NBC’s Robert Greenblatt On ‘The Sound Of Music’s Profitability & Follow-up Plans, Midseason Expectations & Thursday Woes

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 8:38pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

TV-The Sound of Music.JPEG-07c6fThe surprising success of The Sound Of Music helped NBC hit a milestone last week, winning six of the seven nights in adults 18-49 for the first time in 11 years in-season with no help from Winter Olympics. A follow-up live musical for next year’s holiday season with Sound Of Music executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron is already in the works, with the title choices narrowed down to three, according to NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt. Rights issues are currently being sorted out, with the network and the producers expected to make their selection after the first of the year. Not surprisingly, stagings and other live entertainment events are all the rage right now, with everyone looking to jump in. But don’t expect those to start popping up often. “I’d love to do more but it is not that easy to put them together,” Greenblatt said. They’re also expensive; The Sound Of Music staging reportedly cost just under $10 million. But when they hit it big, it does pay off.

Related: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron On “Historic” ‘Sound Of Music’

bobgreenblattThe Sounds Of Music will be profitable with modest return from the DVD,” which is about to be released, Greenblatt said. Because the ratings blew out expectations — NBC had been projecting internally mid-1 demo rating, with 2 considered overly optimistic, and instead, the musical drew a 4.6 in Live+Same Day — “the advertising revenue alone was enough to push the show to where we wanted it to be (financially),” Greenblatt said. The Sound of Music is getting an encore tomorrow night. Also, “we own it, and if we run it once a year for the next few years, even at a modest rating as an annual special it adds up to a nice little business,” he said. Still, “we have to do these specials more efficiently,” Greenblatt admitted, noting that the budget for the next one likely would not be as big because it won’t need the R&D costs associated with doing such a live musical production for the first time in 60 years. Also helping with containing the cost on the marketing side — NBC parent NBCUniversal. Greenblatt stressed that NBC spent “very little or no money on off-air promotion” for The Sound of Music, instead of relying on promotion across all divisions of NBCU as part of the company’s so-called “symphony” synergy initiative.

Related: NBC’s ‘The Sound Of Music’ Celebrates Live TV, Glitches And All

BlacklistOct28For a second year in a row, NBC is heading into the new year as the ratings leader year after a strong fall, fueled by Sunday Night Football and The Voice, with some help from new shows (Revolution last year, The Blacklist this fall). Last December, Greenblatt was careful about managing expectations, warning that the network won’t sustain the ratings momentum in January. That was an understatement as the wheels really came off in early 2013. Greenblatt is far more optimistic this time around, and that’s not only because NBC has the Winter Olympics coming up in February. “I think we’re in better shape than before,” he said, pointing to The Blacklist, which has held up better than Revolution did last fall; Chicago Fire, which has grown in Season 2 with help from The Voice; and Grimm, which is still solid.

Related: NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’ Renewed For Second Season
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Jay Leno Extended NBC Contract To 2014 After ‘Tonight Show’ Budget Slashed 20%

By | Sunday September 9, 2012 @ 10:00pm PDT

NBC is finally confirming publicly that Jay Leno took a 50% pay cut  — or $15 million on his $30 million salary. That helped NBC slash the Tonight Show‘s $100M budget by about 20%. Deadline scooped first news of Leno’s pay cut to prevent more than 20 staff layoffs on the show. Now NBC’s entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt confirms that number to the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, Leno extended his contract for another 2 years to May 2014. So much for Leno taking swipes at Comcast/NBCU over the layoffs. Greenblatt told WSJ there’s no date yet for Leno to leave. ”That’s a conversation we’ll have as we look down the road. I’m sure there will be a day when these guys — Letterman and Leno — wake up and say, ‘It’s time for us to exit gracefully.’”

Related: ‘Tonight Show’ Lays Off 20; Leno Takes Pay Cut To Save Jobs

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Showtime Names New Marketing Co-Heads As Len Fogge Nears Move To NBC

By | Thursday August 4, 2011 @ 2:24pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

In anticipation of Showtime Network’s head of marketing Len Fogge re-joining former Showtime Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt at NBC, the pay cable network has restructured its marketing team, elevating Frank Pintauro and Donald Buckley to EVP and co-heads of the department. Fogge, EVP creative, marketing, research & digital media, a close associate of Greenblatt, had long been rumored to take the reins of the NBC marketing department after Greenblatt is allowed to hire CBS/Showtime employees. The moratorium was recently lifted, leading to the recent hires of Showtime’s Richard Licata as EVP communications and CBS TV Studios’ Bela Bajaria as EVP for UMS. Read More »

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NBC Picks Up David E. Kelley’s ‘Wonder Woman’, Michael Patrick King’s Drama

Nellie Andreeva

Wonder Woman will fly this pilot season after all. New NBC entertainment president Bob Greenblatt capped a day of high-profile pilot pickups with a surprise order to David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman reboot. Additionally, he formally greenlighted another hourlong project … Read More »

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BREAKING: Angela Bromstad To Leave NBC

Nellie Andreeva

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 … Read More »

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TCA: No NBC Executive Session

Nellie Andreeva

With the end date for the Comcast-NBC Universal merger still uncertain, NBC has opted to forgo an executive session at its portion of TV Critics Assn.’s winter press tour. With only a week left before the NBCU day of TCA … Read More »

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Danielle Gelber Leaving Showtime

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Showtime SVP original programming Danielle Gelber will leave the pay cable network at the end of the month when her contract is up. While the timing of her exit would probably fuel ongoing speculation that Gelber, who had worked under Robert Greenblatt at Fox and Showtime, might follow him to NBC, … Read More »

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Final Thoughts On The New NBCU Structure

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATES NBC Universal’s New Organizational Structure Revealed

UPDATES COMCAST-NBCU: Ted Harbert And Bob Greenblatt To Run NBC, Pat Fili-Krushel Also Coming

The organizers of the Saban Free Clinic’s Annual Dinner Gala must have been scrambling today to update all the materials for the Monday event with the new title for the night’s top honoree, Robert Greenblatt, who today was named chairman of NBC Entertainment as part of the post-merger management structure of NBC Universal unveiled by the company’s incoming CEO Steve Burke.

Greenblatt, who will oversee the network and sister studio UMS, won’t be conducting any business, including meeting with his staff or talking to agents, until the merger is approved, something sources suggest may happen in mid-January. By then, the broadcast networks will be in the thick of picking up drama pilots, so Greenblatt would have to jump right in. He is expected to begin familiarizing himself with NBC’s development right away and will probably read pilot scripts as they come in to be able to start making greenlight decisions on Day 1. Drama has been a particularly vulnerable area for NBC with no new series introduced in the past couple of years lasting more than a season and a weak freshman drama class this fall. That makes the future of NBC’s head of drama Laura Lancaster uncertain. Greenblatt is still a ways away from making any personnel changes, but after he officially starts, he is expected to make some. In today’s memo, there was good news for 2 NBC veterans, Marc Graboff, chairman of NBC Entertainment and UMS, and Angela Bromstad, president of primetime entertainment. While the announcement didn’t mention their titles, leaving the door open to them changing, they were mentioned by name as reporting to Greenblatt in the new chain of command. That means that both are factoring into new Burke’s immediate plans for NBC. From then on, it will be up to Greenblatt. Read More »

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TCA: Early Launch For 2 NBC Series; NBC Brass Talk ‘Office’, Robert Greenblatt, Piers Morgan

Nellie Andreeva

At the top of NBC’s executive session, NBC Uni TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin announced that a couple of series will premiere early behind the final episodes of America’s Got Talent. The second season of Parenthood will launch on Sept. … Read More »

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Francie Calfo Named Imagine TV President

Nellie Andreeva

FrancieCalfoVeteran TV executive/producer Francie Calfo is joining Imagine TV as president after more than 20 years at ABC. Calfo will replace David Nevins who is leaving to become entertainment president at Showtime, replacing Robert Greenblatt. Calfo’s deal with 20th TV … Read More »

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Greenblatt’s Future Plans: ‘Rebuilding’ A TV Network Or Film Gig Now On His Wish List

Nellie Andreeva

Greenblatt_RobertWith his big decision to leave Showtime behind him, the network’s entertainment president for the past 7 years Robert Greenblatt sounded relaxed in a phone interview today, hours after the network officially announced David Nevins as his successor. “I had been wrestling … Read More »

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Matt Blank and David Nevins Discuss The Top Executive Change At Showtime

Nellie Andreeva

Shortly after Showtime officially announced today that David Nevins will be the network’s new entertainment president, succeeding Robert Greenblatt, Showtime Networks’ chairman and CEO Matt Blank and Nevins got on the phone to discuss the change at the helm of the pay cable network. Blank confirmed that no one at … Read More »

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It’s Official: ImagineTV’s David Nevins To Succeed Robert Greenblatt At Showtime

Nellie Andreeva

David_NevinsNEW YORK – (June 28, 2010) – David Nevins, an Emmy Award-winning producer and veteran network programming executive, has been named President of Entertainment at Showtime Networks Inc., it was announced today by Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc., to whom he will report.   Mr. Nevins will succeed Robert Greenblatt, who announced he will leave the network after completing his current contract in July. Nevins, who has served as President of Imagine Television since 2002, will be responsible for developing, acquiring and supervising all aspects of programming for all of the Showtime Networks channels.  He will be based in Los Angeles and begin his new position later this summer.

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DOUBLE SHOCKER! Imagine’s David Nevins Replacing Robert Greenblatt At Showtime

By | Thursday June 24, 2010 @ 6:39pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

showtime_logoI broke the news today that David Nevins suddenly is leaving Imagine TV after serving as president for 8 years because he couldn’t reach a contract with 20th TV and that he lined up a new job. He’s heading to Showtime as the new … Read More »

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