Meet Ron Swanson's Eagleton Rival: 8 Things We Learned About NBC Today

The last time NBC president Bob Greenblatt spoke to the slumped, tired masses at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, back in January, all anyone desired to talk about was Community. Greenblatt, who wanted to discuss anything but, assured the assembled journalists that it’d be the same show you loved, just…different. In his exact words: “I think you’ll see relatively the same show that you did before, maybe with a little bit more heart built into it. But we didn’t fundamentally change it.” Oh, the difference six months makes.

According to the AV Club’s Todd VanDerWerff, “Bob Greenblatt is the first person in this room to say the word Community. How times have changed.” This was after he had been speaking for 30 minutes, too. So what did they talk about, if not Annie’s Boobs? Well, Dracula, Hillary Clinton, Stephen King, The Michael J. Fox Show, Hannibal, and just life in general. But mostly bad ideas. (Oh, and a little non-TCA news about Ron Swanson.)

1. Prepare to feel even more attracted to Hillary Clinton.

NBC on Saturday announced plans for four new “event” projects, including a four-hour mini-series about Hillary Clinton starring Oscar nominee Diane Lane in the title role. (Via)

2. Who needs new ideas?

Also in the Peacock pipeline: Remakes of Rosemary’s Baby and Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers, and a Mark Burnett-produced limited series about the ”landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.” (Via)


They won 16 weeks this season, compared to only five the previous season. Even when you take away sports, NBC improved 30 of 43 weeks this year. Monday and Tuesday were both improved over last year, as was Wednesday and those were big goals for NBC. NBC’s also happy with late night. And 8 NBC shows improved by 50 percent plus when you look at Live+7 numbers. Of course, that includes Smash… (Via)

4. Comedy night done…right-ish?

Why is The Michael J. Fox Show at 9:30 rather than 9? “We spent a lot of time talking about that Thursday lineup,” Greenblatt says, calling it their “most scrutinized night of television.” He says that they wanted to build a family night on Thursday and they looked at different configurations. He expects a huge initial turnout for the show based on “universal love” for Fox and he’s already expecting a big fall-off in the second week. “We didn’t want to put him so much in the line of fire,” Greenblatt says, hinting “it could conceivably change.” (Via)

5. Meet Eagleton’s Ron Swanson.

Acting vet Sam Elliott has signed on to guest star in an episode of [Parks and Recreation] as Ron Swanson’s aggressively mustached counterpart/doppelganger in neighboring Eagleton. (Via)

6. Marty’s still got it.

Among Michael J. Fox’s greatest strengths as a comedian has been his impeccable sense of timing, and it was still in place [during the press tour for The Michael J. Fox Show] despite his condition. At one point, Fox got caught looking in the wrong direction when a question was asked, and without skipping a beat, he blamed it on a Parkinson’s twitch. (After the session, when I asked him how, if at all, the Parkinson’s affects his timing, he said it really hadn’t: “I read material, and there’s a rhythm that I read it in and process it, and it just comes out like that.”) (Via)

7. Mike O’Malley is the best.

Mike O’Malley’s mom did not like the rough language in one of his #Justified monologues. After that, he wanted to return to comedy [he starts in Welcome to the Family]. (Via)

8. Hannibal? Hannibal.

[NBC Entertainment Jennifer] Salke knows that Hannibal pushes the edge of the envelop in content and she thinks it’s important to “send a message to the community” that they support that kind of vision. Salke knows that audiences expected NBC to pull the show and they wanted to send the message that they would “support a creator with a vision that felt like it was a little bit out-there” in terms of content. (Via)

I’m tempted to curse at NBC for their terrible miniseries ideas, but…

But for you, Sam Elliott, I won’t say a thing.

(via Getty Image) (Via)

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