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May 20, 2009

Five things NBC did right this season

Looooser Yeah, we know about that, and that, and that other thing.

But between Jay Leno going to 10 p.m. and NBC not throwing a big upfront presentation to make its case for next season, the network has been a whipping post for rival executives all week.

So here's five things NBC did RIGHT this season:

1.    "The Biggest Loser": An iceberg in a sauna. Show continues to generate improbably cool, climbing numbers against tough competition even as the network’s overall viewing levels melted around it. Wisely, the network has elected to leave it alone next fall.

2.    Jimmy Fallon. A raging success? No. But what a relief of a non-story Fallon joining NBC’s late-night lineup turned out to be. This move could have tanked – many expected it to – which would have complicated NBC’s fall plans to have an epic talk-show block. As is, Fallon held his own.

3.    "Saturday Night Live": Opinions are all over the place on the show’s current cast and quality. Opinions are always all over the place on the show’s cast and quality. Undeniable is the way "SNL" became a culture force during the elections last fall, it’s ability to occasionally help prop up primetime with specials and its ongoing generation of viral hits.

4.    “Celebrity Apprentice.” Again, not a huge ratings juggernaut. The show took a hard knock after being moved from Thursdays to Sundays and stretched to a ridiculous two hours. But “Apprentice” took a night that NBC was getting killed on (“Kings” was pulling a 1.0 rating in the slot when it was yanked) and boosted the numbers into a healthy 3.0 range, plus garnered plenty of press attention for the reality drama’s play-by-play.

5.    NBC’s legal department. Between defending itself from a sneaky burglary of sister net Bravo’s “Project Runway” to crushing a Boston station’s rebellion against Jay Leno’s primetime show, the message is clear: Don’t f--k with the Peacock.

What about ya'll? Anybody have items that should be added to this list?


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