Robert Greenblatt, in his first appearance at the TCA press tour as NBC Entertainment Chairman, didn’t trot out a bunch of charming, self-deprecating jokes designed to make the critics like him. He didn’t offer giant promises about making lemonade in primetime. And he didn’t wow anybody with his slew of entirely expected announcements about development, scheduling and rebuilding his executive team.
But he did impress me with one declaration Monday morning. “It is my schedule, for better or worse,” he repeated throughout his session Monday morning in Beverly Hills.
Indeed, Greenblatt went ahead and claimed NBC’s new season schedule, which, we all know, is built on a rickety platform, has very limited expectations for a near-term turnaround and was already in progress when he took the reins in January.
Greenblatt only briefly joked about taking the tack no one would have blamed him for: “I’ll take all the credit if these shows work,” he said, and blame those “not working at NBC anymore if they don’t.”
We all know the biggest enemy to success in TV is fear. And there’s far too much of it informing decisions across our industry’s executive ranks. So it’s refreshing to see someone take the stage – and the responsibility – with such confidence.
Then again, Greenblatt’s predecessor Jeff Gaspin, who falls into that category of people “not working at NBC anymore,” did do the same thing last summer before the critics, owning the Conan debacle and everything else the critics fired at him about.
Which makes Greenblatt’s stance look all the more gutsy in my book.