Questions For The Big 4 At Press Tour:

The Summer TCA Press Tour gets underway tomorrow. The Big 4 networks don’t present until next week but I have been compiling my own list of questions that I would love to ask or hear being asked if I were attending. I plan to add to this list before next week:

NBC – August 1st

  • Are we to assume there will be a VOICE results show?. Will it start with live shows, maybe in March? Should we expect it Tues at 9p? Will you be shrinking down The Biggest Loser?
  • Will you use results show to launch Awake Tues at 10? If not where do you plan on scheduling Awake?
  • Should The Playboy Club work, what do you see doing come January when Smash is scheduled to debut after The Voice?
  • Is the Voice/Smash debuting first week in Jan, with just a “special” Voice after the Super Bowl?
  • Why wasn’t Up All Night scheduled after The Office? Seems a better fit (tonally, single cam, Emily Spivey) than Whitney.
  • Does The Voice run from Jan thru end of May Sweeps?
  • What are your expectations for the Wed comedies?
  • With 6 ep orders for Bent and BFFs do you plan on filtering them into Thursday in lieu of comedy reruns there?
  • Is Betty White Off Her Rockers still a go? Where do you plan on using that?
  • Where do you see Fear Factor being used?
  • Are you attempting to make the Brian Williams newsmagazine an NBC version of 60 Minutes? Aside from Brian, how will it differentiate from Dateline? Do you see scheduling it outside of Sundays at 7p or Fridays, the way you use Dateline?
  • What’s the status of Minute To Win It and the other game show, that was to premiere this summer,  Who’s Still Standing ?
  • What are your expectations for The Fashion Show? Project Runway, on a niche cable network, is hardly getting huge numbers these days.
  • Do you ever see a time you might use America’s Got Talent in the regular season?
  • Can you take us through the process of acquiring The Firm?

CBS – August 3rd

  • With A Gifted Man getting some of the best advance critical buzz of the season, do you see moving it to a better slot (Sun at 10 perhaps, which is also a better fit with The Good Wife)
  • Regarding A Gifted Man, many of us that liked the pilot, loved the personal elements of it. With the downgrading of Julie Benz and focusing the show on medical procedural you are taking what was a unique pilot and making it another procedural. Why? You have a very stable roster of hit procedurals. Can’t you afford one more unique show (along with The Good Wife) that ventures out a bit? I get that you might be concerned because TGW’s numbers aren’t as strong as CBS procedurals but this show has a romance and a whimsical nature (like Ghost Whisperer which ran on CBS for many years) that should help make it resonate.
  • You developed Ringer, but it was too much a left turn so you shipped it CW. Now A Gifted Man is being molded into a CBS procedural. A) Why develop shows that aren’t “CBS” and then change or pass on them? B) Why not greenlight shows that are little left of center? Even the procedurals are trending down. Hawaii 5-0 isn’t the monster hit most expected.
  • CBS has never had a new drama as the Thursday anchor since you became a player on Thursdays. You always moved hits from other nights (Survivor, CSI, The Big Bang Theory). Great testing aside, what plans do you have should the show not work (Move The Mentalist up to 9 immediately? OR TBBT to 9?)
  • What’s the status with the Nigel Lythgoe project Secret Fortune?
  • Are there plans to greenlight the Rob Schneider and/or Peter Knight project for midseason?
  • What was the process like recruiting Ted Danson to CSI? Is Marg Helgenberger still leaving in February as originally reported?
  • Any plans to get more aggressive with new reality? Are you lookig at a live performance show of some kind?
  • What are your expectations for The Good Wife on Sunday?
  • What’s the status of the Cox/Arquette produced game show hosted by Craig Ferguson?
  • Do you foresee a time when you get might get more aggressive with more original summer programming?
  • Will you greenlight more Canadian crime dramas like Flashpoint that are cheap and do reasonably well?
  • Do you think audiences are beginning to tire of standard procedurals? What are your plans going forward with development?

FOX- August 5th

  • With 13 eps, should we expect Terra Nova to air 10 episodes before January,  and  the final 3 eps in January, with Alcatraz premiering In Feb?
  • Will the 8 Mobbed eps be used for midseason? Any plans on where and when? According to Howie Mandel, he says it’s back in October – is that after X Factor on Thurs?
  • I Hate My Teenage Daughter debuts very late November and then IDOL is back in January. Usually IDOL premieres with 2 hour eps, so after December airing of Teenage Daughter will it be preempted for most of Jan too or will IDOL be 90 minutes then? Is the late start for Teenage Daughter a lack of faith?
  • Is Touch nearing a pickup? Where do you see scheduling it?
  • Assuming The Finder fills in for Bones, is that in January? March?
  • After all the positive buzz surrounding Locke & Key any thoughts reconsidering?
  • What’s the status of potential midseason comedies Little In Common and Family Album?
  • Are you concerned with how Glee was perceived last year and the miscommunication regarding the stars potentially leaving after the 3rd season.
  • Is this the final season of House? Did you voice concerns to David Shore and co. regarding the season finale that what House does is far worse than just being an ass? He essentially attempted to kill people. You couldn’t have been surprised by the negative reaction. Is starting off the season in jail a way of acknowledging that?
  • What are your expectations for the summer Antique show and In The Flow with Affion Crockett?
  • What’s really behind the reason to discontinue America’s Most Wanted?
  • Do you still plan on resting Glee midseason in favor of 4 comedies?
  • Are you concerned with the ratings drop for So You Think You Can Dance? What do you attribute it to?

ABC – August 7th and 8th

  • What’s the status of the Carlton Cuse/Randall Wallace Civil War Project?
  • Wipeout isn’t even cracking a 2.0 now. Last Summer was close to a 3.0. Are you still planning on airing a Winter Wipeout? If yes, Um why? It won’t even get decent numbers in the more competitive winter and if you rest it for 10 months you can possibly grow the show again next Summer. Airing a WW will probably just end the franchise much sooner from burnout.
  • What was the thought process in your midseason episode orders – 8 for The River, 7 for Scandal, 10 for GCB? Where do you see them going?
  • Shark Tank has become a real utility player for you. Currently it’s winning its timeslot with reruns. Its ratings are equaling the numbers for the first run eps. Why lose momentum and yank it off til midseason? It would easily win timeslot at 9p Fri.
  • Does its delay mean you see it as a show you will give a bigger promotional push for midseason in possibly a higher profile slot? Or are you saving it to fill in for a new show that gets cancelled? Also why only 13 eps. It doesn’t cost much, a great utility player – why not 22?
  • Will Extreme Makeover: Home Edition air 2 hours every Friday?
  • If FOX gets a hit out of New Girl, do you still see scheduling Cougar Town opposite it?Cougar Town was struggling after Modern Family – against another younger skewing single cam that’s a hit – it doesn’t stand a chance and could hurt Apt 23?
  • Last year V was penciled in for November then moved to Jan. The first Tuesday with no DWTS would be 11/29. Not an ideal time to premiere. Plus there is no panel scheduled for the show at ABC TCA sesions. Should we just assume that Cougar Town and Apt 23 won’t begin before Jan?
  • What’s the status with the name change for Cougar Town?
  • Speaking of Apt 23 why can’t you use a title that’s more irreverent like the original title (without bitch) instead of bland Apt 23 – What about Don’t Trust the Chick (or girl) in Apt 23?
  • Any truth to the no more D Listers rumors on DWTS?
  • Are you more concerned with casting for DWTS and The Bachelor as a result of more competition from The Voice?
  • Should we assume you will be renewing Extreme Makeover:Weight Loss Edition for next Summer? Any plans to renew of  101 Ways To Leave A Game Show ?
  • You have 2 new comedies that stand out – midseason Apt 23 and Suburgatory. Why are you treating the latter like the ugly stepsister? You are promoting The Chew more than it and you  scheduled its TCA panel as the last one of the entire press tour (MON 9:30AM) when many critics will have already left?
  • Is there any possibility of redeveloping Grace? It has an impressive roster of talent behind/in front of camera. It’s a thoroughly unique concept. Plus, performance shows are the all the rage these days. UPDATE: The answer to this appears to be NO as Krista Vernoff has signed a deal with CBS.
  • What are your plans for the 4 month hiatus between DWTS seasons? Skating With The Stars tanked. Any plans to extend DWTS beyond its 10 week cycle (maybe 12 weeks)?
  • The Jan cycle of The Bachelor and this just ended of The Bachelorette have been the lowest rated in some time. Do you think it’s the casting or is the franchise beginning to fade?
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5 Responses to Questions For The Big 4 At Press Tour:

  1. Justin Urciuoli says:

    I have a question for NBC for next weeks press tour! My question has to do with The Apprentice!

    Question: Would NBC ever consider doing another Regular Apprentice in the future? Or was last season the show’s last regular version?

  2. bigtvfan says:

    Justin, Based on the low ratings for the Fall edition, I’d say they are out of the regular Apprentice edition for good. If anything, they’d do 2 Celeb editions a season, but I think they are happy with the once a year Celeb edition for now.

  3. As always, you’ve worked up some very good questions. Alas, there are a number of questions here that executives would swerve around answering.

    PS: I remain sad that you’ve omitted The CW.

  4. bigtvfan says:

    Thanks for your kind words Wesley. I assure you my lack of questions for the CW is not an indication that they’re not a player. I think they have a wonderful new programming head in Mark Pedowitz and a few of their fall shows are getting really good buzz. It’s just that I feel there is not much to ask them at this point beyond the obvious. They only program 10 hours a week. I think the questions to ask are the standard ones: 1) Any plans to develop comedies. 2) Will you guys finally figure out a way to curb reruns or find alternative programming to fill in for incessant reruns. 3) Any plans to develop Summer programming. If there are others you think are worth asking feel free to post here. I guess I think with a new programming chief, his first order of business is to make these new fall shows work as best as they can. Then I think he’ll try to tacke their other issues. Feel free to suggest other points regarding CW.

  5. Benjamonster says:

    Great questions! I wish you were there asking them. Here are my thoughts on a few of the issues you raised…

    1) For NBC and the results show of “The Voice”… if they follow the same pattern as this year, they won’t need a results show till towards the end. Then, I say we see them reduce TBL to an hour or they end the season for “Parenthood” early (unless it gets moved for a show like “Awake”). Another possibility could be placing the results show on Weds if the comedies and/or “Harry’s Law” fail.

    2) I think we see “The Voice” start on Super Bowl Sunday and “Smash” debut the next night.

    3) It makes no sense to have “Up All Night” where it is… it absolutely belonged on Thurs at 9:30 while “Whitney” could have been paired with “Are You There Vodka It’s Me Chelsea” at some point

    4) I completely agree about CBS’s need to get away from procedurals. They still have some hits but the genre seems to be slowly fading, probably from overexposure. This year’s sure bets (Hawaii Five-0 and Criminal Minds: SB) performed below expectations.

    5) I also agree that ABC should start “Shark Tank” in the fall. They could be a real Friday contender with that and EM: HE but they constantly like to give up on Fridays before the season even starts.

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