NBC will hold its presentation of its fall schedule on
Monday morning, May 16, leading off the broadcast networks' annual upfront
Like last year, NBC will hold its upfront at the Hilton
Hotel in New York and its event will be followed in the afternoon and evening by Fox's presentation
and party, an always-popular affair at Central Park's Wollman Rink.
The formal announcement of NBC's upfront plan was delayed in
part because of the acquisition of control of NBC Universal by Comcast Corp.,
which was finalized Jan. 28.
In 2008 and 2009, NBC attempted to do something different by
holding smaller, earlier meetings with media buyers and clients it called
"infronts." While some clients appreciated having earlier opportunities to
integrate their messages into programs, there were complaints that pilots were
not available to be screened and ultimately the shows themselves did not
attract large numbers of viewers.
Before that, NBC held its upfronts at Radio City Music Hall
on Monday afternoon and evening, the time slot now occupied by Fox.
NBC executives are said to be searching for a venue with
more seating capacity-like Radio City-to hold future upfront presentations.
NBC, the fourth-ranked broadcast network, will be unveiling
its first schedule under Comcast's stewardship and new NBC Entertainment Chairman
Bob Greenblatt, formerly of Showtime.
ABC's upfront presentation will be Tuesday at Lincoln
Center, with CBS following Wednesday at Carnegie Hall. Turner Broadcasting and
ESPN in recent years have also held presentations during what had been
traditionally the broadcasters' week, as have the Spanish-language networks.