Robert Greenblatt, NBC entertainment chairman, has departed the company. He is replaced by Paul Telegdy, president, alternative and reality group, and George Cheeks, co-president, Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios. Both start in their new roles Sept. 25.
Greenblatt came on board at NBC in 2011, after overseeing entertainment at Showtime. He inherited NBC primetime in rough shape. This past season, September to September, NBC won both the 18-49 demographic and total viewers. Series such as The Voice, which debuted in 2011, the Dick Wolf Chicago dramas and smash drama This Is Us have put NBC prime in a much different position.
The son of an HVAC system designer father and a travel agent mother, Greenblatt grew up in Rockford, Ill., and enjoyed the city’s lively theater scene.
Greenblatt’s career began with an internship at 20th Century Fox’s film studio. Peter Chernin, president of production outfit Lorimar-Telepictures at the time, hired Greenblatt to be his story editor in 1988. When Lorimar was sold to Warner Bros., Chernin shifted to Fox, and brought Greenblatt, who ran Fox’s primetime programming from 1992 to 1997.
Greenblatt went on to be an independent producer, bringing over a dozen series to life, including HBO smash Six Feet Under. He joined Showtime in 2003, where his hits included Dexter and Shameless.
In an interview with the New York Times, Greenblatt mentioned the “relentless” nature of being a network programming chief. He told the Times he loves the idea of running a company, but it won’t likely be a broadcast network.
Greenblatt was inducted into the B&C Hall of Fame in 2017.