Jay Leno isn't going away — but despite all the speculation about where he might land after The Tonight Show with Jay Leno ends on Feb. 6, the host is still keeping us guessing.
"You can't really do something like this again," says Leno, who spent most of his 21 years on The Tonight Show as TV's most-watched late-night star. "Because if you're not No. 1, you'll get 'Oh, Jay sucks, he's not No. 1.' And once you do this, you don't really want to do The Tonight Show Lite."
With two weeks left before his final show, Leno sat down with TV Guide Magazine for an exit interview of sorts. Of course, he made a similar round of chats in 2009, when he left the show the first time. ("I'll see you when I get fired from my next job," he quips.)
Amy Poehler, Michael J. Fox
NBC has learned its lesson.
Last season, after a strong fall powered by The Voice and Revolution, NBC not only kept the shows off the air until March 2013, but chose not to launch any midseason series in January, cuing up a huge collapse.
"Essentially the momentum from last fall fell away. This year things are different," NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said Sunday at the network's Television Critics Association winter previews. "Of course, we've got the Olympics for 18 nights, but I also think we've also gotten smarter about how we've scheduled January and February. We didn't take The Blacklist off the air in January. ... Last Monday's episode ... saw a 60 percent jump in the demo."
Billy Crystal, Jimmy Fallon among Jay Leno's final Tonight Show guests
The Blacklist, Greenblatt noted, is the No. 1 drama and No. 1 new series in the 18-49 adult demo and No. 2 scripted series ...
NBC headed into midseason last year with plenty of momentum — only to see its fortunes collapse as The Voice took a winter nap and new hit Revolution went on hiatus.
Lesson learned. Not taking this fall's solid ratings for granted, NBC will bring its new smash, The Blacklist, back in January before taking a break for the Olympics. And the Winter Games will provide a ratings boost as well as a broad platform on which to market the network's upcoming series.
Jessica Fletcher is back on the case!
NBC is developing a Murder, She Wrote reboot starring Octavia Spencer as an amateur detective who publishes a mystery novel, Deadline reports. Spencer will take over the role originated by Angela Lansbury in the series, which ran for 12 seasons beginning in 1984.
Linda Lavin, Sean Hayes, Megan Hilty
Pity the network that has to follow cable at the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills. Such was long-time underdog NBC's lot on Saturday, putting its happiest face on a mixed bag of new fall programming in front of an audience that just a day earlier had sat in rapt fascination as the cast and creator of AMC's Breaking Bad presented their farewell TCA panel — the first episode of its final run (airing Aug. 11) is as gripping as you could hope, by the way. The cable portion of TCA also included a spectacularly geek-tastic celebration of Doctor Who's upcoming 50th anniversary staged by BBC America (complete with TARDIS and Dalek, a roving Cyberman and a museum-quality display of costumes and props).
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As NBC executives pray for a ratings win, producer Mark Burnett may have just passed them a Hail Mary.
Burnett and his wife, producer-actress Roma Downey, will produce for the network A.D.: Beyond the Bible, a sequel to their hugely popular miniseries The Bible — and Burnett doesn't see it as a one-off. "There's no reason this shouldn't run 10 years," he tells TV Guide Magazine.
It won't come cheap. NBC made an aggressive bid for the sequel, knocking other contenders (including History, which aired The Bible) out of the running. But a History spokesperson says the channel passed on A.D., adding, "We're about what's next."
NBC is partnering with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey for a follow-up to their hugely successful 10-part miniseries The Bible, the network announced Monday.
The working title of the new series is A.D.: Beyond the Bible, which will cover the events following Jesus' death.
Seth Meyers will replace Jimmy Fallon on Late Night when Fallon takes over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2014, NBC announced Sunday.
Up All Night
NBC's Up All Night should have been a hit. The show came with a strong comedy pedigree: It starred Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph and was produced by Saturday Night Live don Lorne Michaels. At the center was what seemed to be a relatable premise for the young adults watching the network's upscale comedies: a hip, young couple adjusts to life with a baby.
But two years after creator Emily Spivey shot the pilot (then called Alpha Mom), Up All Night is all but gone, suffering the death of a thousand tinkers. A heavily touted plan to morph the show into a multi-camera sitcom is now mostly abandoned, and some of the outlandish ideas bandied about for the revamp (including one idea involving rock star...
CBS is serious about tackling broadcast TV's summer problem, and to prove it, the network is hauling out two big names: Steven Spielberg and Stephen King.
The Steves are behind the upcoming 13-episode CBS summer series Under the Dome, based on King's best-selling thriller about a New England town that becomes sealed off from the rest of the world.