NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt spoke to reporters about his plans for the network at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Friday. He discussed ratings, new shows and Bill Cosby among other subjects.
The broadcast network made headlines recently when it decided to scrap plans for a new project with the man who singlehandedly saved NBC from oblivion back in the 1980s. The decision came after multiple allegations of rape were made against Bill Cosby.
Greenblatt mentioned the man who has become a national joke and disgrace saying, “Fifteen women came out and accused him of having done what they accused him of. While over the years, we’d heard some of those accusations and we knew there were a couple settlements and whatnot, it didn’t seem to be the sort of thing that was critical mass. When we realized that there seemed to be so much more of it, it wasn’t something that we could just go, ‘Oh, we’re not sure.'”
“He hasn’t been proven guilty of anything, ” Greenblatt added. “I don’t want to be the one that says, ‘Guilty until proven innocent, ‘ but when that many people come out and have similar complaints and it becomes such a tainted situation, there was no way we could move forward with it. The good news is, unlike Netflix which had a special to run, we were developing a script — we didn’t even have a first draft … I’m glad we’re out from under that.”
The seventh and final season of Amy Poehler’s “Parks and Recreation” premiered to a surprisingly strong 3.5 million viewers. About that Greenblatt said, “The day after the ratings, I emailed both Amy and Mike and I said, ‘Do you want to do another season? They didn’t respond immediately.”
The NBC chairman also expects to renew both of Dick Wolf’s Chicago based Dramas, “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD” and expects to see a spin off that could be called “Chicago Med.”
“The odds are great that the Chicago shows will be back, ” said Greenblatt. “We’re thrilled with both of them. Chicago Med is something that we’re seeding into the system, seeing if there’s a show there that could eventually spin off into itself.”
NBC is also developing an 8 hour miniseries about the Underground Railroad called “Freedom Run.” It will be based on the book “Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad” by Betty DeRamus.