Baldwin tweets another NBC sign-off

April 11, 2012

Alec Baldwin had fans hyper-ventilating Wednesday when he again hinted that he might leave NBC, home of “30 Rock,” the comedy series in which he stars.

Once again, it’s all wrapped up in high Baldwin drama. This time, it involves a struggling Canadian actress named Genevieve Sabourin, with whom Baldwin may have had dinner a couple of times and who has been busted for allegedly stalking him after news got out that he’d gotten engaged to a yoga instructor.

What gave fans the vapors Wednesday was a series of tweets lobbed by the actor, saying things like, “I think I’m leaving NBC just in time.” That was after spying cameras from NBC’s morning infotainment show “Today” staked out his residence, presumably because of the stalker story.

It’s got to be unpleasant for someone who is being stalked to think that America’s most watched morning infotainment show is broadcasting shots of his apartment building.

“The television crew camped outside my apt said they were with the Today Show. #howthemightyhavefallen,” tweeted Baldwin, who plays NBC chief Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock.” He also tweeted: “A story about stalking sure brings out the stalkers in the media. But, the Today Show?”

Apparently, Alec hasn’t been keeping up with the war for viewers between NBC’s longtime front-runner and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which came within 119,000 viewers of “Today” during one recent week.

Anyway, those tweets sent The Reporters Who Cover Television into orbit:

“Alec Baldwin: I’m Leaving NBC,” headlined the Daily Beast.

“Alec Baldwin accuses NBC’s ‘Today’ of stalking him, says he’s leaving the network,” chimed in zap2it.com in a headline.

“Alec Baldwin Tweets He’s ‘Leaving NBC’ In Wake of ‘Today’ Show Stalker Ambush,” Celebuzz headlined, wordily.

But the story here isn’t whether Baldwin’s leaving NBC — it’s whether NBC is leaving Baldwin.

NBC’s actual real-life chairman, Bob Greenblatt, told a gaggle of reporters at Winter TV Press Tour 2012 that the network had signed Baldwin for “30 Rock’s” seventh season, which would be next season. But NBC has not yet announced whether it will pick up “30 Rock” for another season.

In fairness, it’s understandable how the media could get confused, what with Baldwin’s long history of announcing that he’s leaving “30 Rock.”

In 2007, he got nailed in the media for a voice-mail recording in which he called his then 12-year-old daughter a “rude, thoughtless pig” because she had not answered his phone call. At the time, Baldwin told The Ladies of “The View” that he would leave “30 Rock” to devote the next three to five years of his life “to the cause of parental alienation.”

Sadly, he had already signed a contract to do another season on the show, which NBC, in turn, had already announced had been given an early pickup.

And in July 2010, in a CNN interview, he said he would leave the show — as well as acting — when his contract ran out in ’12, because he yearned for a life away from the Hollywood spotlight.

“As much as I like acting,” he told CNN, “I know that I would love to have a different life. A private life. I think that doing this now for a living has become really, really hard. I would rather go do other things, and with whatever amount of time I have left in my life, have more of a normal life.”

In that interview, Baldwin said his life’s dream had not been to become an actor, but rather to conduct, or executive-direct, a symphony orchestra.

Britney as mentor?

Looks as though Britney Spears — the 30-year-old pop-singing train wreck whose fiance is petitioning to become her co-conservator — is becoming a mentor and important life-lesson giver to
13-year-old wannabe pop stars on Simon Cowell’s singing competition series, “The X Factor.”

Britbrit — who married childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander in 2004 and had it annulled 55 hours later, and who is now under a conservatorship (dad) since a ’08 breakdown — has not yet signed on the dotted line to become the new Paula Abdul, or maybe the new Nicole Scherzinger, on the show. But hands have been shaken on a deal in which Brit’s overall paycheck will be in the neighborhood of $15 million — a.k.a. half of Matt Lauer’s new ‘Today” salary.

Icing on the cake: Her fiance/soon-to-be co-conservator might also, as part of the deal, become a producer on the show because, as one media report put it, “he is her rock and will help guide her.”

When last we tackled this subject, in February, Cowell was being coy about Britbrit, who seemed to head the list of women said to be interested in replacing the two chick mentors who got nuked in January.

Last fall, Cowell delivered to the network a successful show. Problem was, it was not the 20 million-viewer ratings behemoth he’d bragged it would be. Which was why, in late January, Cowell made the decision to set off a casting bomb. When the dust settled, only Cowell and judge/mentor L.A. Reid were left standing.

Judge/mentors Abdul and Scherzinger, and host Steve Jones, had all fallen victim to the show’s less-than-monumental ratings.

‘Revolution’ over

“The Revolution” will no longer be televised.

ABC has decided to kill its new daytime talk show “The Revolution,” and hang on to its long-running soap “General Hospital,” because “GH” has a larger following, network sources confirm.

“Revolution,” the hodgepodge show that debuted in mid-January — and showed one person’s five-month weight-loss transformation each week while various lifestyle “experts” discussed this and that — will be squelched in early July.

The show airs in the 2 p.m. time slot. That’s a very important hour for ABC because on Sept. 10, that will become the lead-in hour for Katie Couric’s new syndicated talk show, which is produced by Disney — which owns ABC.

And thanks to “The Revolution,” viewers have fled the 2 p.m. hour on ABC.

So from July 9 through Sept. 7, ABC will try to bring viewers back to its 2 p.m. hour with something the network is calling “GMA in the Afternoon.” That’s right, the same on-air gang you know and love on “Good Morning America” for an additional hour a day. Only it’ll be live to tape (it’ll be taped right after “GMA,” which is live from 7 to 9 a.m. weekdays), unless there’s some major breaking news, in which case they’ll go live, ABC News sources confirmed.

While bad news for “The Revolution” this is great publicity for “GMA,” which has tightened the ratings gap in the morning infotainment-show war with NBC’s “Today” show to as few as 119,000 viewers one recent week.

Now, about “General Hospital”: It’s been averaging about twice the crowd of “The Revolution” — 2 million-ish vs. 1 million-ish, according to the most recent Nielsen numbers available.

More embarrassing for ABC: “The Revolution’s” numbers are only about half of those that were being clocked by “One Life to Live” — the soap that ABC scrubbed to make room for the failed “Revolution.”

It’s unclear which show will get the “Katie” lead-in hour after Sept. 7 (and the “GMA in the Afternoon” gag): “General Hospital” or that other new-ish talk show, “The Chew” — the one that replaced the bumped-off soap “All My Children.”

We’re guessing that “GH” fans couldn’t care less. Couldn’t reach one — they were out dancing in the streets with the news that “GH” would get to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/­
tvblog.

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