At press tours past, NBC executives have set new records for the amount of lipstick one can apply to a pig. Season after season, press tour after press tour, NBC's ratings dipped, but Jeff Zucker and then his various lieutenants found one way or another to come out and - usually with the help of bar graphs and eight dozen press releases - suggest that things were much better than we all thought, and that the Peacock was a half-step away from relevance again.
Friday morning at the tour, Robert Greenblatt came out and called the pig a pig.
"We had a really bad fall," he said without hesitation or embarrassment.
If "30 Rock" returns to NBC next season, Alec Baldwin will return with it.
Though the Emmy-winning actor has stated publicly in the past that he might want to leave the series after his contract finished, whether to return to movies or move into politics, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that Baldwin had already extended his contract through next season, pending renewal. The deal was closed in the fall, Greenblatt said.
"30 Rock" returns to NBC's schedule for its sixth season this Thursday night at 8. The show was held for mid-season because Tina Fey went on maternity leave, and because NBC had a comedy surplus and a timeslot deficit. Given its Emmy wins, critical praise and decent (by NBC standards) ratings, it is very likely to be back next season - and now will have Baldwin along with Fey and the others.
Okay, tonight's the night, "Community" fans. NBC is about to rerun the last episode of the show that's currently scheduled to air on the network. While we know the remaining 12 episodes are going to air sometime, somewhere(*), for the moment, "Community" disappears from our televisions.
Watching the two-hour pilot episode of NBC's "The Firm" (Sunday at 9 p.m.), my mind was filled with many questions, such as:
Last night was mostly devoted to packing for press tour, and the only TV show I even half-saw was "Happy Endings," where Max's outfit for the bet gave me a prolonged, loud laugh.
I'll have reviews of some upcoming shows posting throughout the day today, but if anybody wants to discuss last night's "Happy Endings," "Modern Family," "Suburgatory" or "The Middle," here is the place. Just do me a favor and mention the name of the show you're going to talk about before you start talking about it, for the benefit of people who might have seen some but not all just yet.