Bob Greenblatt, new chief of NBC Entertainment -- long associated with Showtime -- had plenty to say this morning, but to boil it down to one word -- engage. He wants to figure out ways to engage viewers in a crowded TV world. How? With scripted shows -- his strength -- with a de-emphasis on unscripted. Asked what sort of vibe he might borrow from Showtime, he said: "I certainly don't want to turn NBC into Showtime but I'd love to bring some of the creative vitality we had but in a way that's broad and commercial. What's worked is to find people whose voice you really love and stay out of the way. Cable has been such a dream for a lot of writers. Broadcast has been more difficult, but hopefully they'll want to come."
If I heard Bob right, and I think I did, there are two mandates -- build the comedy stable (hence the profusion of new shows starring Whitney Cummings and Hank Azaria, etc.) -- and find drama franchises. ("Prime Suspect" as an example.) Yeah, every TV executive since Silverman's said the same thing, but there have been notable deviations -- remember Leno at 10?