NBC is the latest broadcaster to embrace major events as the best way to set itself apart from its growing number of streaming rivals, unveiling an aggressive slate of programming stretching into 2024.
“Where do we fit into these so-called streaming wars? We are the ‘mainstreamer,’” NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy said today at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in L.A. “We’re not just programming for the year; we’re programming for the decade.”
Among today’s slew of announcements, NBC brought Amy Poehler out to announce that she and Tina Fey will return to host next year’s Golden Globes ceremony. The duo had previously hosted the show three times, from 2012-2014. (NBC also picked up Poehler’s crafting series, Making It, which she hosts with Nick Offerman, for a third season.)
Following this year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which Telegdy said is “going to be watched by the largest audience in the history of mankind,” NBC will air That’s My Jam, a new comedy variety event series hosted by Jimmy Fallon and inspired by musical segments on The tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Fallon will host That’s My Jam while continuing his Tonight Show duties. “If one man can do it, it’s Jimmy,” Telegdy said.
NBC has also set its post-Summer Olympics plan for the 2024 games as well. The network ordered The New World, a 10-part global documentary series from BBC Studios National History Unit, which will air in 2024 after the Summer Olympics. Telegdy called it “a massive piece of four-quadrant entertainment.”
The network gave a three-season renewal to medical drama New Amsterdam, taking it through the 2022-23 season. The network said the series averages a 1.7 demo rating in live-plus-7 ratings and averages nearly 20 million viewers each week in multiplatform viewers.
Also renewed today: holiday event series Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways, which was picked up for Season 2.
Looking ahead to new shows, the network has given a straight-to-series order to Young Rock, a comedy inspired by the life of Dwayne Johnson, who will executive produce and appear in each episode of the series. It will also be produced by Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan.
NBC is the second broadcaster at winter press tour to expand its event slate as it looks to draw viewers away from streaming services. Earlier this week, ABC said it will now air at least one live or tent-pole event every month.
While 532 scripted shows aired on broadcast, cable and streaming platforms last year, according to FX research, “the number of scripted shows that are relevant is just a small portion of the actual landscape,” Telegdy said.
But NBC’s brands are “resonating across platforms,” said Telegdy, adding that This Is Us averages 28 million multiplatform viewers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is “the No. 1 show on Hulu,” The Office is “the No. 1 show on Netflix” and Good Girls is “the No. 1 acquired show on Netflix.”
Telegdy was asked about the status of the investigation into America’s Got Talent launched in December following former judge Gabrielle Union’s accusations of a toxic culture and racial insensitivity at the show.
“I promise you this is being taken very seriously,” Telegdy said. The investigation is expected to be completed by the end of the month, and the network will “put new practices into place if that’s what’s necessary.”
NBC has been working with the team at Peacock, the NBCUniversal streaming service that will roll out in April. “It’s called Peacock for a reason,” said Telegdy, pointing to his own network’s peacock-shaped logo, which inspired the streaming service’s name. “It’s an extension of our brand into a bold new future.”
While Telegdy didn’t want to share any more details ahead of Peacock’s investor day later this month, he said, “We very much see it as the future of our digital distribution for a lot of what we do here.”
This was the first-ever press tour executive session for Telegdy, who had shared chairman duties with George Cheeks for a year following Robert Greenblatt’s exit in September 2018. He now runs the network solo following an October NBCUniversal executive reshuffle that shifted Cheeks to the role of NBCUniversal Content Studios vice chairman.