NBC boss hopes to keep Jay Leno around, may reconfigure Thursday nights

Big news -When you look as a whole at what NBC has done in the first half of the 2013-14 season, there is some good news and bad news. Let’s start off here with what has to be considered the positive: Ratings were great in the fall. You had a major hit in “The Blacklist,” “The Voice” continuing to do well, and “Sunday Night Football” continuing to bring great ratings. On the flip side, Thursdays are a disaster. The new comedies this year just didn’t work, and they’ve left the network in a position where they could theoretically cancel everything this coming summer and start anew.

Speaking about this issue to The Hollywood Reporter, network head Robert Greenblatt made it clear that he was interested in trying almost anything:

“That is a good question that does not have an answer yet. The Office was the one bright spot that kept [our Thursday comedy block] afloat. Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and Community are all beloved by the press and are really strong creatively but [in the near-decade since NBC’s Thursday reigned] CBS got in there with comedies and ABC got in there with dramas in a major way. It not only became the problem of decline with NBC’s shows that weren’t being replaced [by ratings hits] but the other networks got so much stronger and that’s where we are right now. Our lead-ins aren’t strong enough, so the 9p.m. shows aren’t going to really have a chance. I’m trying to be thoughtful and slow about making decisions about pulling off shows because they’re underperforming. There are a lot of reasons why Thursday is a challenge and I’m trying to separate that from the quality of the shows.”

Greenblatt also added that he and everyone else at the network are still hoping to keep Jay Leno around the NBC family following the end of his version of “The Tonight Show” in February, but this is still a discussion that is going to take a little bit of time after the end of the show to hammer down. Jay could have opportunities to go elsewhere with a new show (maybe Fox?) if he chooses.

If you were in Greenblatt’s shoes, is there anything in particular that you would do in the spring to try to ensure the network stays on track? Be sure to share some of your thoughts below!

Photo: NBC

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