How NBC can get its groove back

by Paul William Tenny

National Broadcasting CompanyNBC is almost certainly better off today than it was with Ben Silverman helming the network -- which isn't saying much -- but he's not the only exec that needs to go, and NBC is still pretty far from playing on a competitive level with the other networks.

A number of mistakes have been made that go much deeper than entertainment direction. Although his new show may end up playing an insignificant role in the network's future, the debacle involving Jay Leno perfectly illustrates how a lack of leadership at NBC has resulted in a network that cares more about not losing than it does winning.

Despite all of that, nobody should be writing them off. And despite what I've written below about what NBC needs to do to get back on top, their biggest obstacle might be getting rid of this perception that they're already ancient history. The more I think about the way people react to this network, the more it reminds me to the way I thought about the Red Sox. Here was a baseball team that was on top of the sport a really long time ago, but hadn't won it all in some 86 years. Then out of nowhere, they were back on top in 2007.

It won't take NBC that long, but the message ought to be pretty clear. Where you are today is not a guarantee of where you're going to be tomorrow.

No amount of effort or good intentions can replace talent. In NBC's case, it's not creative talent that's been lacking these last few years, it's back-to-basics business sense that's been missing.

Here's how to fix it

This is the beginning of a guest post I wrote for Alex Epstein's TV/screenwriting blog, Complications Ensue. He was very gracious in allowing me to write something for his readers. I've learned quite a bit about writing from Alex and regularly read his blog which is one of the most valuable resources online (he'll answer questions, which is just golden). You can read the rest of this post over there.
in Feature, Television


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