A month after NBC said they felt really good about their plans for the fall and two weeks after they set their fall premiere dates, NBC’s Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, spoke at New Voices in Primetime Comedy at SeriesFest in Denver to talk about NBC wanting to rebuild their comedy brand and how they won’t be quick to cancel shows this upcoming season as they have in the past, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
As a way of going back to what worked during the “Must See TV” comedy block of the 90s and early 2000s, where shows like Friends, Seinfeld, Will and Grace, Fraiser and Mad About You aired, NBC is bringing comedies back to Thursday nights, something that they didn’t do in the last television season.
Salke promised that the network “won’t cancel shows quickly” like they have in the past when it comes to comedy shows that haven’t been working on the network.
As for how the network plans to rebuild their comedies? Tracey Pakosta, NBC executive vice president comedy development, who was also part of the panel, said that the new comedies on the network are going to be “smart, sophisticated but not alienating,” and added that “we continue to build a comedy brand and redefine what is comedy on NBC.”
And NBC is doing just that, by giving surprise hit Superstore a second season on the network and the leadoff spot on Thursday night’s block of programming and has Mike Schur’s new NBC comedy, The Good Place, which stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, airing directly after Superstore. Coming to the network in the midseason is Great News, a show that’s produced by Tina Fey and is set to star Andrea Martin and John Lithgow’s Trial & Error, which is described as a mix between The Office and Making a Murderer.
Salke also touched on Seeso, which is Comcast and NBCUniversal’s digital comedy streaming service that’s similar to CBS All Access, saying that “it’s a starting place” and told people at the panel to stay tuned for what’s to come.
She also said that as a way to compete with cable networks, the censors have backed off on what can and can’t be shown on NBC, saying that “the Standards thing has really calmed down.”
NBC’s first comedy of the new season, The Good Place premieres on Monday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. following the season premiere of The Voice. After the premiere, the show moves to its permanent timeslot three days later, Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8:30 p.m.