Zucker Calls Bluff


When Gary Scott Thompson, creator of NBC’s Monday-night drama Las Vegas, urged NBC Universal TV Group CEO Jeff Zucker to take another run at revitalizing Friday prime time, he wasn’t volunteering to lead the charge.

“I think the networks have sort of forgotten about the night,” Thompson says. “I’ve been saying to Jeff for three years that Fridays are ripe for the taking. I guess he’s going to make me eat my words.”

But Thompson says he’s OK with NBC’s moving his show to Fridays. He only hopes the network will promote the new slot, which will lead into the new Dick Wolf drama, Conviction.

“If the audience doesn’t know, they can’t follow,” Thompson says. “I’m sure Dick Wolf will remind them. If they put his show on by itself, he would have been sitting there dead. But this could be a nice block on Fridays.”

But Thompson suggests the deck was stacked against him on Mondays.

The Friday move came about after NBC learned that the NFL would not allow Las Vegas promos during Sunday-night football games, which the network begins airing in the fall. (Apparently, the league’s rule that what happens in Vegas stays out of football applies to the fictional Vegas, too.)

“If you look at what Fox and CBS have done with football,” Thompson says, “the reason 24 and Prison Break on Monday even do anything is because they promote the hell out of them during every football game, every commercial. I was looking forward to that same promotion.”

Tough break, kid.