NBC likes the critical praise for its Thursday comedies but would like a few more eyeballs too. Broadening the appeal of the network’s comedies is a major goal for NBC brass, entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt and president Jennifer Salke said today during NBC’s TCA executive session. “I think we’re in a transition with our comedy programming trying to broaden the audience,” Greenblatt said. “NBC’s Thursday comedies is what we love and what critics love but they tend to be a bit more narrow than we’d like.” Salke said that several showrunners of returning NBC comedies have came up to the network’s executives with ideas how to broaden the appeal of their shows next season. “It’s kind of an evolving comedy brand,” she said.
Also evolving is one of aforementioned cult NBC comedies, Community, which is coming back for a fourth season on a new night, Friday, with new showrunners replacing creator Dan Harmon. “I think the fans of Community will get the same show they’ve loved from the beginning,” Greenblatt said. “Sometimes it’s time to freshen up a series.” As for Community‘s future, “I would categorically not rule out that it’s not the last season,” Greenblatt quipped, adding, “I would love nothing more than for ‘Community’ to have a following on Fridays and to be able to continue.”
Regarding the showrunner change on another NBC series, Smash, Greenblatt was asked what the network would like to fix going into Season 2. “It’s a big soap with number of arcs,” Greenblatt said. “Where we didn’t do a good job is the arcing of the storylines and the consistency of going in one direction with the characters.”
Despite the addition of shock jock Howard Stern to America’s Got Talent, ratings for the veteran summer reality series have trended down this year, though AGT is still on track to finish as No. 1 for the summer. “Given the TV landscape we’re thrilled” with the show’s performance, NBC’s president of alternative programming Paul Telegdy said. “We’d be delighted if Howard would want to come back.”