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“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” almost didn’t make it to air, but today, Kimmy is singing a different tune.
“Schmidt” had a strong showing with seven nominations for its freshman season, including a surprise berth in the comedy series race. That’s icing on the cake for a show that hit some turbulence when NBC decided to pass on after it had lensed a full season. Now “Schmidt” is seen as an underdog in race, which suits the show that stars Ellie Kemper as a woman who escapes after years in a cult and has to adjust to her new life in the big city.
“Two of the first emails we got were from (NBC execs) Jen Salke and Bob Greenblatt,” Robert Carlock, who created the series with his “30 Rock” partner Tina Fey, tells Variety. “We wouldn’t be in this place if it were not for their imaginations saying, ‘Where »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
A high-profile Latino group is calling on more companies to boycott Donald Trump over his controversial comments about Mexican immigrants. During a discussion with NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition Alex Nogales thanked Greenblatt for NBC’s decision to end its relationship with Trump. He also said the PGA of America’s decision to change the location of one of its tournaments from a Trump-owned course was a good first step. Also Read: Donald Trump's $50 Million Mexican Mess: What's the Cost of Calling Immigrants 'Rapists'? But Nogales suggested more companies need to cut ties with Trump, »
- Jordan Chariton
NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt joked during an appearance at the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s 4th annual MediaCon Thursday about his network’s dust-up with Donald Trump. Greenblatt participated in a keynote Q&A with Nhmc president Alex Nogales at the conference, an annual event designed to advance the image and careers of Latinos in media. Nhmc executive vice president Jessica Gonzalez introduced Greenblatt, praising him for cutting ties with Trump in response to remarks the Republican presidential candidate made about Mexican immigrants during his campaign-announcement speech. Gonzalez also praised Univision, Macy’s and other Trump-dumping companies. Also read: »
- Reid Nakamura
The former “Apprentice” host and current presidential candidate, who has recently had a very public parting of ways with NBC, has shared a letter claiming to be from Greenblatt with his social-media followers. Although the picture does not offer a timestamp from the email or any verification that it is, in fact, from the exec, it appears to be a note thanking Trump for his generosity after Greenblatt and some friends enjoyed a stay at Trump’s Las Vegas hotel.
“Look what the President of NBC sent me recently about his stay in my Las Vegas hotel. Very loyal guy,” Trump captioned the photo.
NBC has declined to comment.
This is Trump’s latest stunt to rally his supporters via social media. He has shared his side »
- Variety Staff
How important was it to integrate gay characters into your storytelling?
It was incredibly important. I wanted to tell relevant stories. On “90210,” Kelly dated a boy who struggled with his sexuality. It was a small storyline, but it was important for me to start that conversation early in the series.
How did the network react?
It was definitely a hot-button area. It was more “talk about it, don’t show it.” But introducing that idea into the world of high-school students, and talking about a character struggling with his sexuality among characters that people already loved, and seeing people having a positive reaction to him was a great moment. »
- Debra Birnbaum
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on Friday that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right for every American, regardless of what state they live in, and NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt is the latest Hollywood figure to weigh in with celebratory words. “As the head of a broadcast television network and a gay man, I celebrate and applaud this morning’s Supreme Court ruling prohibiting states from banning gay marriage,” he said in a statement. All day Hollywood has taken to Twitter and other social media to share in the love of the landmark decision, as well as releasing statements. »
- Linda Ge
Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, will be the lunch keynote speaker at the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s fourth annual MediaCon. Greenblatt was instrumental in NBC’s turnaround, having launched the Emmy-winning competition show “The Voice,” and dramas “The Blacklist” and “Chicago P.D.” He will speak on his experiences in the entertainment industry, the changing climate of broadcast television and the significance of diversity, the Nhmc announced Friday. The conference will be held on July 9 at the Hilton Universal City in Los Angeles. The Nhmc’s MediaCon is an intimate gathering that features executives, media influencers, celebrities, public relations and marketing professionals. »
- Kathy Zerbib
Just hours after the Supreme Court released its 5-4 opinion that essentially made same-sex-marriage legal across the United States, the Chairman of NBC Entertainment offered his words of congratulations. Calling the ruling “a great day for equality,” here’s all of what Bob Greenblatt had to say: As the head of a broadcast television network and a gay man, I celebrate and applaud this morning's Supreme Court ruling prohibiting states from banning gay marriage – and in… »
Peter Chernin is taking his TV operation to NBCUniversal. Months after renewing his film pact with Fox, and news that his Chernin Entertainment would shop its TV division elsewhere, Chernin and NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt announced a new two-year deal on Wednesday. In the wake of Chernin TV topper Katherine Pope moving over to Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8, Jenno Topping has been elevated to president of both film and television at Chernin. Plans also call for a head of television development and production, which will be chosen at a later date. Read More Peter Chernin Defends Periscope, Talks
- Michael O'Connell
Peter Chernin has signed a two-year deal with NBCUniversal, aligning his company with Universal Television’s writers and producers. Under the terms, Chernin Entertainment will still be able to independently produce for cable and other streaming platforms. In conjunction with the deal, Jenno Topping has been promoted to president of Film and Television at Chernin’s company. There are also plans to name a head of television development and production soon. “Peter Chernin is, without a doubt, one of the most forward-thinking and successful producers and executives in the media business today,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt. “He’s an innovator and strategist, »
- Tony Maglio
Chernin Entertainment chairman Peter Chernin is moving his company’s TV division from 20th Century Fox TV to NBCUniversal under a new two-year overall deal with NBC Entertainment and Universal Television.
Chernin’s TV division, which produces the Fox comedy “New Girl,” can now find alignment with Universal Television’s roster of writers and producers while having the option of producing independently for cable and other streaming platforms.
The deal also includes the promotion of Jenno Topping to Chernin’s president of film and television. She will now oversee television as well as film for the company. A head of television development and production will be named shortly, as the pact follows former TV head Katherine Pope’s departure from Chernin.
“Peter Chernin is, without a doubt, one »
- Whitney Friedlander
Bombshell is becoming a real-life Smash. Universal announced Monday that due to the overwhelming response from the one-night only Bombshell benefit concert earlier in June, it is going to develop the show for the stage. NBC chair and musical lover Bob Greenblatt said, "Over the course of two seasons an entire ‘Bombshell’ score was written to service Smash storylines, and now that show will have a chance to stand on its own." Meaning: The fake drama to bring Bombshell to Broadway is a reality! Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who were executive producers on the series, will be co-lyricists with Shaiman as the composer. Otherwise, Universal didn't make any firm commitments as to what shape Bombshell would take, and certainly didn't make any casting announcements, but we're crossing our fingers for the girl who wants it more. »
- E. Alex Jung
Oh, who are we kidding? That’s half the fun of the news that Universal Stage Productions has begun development on a stage musical version of Bombshell — the fictional Broadway show at the center of NBC’s two-season musical-within-a-musical drama Smash.
News of Bombshell‘s resurgence comes a week after a buzzy Actors Fund benefit featuring the show’s music that starred Smash cast members Hilty, »
NBC’s “Smash” will continue to live on as Universal Stage Productions has begun development on “Bombshell,” the fictional musical at the center of the short-lived drama, as a stage production. “There is a still a lot of love for ‘Smash’ and a rabid fan base out there, and we’re thrilled to be able to keep the dream alive as we work towards bringing ‘Bombshell’ to theater audiences,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, in a statement. “‘Smash’ was ambitious because every episode was a complicated musical for television and we also built the foundation of the musical-within-the-musical about Marilyn’s endlessly. »
- Linda Ge
Fade in on a girl! Smash fans can rejoice. NBC has announced that the Marilyn Monroe musical-within-a-musical, Bombshell, will be turned into a real-life stage version. Bombshell, which tells the story of Monroe’s tragic, glamorous life, was recently performed by the NBC show’s stars in a sold-out Actors Fund benefit concert. The hype surrounding the event inspired Universal Stage Productions to develop a stage version of the show. Chairman of NBC Entertainment Robert Greenblatt and President of Universal Pictures Jimmy Horowitz announced the news on Monday, June [...] »
With today’s TV listings overflowing with choices, breaking through the clutter is an ever-present dilemma. More and more, networks are airing live “events” to set themselves apart from the pack, with sports taking on new fanfare, more award shows than can be counted, specials, live musicals and now full live series in the scripted “Undateable” and unscripted “Knock Knock Live.”
Broadcasting “live” is as old as television itself, but these days adds an interesting and increasingly attractive component for networks looking for new ways to rise above the primetime competition.
The fact that a live event is an event is a big part of the appeal, says Neil Meron. He and producing partner Craig Zadan have become seasoned veterans of live programming in recent years, with three Oscar telecasts and two live musicals under their belts. Live events are buzzworthy, Meron says. “They’re promotable and networks are always »
- Shelli Weinstein
I am the happiest TV fan in the world. Over the next year or so, we'll be getting a new season of "Twin Peaks," with David Lynch allegedly directing every single episode. And we'll be getting an "X-Files" sequel miniseries, which may well feature both an episode written by the reclusive-but-brilliant Darin Morgan, and a rumored sequel to one of the sickest hours of network television ever, "Home." I am the most annoyed TV fan in the world. Over the next year or so, we'll be getting a "Heroes" sequel series run by the same guy who very quickly ran out of ideas on the original. We'll be getting a "Coach" sequel series that will give Craig T. Nelson the sitcom comeback he didn't get when he passed on the role of Jay on "Modern Family." We'll be getting DJ Tanner and Kimmy Gibbler living together in a "Fuller House, »
- Alan Sepinwall
The show-within-the-show became the show on June 8, when the cast of NBC series “Smash” reunited to present a song-and-dance concert version of “Bombshell,” the musical whose road to Broadway was depicted in the TV series.
The one-night-only event at the Broadway’s Minskoff Theater (home to “The Lion King”) was presented as a fundraiser benefitting the Actors Fund. Looking to defer costs of the event, the Actors Fund raised more than $300,000 on Kickstarter from “Smash” fans panting to make “Bombshell” happen — and the goal had only been $50,000. “This is the largest theater Kickstarter in history,” noted Christian Borle, a cast member of the TV show (and one of the winners at the Tony Awards the previous night).
“Maybe if NBC had used Kickstarter instead of sponsors, we’d still be on the air right now,” cracked Debra Messing, Borle’s costar on the show.
Smashing! #BombshellBway pic.twitter.com/NflhIq »
- Gordon Cox
Online streaming continues to get real in the world of television. Early Saturday, Lifetime released on its website the first four episodes of new drama “Unreal” — three of which have yet to air.
The hourlong show, which premiered on Monday night, could use the additional buzz. Despite favorable reviews, “Unreal” averaged just 815,000 viewers overall for its first installment.
The “Unreal” digital offering marks the second time in recent months that a major network has pulled a Netflix and dumped several new episodes online. NBC recently unleashed the entire “Aquarius” series for free just two hours after the first episode aired on TV.
“We are fully aware how audiences want to consume multiple episodes of new television series faster and at their own discretion,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said at the time. »
- Variety Staff
In a number of executive changes at NBC Entertainment and Universal Television, Bela Bajaria has been promoted to president of Universal Television. Bajaria previously served as executive vice president of Universal Television. As part of the executive shuffle, Tracey Pakosta, formerly executive vice president, comedy for Universal Television, will shift to executive vice president, comedy programming. See video: Seth Meyers Congratulates Caitlyn Jenner on 'Late Night': 'I Don't Have Any Jokes About This, I'm So Happy' NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt hailed Bajaria’s “incredible job” thus far while announcing the changes. “Bela has done an incredible job of starting a studio from scratch. »
- Tim Kenneally
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