“I’m not a psychologist; I’m not sure you can make the leap from a show about serial killers causing the problem with violence in our country,” Greenblatt said.
“There are many other factors, from mental illness to guns.”
“Our children are growing up with these shows,” the critic despaired, noting “Hannibal” is just one of three serial-killer shows that will be in the lineup, including Fox’s upcoming “The Following” and Showtime’s “Dexter” (which Greenblatt used to oversee when he headed that pay-cable network).
“I think [CBS’s] ‘Criminal Minds’ is worse than ‘Dexter’ ever was,” Greenblatt countered.
“I don’t know that . . . you can make the cause-and-effect argument” about TV programming, Greenblatt insisted. But then he suggested that the critics “look to the movies and, dare I say, at video games” in their finger-pointing.
Meanwhile, reports of Leno’s departure are premature, Greenblatt said.
Noting that the network recently extended Leno’s contract, he said, “it would be disingenuous to extend it and at the same time talk about a succession plan.” Greenblatt was responding to reports that NBC had a plan in place to replace Leno with Jimmy Fallon at 11:35 p.m. when Leno’s contract comes up in a couple of years.
Trump’s behavior during the presidential campaign does not concern NBC, Greenblatt said when one TV critic suggested that it should.
“We live in this country where you can say anything you want as long as you are not harming other people,” Greenblatt said.
“We talked him out of running for president — wasn’t that enough?”
Of the 19 living White House chiefs of staff interviewed by filmmakers Gedeon and Jules Naudet (“9/11”) and exec producer/former ABC News guy Chris Whipple, for their two-night Discovery Channel program “The Presidents’ Gatekeepers,” Rahm Emanuel was the toughest interview.
“We have this extraordinary setup . . . called an Interrotron — the subject is looking into a monitor, and as the interviewer, I’m actually sitting off to the side behind a curtain looking at a monitor,” Whipple said.
Emanuel “took one look at this and said, ‘What the blank is this? This is like some contraption out of Guantanamo.’
“The only thing we could think to say was, ‘Well, maybe that’s why [Ford administration chief of staff Dick] Cheney stayed for five hours,’ ” Whipple said.
To read more from Winter TV Press Tour 2013, go to washingtonpost.com/tvblog.