Variety interview with NBC Entertainment co-chair, Marc Graboff

The upfront posturing is now well under way, and somehow the magicians at NBC have used their special powers so that Variety sees NBC’s Southland dropping from a 3.0 to a 2.0 with adults 18-49 as only slight erosion, with Southland something the peacocks can puff out their feathers over.  Still there is some interesting reading in the interview with NBC’s Marc Graboff:

V: How will we know if the Leno model is working or not?

G: (CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves said) he’d bet that their 10 p.m. crime drama would beat Leno head-to-head in ratings. “CSI: Miami” in an original will indeed probably win. But “CSI: Miami” is only on 22 weeks a year in originals. Jay’s going to be on 46 weeks a year in originals. You take a repeat of “CSI: Miami” against an original Leno and I don’t know he’d be willing to make that bet again. You take profitability in the time period, I don’t know if he’d be willing to make that bet either. “CSI: Miami costs CBS many millions of dollars for an original episode. The cost of one episode of the Leno show is 10% of that. Our ratings don’t have to be as high for us to drive revenue.

V: Jeff Zucker usually touts his cable portfolio before ever mentioning the broadcast network. How do the folks at NBC feel about that?

G: We know we have a job to do. For the last several years, NBC has not delivered the type of content that viewers expect it to deliver. With a new team in place and the combining of the network and studio, we’re all on the same page. When the cycle comes back and we’re the No. 1 network again, which we will be, will we be the fair-haired child of the NBC Universal portfolio? Maybe. We’re the workhorses of NBC Universal.

Click to read more, including how Graboff feels about airing shows like Southland and Law & Order: SVU at 9pm, or even 8pm.