Bob Greenblatt Near Deal to Continue as NBC Entertainment Chairman
“I’m going to be around for a long time,” Greenblatt told Variety Thursday.
At NBC, Greenblatt has overseen a reversal of the network’s fortunes, breaking a streak of fourth-place ratings finishes that began prior to his arrival. NBC has finished three of the last four seasons as the top-rated primetime network in the 18-49 demo. Under Greenblatt, NBC launched broadcast’s top-rated unscripted series, “The Voice,” and top-rated drama, “This Is Us.” Greenblatt also recently lured the creators and cast of classic comedy “Will & Grace” back to the network for a revival set to premiere this fall. On Thursday, he announced at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that the revival, originally set as a one-season event, had been picked up for a second season.
Among the heads of the Big Four broadcast networks, Greenblatt is the longest tenured, having joined NBC in 2011 after Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal. A veteran of cable and broadcast, he was recruited from Showtime following a successful seven-year run at premium cable channel, having previously been at Fox and FX.
Upon arrival in 2011, Greenblatt recruited 20th Century Fox Television exec Jennifer Salke to lead scripted entertainment for the network. While NBC has launched strong new drama entries under Greenblatt — including series such as “The Blacklist” and “Blindspot,” as well as Dick Wolf’s “Chicago Fire” and its offshoots — the network has struggled in comedy, where it has failed for years to find a hit.
Greenblatt last year oversaw a shakeup at NBC’s studio arm, Universal Television, ousting Bela Bajaria, whom he had installed as head of the division in 2011 as part of his initial effort to revamp NBC. Bajaria was replaced as studio president by NBC drama development chief Pearlena Igbokwe, with whom Greenblatt had worked at Showtime.
The extension is Greenblatt’s second at NBC. The length and terms of his deal are unknown. Greenblatt’s last contract extension, in 2013, took him through this fall.