New NBCU Television chairman: Cable model > Broadcast, checks from DirecTV are good, and so is True Blood

Categories: Broadcast TV,Cable TV

Written By

July 27th, 2009

Jeff Gaspin, the newly appointed chairman of NBC Universal Television & Entertainment spoke with The Wrap.  Not that we ever had any doubt that without the check from DirecTV, Friday Night Lights would be long gone, it's interesting to see him go right to lack of ratings and DVD sales  to "thank you DirecTV!"

Don't you have to push the envelope instead of stick with retread shows?

I actually think we move the envelope too much. And even when we do push the envelope, it takes patience. It takes more than the first year. (HBO's) "True Blood" is an example. It took time for that to grow. "The Office" was like that -- six episodes aired, it went on iTunes, and then the buzz really hit.

But having only a "quality" show isn't always great either, right?

If the shows are really good, people will usually be patient. "Friday Night Lights" did not get ratings. But nobody disagreed that it was worth another shot. So we tried again. Then it didn't get great ratings again. Maybe there was an indication it could explode on DVD. It didn't.

What can you do to help build other revenue streams for shows besides just airing them on NBC?

Marc (Graboff) and Ben (Silverman) were innovators with the DirecTV deal for "Friday Night Lights." I want to see more of that.

More on The Wrap.

 
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