NBCU considered this “such a minor move” that it didn’t even think it was worth announcing. Wow, what a diss of NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert, who has been in the Witness Protection Program ever since Comcast bought NBCUniversal. And when the pint-sized putz isn’t hiding from angry O&Os and affiliates and advertisers fed up with yet another lousy network primetime season, he’s screaming at reporters who didn’t share his belief that Animal Practice would be a homerun this season. (Media 1, Ted 0.) In actuality the only impetus for handing Harbert an infinitesimal new late night role is the multimillion-dollar remodeling of the 30 Rock studio that will house The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon when it moves to New York. Harbert is NYC-based and in charge of NBC’s buildings, so he was tapped. (Was Kenneth Parcell too busy?) Let me emphasize there is no change in the late-night reporting structure, still overseen by Paul Telegdy, president of alternative programming and late night and who reports to NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. (Meanwhile, Greenblatt and Harbert hate each other.) With Telegdy focused on NBC’s top-rated series The Voice, which tapes in LA, he has little time for frequent bicoastal trips. So the underemployed Harbert is Telegdy’s new gofer on 3 NYC shows now: The Tonight Show, Late Show and Saturday Night Live. Harbert in the late night realm is best known for when he was E! Entertainment chief …
If it was up to NBC alone, the network would probably have Ricky Gervais host the Golden Globes again next year. Speaking at NBC Universal’s afterparty, Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of alternative and late night, who oversees the Golden Globes, gave Gervais thumbs-up for his hosting duties tonight. “I think he scored,” Telegdy said. “It’s an incredibly bold and brave thing to take on a hosting job and do it for three consecutive years while facing such level of scrutiny. He came out, he was himself, he had a great time and he was backed by the biggest stars. I laughed heartily throughout.”
Telegdy dismissed suggestions that Gervais was tamer in his jabs at Hollywood heavyweights this year compared to his controversial hosting gig last year. “I believe people were prepared after last year, but I would say that he was as disruptive and intrusive this year. I can’t see how he could have been more outrageous.” As for the content of Gervais’ bits, Telegdy said that he only knew the broad themes, with Gervais keeping his material to himself until showtime. Telegdy said he was not aware of any conditions made to Gervais in terms of limitations to …
NBC has renewed its contract with SVP Special Programs and Alternative Doug Vaughan, with his expanded responsibilities including and oversight of most of the network’s late-night programs. Now SVP Special Programs and Late Night, he will shepherd Saturday Night Live, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Last Call With Carson Daly. He will remain based in New York and report to alternative and late-night president Paul Telegdy, who will continue to oversee The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on the West Coast. The move is part of the restructuring in NBC late night, which started last month when Telegdy added late-night to his purview and the network’s long-time head of late-night Rick Ludwin stepped down, followed by the exit of VP Nick Bernstein. A former supervising producer on Today, Vaughan will retain responsibility for NBC’s specials and several alternative series including such East Coast-based fare as the upcoming A Michael Buble Christmas as well as the Golden Globe Awards, New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly, and The Miss Universe Pageant.
Once again NBC will be launching a reality series as a strip during the holiday season in December. Following in the footsteps of Deal Or No Deal, Clash Of The Choirs and The Sing-Off, new trivia competition show Who’s Still Standing? will premiere on Monday, December 19 as a weeklong strip, airing through Thursday, December 22 (each night at 8-9 PM ET). On December 26, the series will move to its regular Monday 8-9 PM slot, where it will air through January 30. NBC had previously announced that the revamped Fear Factor, which launches on December 12, will bridge The Sing-Off and The Voice with two-hour editions on Monday from 8-9 PM. The reality competition will now go down to an hour starting December 19. “This family-friendly series is perfect programming for the holiday season,” NBC’s alternative chief Paul Telegdy said of Who’s Still Standing? “The compelling and fresh format features the best elements of a classic trivia match combined with physical comedy, providing an intense competition that can be enjoyed by all ages.” Hosted by Ben Bailey (Cash Cab), the new series is based on the hit Israeli format Still Standing, which offers contestants the opportunity to win up to $1 million while competing in head-to-head trivia battles. The series had its global premiere on Israel’s Channel 10 in December 2010.
With The Voice turning the lights on for fourth-place NBC this past season and considered a cornerstone in the network’s quest for a ratings turnaround, the man who developed it at NBC, Paul Telegdy, is getting a promotion: a president title and the addition of late-night to his purview. NBC’s current late-night head, 31-year NBC veteran Rick Ludwin, is stepping down and segue to a consultancy for the network. In addition to The Voice, Telegdy has overseen series America’s Got Talent and The Sing-Off as well as the Golden Globes specials. “Paul is an exemplary executive who has tremendous creative vision in the area of unscripted programming which makes him perfect for this expanded role,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. “I know he will bring his uniquely inventive eye to our venerable late-night institutions and I’m personally pleased that he is extending his relationship with NBC as we seek to build the best team of top executives possible.”
Said Ludwin, “I couldn’t have asked for or imagined a more rewarding job than the one I’ve had at NBC. To have been a part of TV history with Seinfeld, our late-night franchises, Saturday Night Live and with all our producers, writers and talent has been unbelievable. Since I was a kid it was a dream of mine to work at NBC. I got to do it and continue to be grateful.”