Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Love Letter To NBC...

I'm going to come out and admit something kind of unprofessional* right now, but I'm kind of beyond caring. Half of the job as a writer is to have opinions and to share them with readers, and it would be lying to say otherwise. I'm allowed to play favorites, damn it! And NBC was, is, and always will be my jam.

That's right; I said it. And you can say what you want to about some of their content in recent years-- you can say a lot about the ratings. But I can't speak to that; I can't speak for anyone but me, and the type of programming that has always called out to me has been on NBC.

When I was a kid, I literally grew up with Friends. That may sound like a cliche but considering I was ten when it premiered, it is the best example of not only the network at its best but my deep devotion to it. Along with Days of our Lives, which may be another animal since it is daytime, Friends was the show that inspired me to begin writing my own scripts, and when I finally started writing pilot scripts of my own, I'd do so with visions of one day working on future episodes of that show from a corner office at 3000 W. Alameda Avenue.

NBC was always the network I watched and wanted to work for, and nowadays I am sad to admit NBC is not the network I watch the most, although the shows I do watch there-- from Community to Smash to Parenthood-- I enjoy more than any other, on almost any other network. I believe Bob Greenblatt when he says he is looking to slowly rebuild, taking chances on new programming by building off existing tent poles. I believe he knows you need that one big one to spark the interest again-- to get people to notice NBC again (in a positive way)-- to open the door to allow more and more of that smart, cutting edge, different programming.

I believe Smash can be that for NBC. I hope Smash can be that for NBC. And I think so far the pilot pick-ups indicate they are committed and focused in that direction. Though I was not necessarily interested in the subject matter behind Bad Girls, the John Wells drama NBC just picked up today, I am intrigued by the fact that they are willing to take such a risk. Wells himself has said that he didn't think he'd be able to sell E.R. today-- to NBC or any network-- but arguably Bad Girls is a much riskier move, and NBC just proved willing to take the chance. A show set in a female prison is edgy and dark by design and sounds like something fitting for Showtime. Dare I say NBC might finally be following in David Nevins' footsteps?

Admittedly NBC has been notorious for dumbing down content to try to fit their demographic bubble-- look at how they watered down comediennes Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler for their sitcoms-- so of course if they can do right by Wells remains to be seen. Not to mention the fact that a pilot pick-up does not infer a series pick-up at upfronts' time in May. But they have a good history together, so I am choosing to remain optimistic this time around. Not simply for Wells but for the future of smart television in general. I so want people to once again understand why NBC is at the top of my own network pitch list.

*All views expression on Made Possible by Pop Culture are my own and do not necessarily reflect the viewers of any of the publications that employ me or purchase my reviews, interviews, or news items. Made Possible by Pop Culture is, and always was, a personal blog.

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