NBCUniversal trotted out late-night host Seth Meyers at the very end of its two-hour Upfront presentation to revive advertisers before sending them back out into the streets of midtown Manhattan and on their way to Fox’s presentation in the afternoon.
With ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel this year standing down from his much anticipated annual ABC Upfront seventh-inning orgy of network and advertiser mockery, particular attention is being paid to other late-night hosts stepping into the void.
Among the Meyers highlights:
With Donald Trump in the White House, this is being called the post-truth era, Meyers said, but, in truth, “The Upfronts have been post-truth from the beginning!”
“Based on what is promised and what delivered, this week is the definition of fake news,” he insisted.
NBC talks about its new programs the way Trump talks about health care, Meyers observed: “You’re going to have the best shows! It’s going to be amazing!”
“I just showed up. Has anybody mentioned This Is Us?” the NBC late-night star snarked.
“NBC shows off This Is Us the way a girl shows off the diamond in her engagement ring.”
“This is us is first NBC show in 13 years to be the top-rated program of the week,” he reminded. “So maybe a better name would be This Is Unlike Us.”
Among the This Is Us nods at the Upfront presentation: a video in which cast members surprised series super-fans. “You know what else is fun?” Meyers suggested. “If you imagine doing that with less popular shows: someone from Emerald City sneaking up behind a stranger and tapping them on the shoulder. ‘Who the hell are you?!’ They just maced someone from Emerald City.”
“When you have success like this, you’re going to have copycats,” he continued. “CBS just announced new drama this is NCI US.”
“I also want to talk about the rest of NBC’s schedule or, as Bob Greenblatt calls it, This Is Our Other Shows.”
“The Voice is currently wrapping up Season 12. It’s the only show on television that ages in dog years. At this point, Voice Years is a new way to mark time. My son is 1 – 2 in Voice Years.”
“The coaches on this season of The Voice are Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Alicia Keyes and – this is exciting – Merrick Garland.”
“I’m glad they’re sticking with the name Will & Grace,” Meyers confided. “With everything else on the schedule, I was worried they’d call it: Chicago Gay.“
“NBC also is the home of the hit show Little Big Shots, hosted by Steve Harvey. Steve was supposed to come out here, but nobody was brave enough to knock on his door. If you see Steve Harvey, don’t ambush the man!”
“Saturday Night Live is having one of its highest-rated seasons in its history,” the former SNL Weekend Update anchor said. “It always feels good: ‘Hey, ever since you left, we all started watching…. like when I found out my dad was going to Little League games now.”
“Law & Order: SVU had a really big year. It got elected President.”
“NBC announce this year its live musical will be Jesus Christ Superstar, as opposed to some of the other shows which are just Jesus Christ!”
“Personally I’m very exited. A.P. Bio – a show on which I’m producer – was picked up to series. I’ve been working at NBC since 2001 and every year I’d watch Upfronts and sometimes I’d think, ‘How are they picking these shows? Are they throwing darts at a wall? Is it completely random?” Meyers said. “But, when I got word they were picking up this show, I realized this is an unimpeachably fair decision, made by smart people with excellent taste, and I take issue with anyone who says otherwise.”
NBC will carry next year’s Winter Olympics, which, Meyers said, “will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea – not to be confused with Pyongyang, North Korea, which is where we sent Billy Bush.”
The Games will be the first in 25 years that Bob Costas will not anchor, “And, not to be sentimental, but my eye got a little pink thinking about it.”