Using Music To Revive A Network…
Getting NBC out of the ratings cellar among the big four networks was the task assigned to Robert Greenblatt when he moved over from Showtime and produced “9 to 5: The Musical” in January 2011. He surprised many when he decided to take a distinctly musical road to recovery with his first full season: He moved the holiday replacement competition “The Sing-Off” to a full fall run, created a music-heavy drama in the now-canceled “Playboy Club” and tapped top musical theater talent for “Smash,” which premieres Feb. 6. “The Voice,” which had a promising first season, was rewarded with a longer run and the prime slot after the Super Bowl on Feb. 5. “One of the great things about ‘Smash’–and scheduling it in mid-season concurrent with ‘The Voice’–is we knew we had the lead time to produce episodes that didn’t need hiatuses,” he recently said. “We’re going to have 15 [consecutive] episodes of ‘The Voice,’ not a pre-emption in all that time. And I think that’s going to be great for hooking an audience.” No network executive has opened more doors for placements in such a short amount of time.
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