Archive for NBC

NBC’s Opening Ceremony Olympics Coverage starting sooner

NBC has decided that the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in Beijing are just so good, you’ve gotta see more.

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NBC Beijing Olympic Pin — NBC Universal Photo: Glenn Gracia

Now, the ceremony’s going to air at a new early start time at 7:30 p.m. Friday on NBC, which means you get to watch for a whopping 4.5 hours. And, really, with the viewing choices on Friday hovering around slim and none, why the heck not watch?

Still, NBC feels the need to tart it all up for you to prove that they are doing it because a preview just looked so gosh darned good.

“After seeing two dress rehearsals in the last week, it’s clear that this Opening Ceremony is simply spectacular and we’re thrilled to be able to add an extra half hour to begin Friday at a special early start time,” says NBC Sports honcho David Neal. “Zhang Yimou and his creative team have conceived a program that will captivate viewers in the U.S. and around the world.”

Well, maybe we’ve chosen to be too cynical too soon. Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (“Raise the Red Lantern,” “House of Flying Daggers”) has taken the creative helm as the chief director of both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

While the Opening Ceremony officially marks the start of the Beijing Olympic Games, Olympic competition actually begins with live opening round soccer matches on MSNBC. The USA women’s team faces Norway live Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. ET and the USA men take on Japan live Thursday at 4:30 a.m. ET.

NBC Universal, broadcasting its record 11th Olympics, will present an unprecedented 3,600 hours of Beijing Olympic Games coverage, the most ambitious single media project in history featuring the most live coverage (nearly 2,900 live hours in total), across the most platforms, of any Summer Olympics in history.

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Howie Mandel makes a good deal with NBC

Let’s face it, without Howie Mandel, “Deal or No Deal” is just a lot of models with suitcases.

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“Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel with Briefcase Models
and Storm Troopers — NBC Photo: Adam Taylor

What makes the show is Howie’s sense of humor and timing, which should serve him well in his new unscripted comedy series “Howie Do It” (that’s the working title, but we kind of like it.)

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be in business with NBC once again,” said Mandel. “Working with them on ‘Deal or No Deal’ continues to be a phenomenal experience.”

Let’s not forget that Howie first wowed us as a doctor on the Emmy Award-winning “St. Elsewhere.” Howie begin his career on a dare when he came down to Los Angeles from Canada with some friends in 1979.

He was at the Comedy Store on amateur night and was coaxed by his friends to get up and try his luck. A producer who was in the audience hired him to appear on a comedy game show called “Make me Laugh.” Howie then started appearing on talk shows and eventually landed a gig as Diana Ross’ opening act.

That led to his role as Dr. Wayne Fiscus for six seasons on the NBC drama “St. Elsewhere.” If you haven’t seen the show, check it out for free on Hulu.

Howie’s got a great Web site, with video blogs.

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NBC New Schedule Family Friendly? I don’t think so…

NBC’s new schedule family-friendly in the first hour? Are you joking me?

The Parents Television Council issued a press release on Friday commending NBC for announcing its commitment to the “Family Hour,” an hour of television from 8 to 9 p.m.

Obviously, the PTC simply read a press release about NBC’s fall strategy and failed to actually look at what the network was scheduling in that hour. In fact, “My Name is Earl” has been singled out by the PTC for raunchy content.

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With a picture like this, need we say more about “My Name is Earl” perhaps not fitting the family-friendly label? (l-r) John Farley as Annie, Jason Lee as Earl — NBC Photo: Justin Lubin
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NBC Rolls Out New 52-week schedule

The roll-out of NBC’s 52-week lineup begins this fall:

NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR FALL 2008-09

*New programs in UPPER CASE (with the exception of “ER”)

MONDAY
8-9 p.m. “Chuck”
9-10 p.m. “Heroes”
10-11 p.m. “MY OWN WORST ENEMY”

TUESDAY
8- 9:30 p.m. “The Biggest Loser: Families”
9:30-10 p.m. “KATH & KIM”
10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m. “KNIGHT RIDER”
9-10 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
10-11 p.m. “Lipstick Jungle”

THURSDAY
8- 8:30 p.m. “My Name Is Earl”
8:30-9 p.m. “30 Rock”
9- 9:30 p.m. “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. “The Office”/ “SNL THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE”
10-11 p.m. “ER”

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. “CRUSOE”
9-10 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
10-11 p.m. “Life”

SATURDAY
8-9 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
9-10 p.m. “KNIGHT RIDER” (Encores)
10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (Encores)

SUNDAY
7- 8:20 p.m. “Football Night in America”
8:20-11 p.m. “NBC Sunday Night Football”

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“The Office” gets a spin-off…maybe

“The Office” is getting a spin-off series. Probably. Most likely. Well, if the pilot comes in and NBC honcho Ben Silverman likes it.

But if it does, and he does, then it’s going to air after the Super Bowl. Sweet.

Silverman cannot confirm nor deny that there could possibly be characters from the large current ensemble cast of “The Office” jumping ship. All he would say is that he was ready to move forward with the spin-off as long as “it did not harm the mothership.”

Gotcha.
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“Friday Night Lights” back on NBC

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

As previous reports had predicted, NBC has found a way to keep the lights on.

(For David Bianculli’s podcast with Kyle Chandler, go here.)

NBC Entertainment honcho Ben Silverman told writers on a conference call today that if he had to sit next to somebody on the plane telling him this was their favorite show and not to cancel it, he couldn’t take it.

See? You don’t have to ship tons of peanuts to an executive. Just book the same flights he or she is on and make them want to scratch their eyes out.

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What wife hasn’t looked at her husband just like this when he’s been making a horse’s hind-end out of himself. The fabulous team of Connie Britton as Tami Taylor and Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor make “Friday Night Lights” one show that shouldn’t be missed. NBC Photo: Bill Records

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