of UMS when Ben Silverman joined the network and moved to London to run NBCU’s … Read More »
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA session on NBC’s Outsourced, the producers and actors made the claim that the already controversial sitcom about a U.S. company that outsourced its call center to India, serves as a “point of departure” for what is essentially a comedy about character rather than ethnicity. One questioner asked pointedly: “If a person were to say that this show traffics in a very large number of Indian stereotypes, would that person be wrong?”
“I would say wrong,” replied a slightly testy Robert Borden, executive producer. “I think where we approach this is certainly not a mean-spirited place. A third of the writing staff is Indian. We’re not wallowing in that kind of stuff that you are insinuating, but we are going to have a lot of fun with relatable characters in a workplace comedy.” The producers also addressed questions about whether Americans, faced with massive unemployment stateside, would find outsourcing a less than amusing subject. Replied Borden, “That’s not what the show is about. It’s workplace comedy with a big fish-out-of-water component. If there’s a little bit of risk, is that good? Yeah, I think so.” Earlier in the day, NBC’s president of primetime entertainment Angela Bromstad said that Outsourced which is set in Mumbai but filmed at Radford Studios in Studio City, will in the future “need to make it less like an office … Read More »
Michael Scott’s resignation has been accepted. After a series of statements by The Office star Steve Carell during the past couple of months that he will be leaving the NBC comedy series when his contract is up at the end of next season, the network confirmed his departure yesterday through primetime entertainment president Angela Bromstad. ”Not to diminish the departure of Steve, because that will impact the show, but we have tremendous faith in the writers and actors to keep it alive,” she told the AP. Bromstad left open the possibility for Carell to do future guest appearances on The Office.
Former Will & Grace executive producers/showrunners Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally have inked a two-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios. Under the pact, said to be seven-figure per year, the two have joined new NBC/UMS anthology dramedy series Love Bites as executive producers. They will serve as writing showrunners on the show, working alongside executive producers/non-writing showrunners Shelley McCrory and director Marc Buckland. Poust and Kinnally replace Love Bites creator Cindy Chupack who recently stepped down from day-to-day showrunner duties because of personal matters but continues to write for the show.
Under their overall deal with UMS, Poust and Kinnally, who are friends with Chupack, originally planned to consult on Love Bites while focusing on development. But when approached for the showrunner gig, the duo, who spent the last 4 years on ABC’s Ugly Betty, decided to go for it, segueing to another hourlong dramedy and reuniting with Betty co-star Becki Newton, who is the star of Love Bites. Newton, who recently announced she is pregnant, presents one of the challenges Love Bites currently faces as her character is virgin in the pilot. Another challenge is the pending departure of Jordana Spiro who was to topline the series with Newton but her character will be phased out because of the actress’ commitment to TBS’ My Boys. Newton’s baby news and Chupack’s exit from the helm of the show led to NBC’s decision to pull Love Bites from the fall schedule, … Read More »