NBCU Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin stated yesterday that, when referring to his network’s programming strategy, “The goal is not to manage for margins. It is to put the best possible programs we can on the air.” AKA he was apologizing for Jay Leno, and the mess it created. Of course he’s only sorry because the experiment failed. However, it’s good to know that NBC will welcoming quality shows again.
Of course, what he really meant is that the goal is to “put the best possible programs we can on the air that will also net us the best ratings.” They learned that it’s not just enough to make a profit, as the Jay Leno Show is sorta doing, but that you have to garner strong audiences as well. Let’s not confuse this with a willingness to put brilliant programs before ratings. If that were the case Freaks and Geeks would have run for seven years. No, this just means that while we will see some new comedies and dramas we’ll also see more Biggest Losers. Cheap shows that also pull in big numbers. For them, that’s the “best possible program” (and not sure I can say I blame them).