NBC Repurposes Rookies


In an effort to maximize its reach, NBC is expected to blitz its cable siblings with five of its six new shows this fall.

According to NBC scheduling chief Mitch Metcalf, exact plans have not been finalized, but the broadcast network expects to repurpose the premieres of five shows on its sister cable networks at least once the week they premiere.

Highly touted Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip could run on multiple cable networks, with the most likely destinations Bravo and USA. Mystical drama Heroes is a natural fit for Sci Fi Channel, while USA is a probable destination for Kidnapped, Friday Night Lights and the 60-minute premiere of comedy 20 Good Years, which shrinks to 30 minutes after its first episode.

Metcalf says that, due to the difficulty of programming 30-minute comedies on those cable networks, NBC may not run comedy 30 Rock on cable.

The move continues NBC’s strategy of pushing its pilots through as many channels as possible, including on the network Website as well as through recently signed deals with YouTube and Netflix.

One place the network is not expected to air pilots is iVillage, the women-targeted Web portal owned by NBC Universal. NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly says the portal will be used only for promotional purposes for the entertainment side, although he does envision possibly using the site to air video or other elements when female-driven drama Medium returns to the schedule at midseason.