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TV Column
Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 05/13/2013

Seth Meyers is the big story, but Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon entertain the crowd at NBC upfronts


Seth Meyers (Evan Agostini - EVAN AGOSTINI/INVISION/AP)
Seth Meyers was not one of the NBC stars recruited to entertain the crowd when the network unveiled its fall schedule Monday morning at Radio City Music Hall.

The “SNL” long-timer is moving to “Late Night” when Jimmy Fallon takes over “Tonight Show” after NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics.

NBC decided Meyers rated his own announcement Sunday, which it sent out a while before sending out a second announcement, unveiling its other plans for next TV season.

Instead, after an hour or so of blah, blah, blah-ing and trailers for a whopping 17 new series, it was left to Poor Jay Leno to bring down the house full of ad execs and TV station suits.

Leno, who’s being pushed — again — from “Tonight Show,” once again gamely sang a duet with Fallon celebrating his own ouster. This time it was a videotaped re-working of “Les Miserables’” “One Day More.” Their version was called “Eight Months More”— as in, the number of months (sort of) between now and when Fallon takes over “Tonight.”

Wild applause from the advertisers, who had given everything else they saw at the presentation varying degrees of polite applause.  Michael J. Fox’s new comedy, “The Michael J. Fox Show,”  and James Spader’s new drama, “Blacklist” got maybe the highest levels of the p.a.

Not coincidentally, “Blacklist” is getting NBC’s best timeslot, following “The Voice” on Monday. And,  the peacock network has scheduled “The Michael J. Fox Show” in the formerly great 9:30 p.m. Thursday half hour, because it believes that’s its best shot at making its Thursday “Must See” again.

"We owe a great debt of gratitude to Jay Leno,” Fox Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told the packed hall — about time someone from NBC said so in this public a setting.

Greenblatt had opened the festivities by joking that he was stepping down in 2014 so Leno could run NBC’s programming development.  Greenblatt had also gotten just polite applause from the ad execs. “I’m glad I made it to the podium before the applause died,” he joked.

Also a no-show on stage: Donald Trump who had tweeted Sunday that “Celebrity Apprentice” had been renewed for another season by NBC  -- at about the same time NBC had issued its news release, telling reporters it had not yet made a decision as to that show’s future.

NBC’s presentation had started about 20 minutes late, owing to everyone having to get wanded by security staffers. But The Roots, aka Fallon’s “Late Night” in-house band, entertained while security wanded, so a good time was had by all.

Kicking off the actual presentation, Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, stars of “Parks and Recreation” — one of only two NBC comedies to survive the weekend’s schedule-setting massacre — opened with a taped bit in which they made fun of the kinds of shows Middle America likes to watch, and compared the thousand or so ad execs in the hall to snot in bulls’ noses.

You had to be there.

Read more news about the 2013 upfronts:

Blog: ABC’s 2013-2014 schedule

Video: A look at Fox’s new series

Blog: Fox’s 2013-2014 schedule

Video: A look at NBC’s new series

Blog: NBC’s 2013-2014 schedule

Blog: CBS, NBC, ABC make decisions on a slew of shows: What’s ordered and what’s gone?

Live chat: Do any of next year’s shows look particularly promising?

Blog: NBC cancels ‘Go On,’ orders ‘Chicago Fire’ spin-off

Blog: Two non-surprises: CBS renews ‘Criminal Minds,’ Fox orders another Gordon Ramsay cooking show

Blog: CW picks up four new shows, renews ‘Carrie Diaries,’ ‘Nikita’

Blog: NBC orders new batch of comedies and dramas

Blog: What has Fox ordered for the 2013-2014 season?

By  |  02:28 PM ET, 05/13/2013

Tags:  2013 upfronts, NBC upfronts

 
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