Friday, April 10, 2009

NBC Upfront Includes Comedy for VIPs in NYC

NBC Plans “Comedy Showcase” Presentation For Upfront Week
Late night hosts to headline May 19 event for advertisers
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/9/2009 8:00:00 PM MT

NBC will keep an upfront week presence yet again, but don’t book your tickets to Radio City Music Hall just yet.

Instead, this year the network will host the “NBC Comedy Showcase,” a night of stand-up acts and taped pieces for advertisers and VIP guests. The event will take place Tuesday night, May 19, at The Town Hall in New York.

Expected to perform are current (and soon to be former) late night hosts Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon.

Cast members from The Office and 30 Rock will contribute taped comedy pieces, while The Office’s Rainn Wilson and Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers will appear in person. Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots, is also expected to perform.

While the network will continue its presence during upfront week in New York with the comedy showcase that won’t feature clips of new shows in typical upfront fashion, it hopes to have done a good chunk of its upfront business by that point.

NBC flew down talent and met with advertisers at this year’s Super Bowl in Florida, in something it called “SuperFronts.” Then at the end of March, network execs Angela Bromstad and Paul Telegdy travelled to meet with advertisers in New York and Chicago.

Next up is meetings with advertisers for Bromstad, Telegdy, Ben Silverman and other execs in New York (May 4 and 5), Chicago (May 7) and Los Angeles (May 12), during which NBC brass will show clips of pilots and talk specifics for next season.

Last year, NBC dumped the traditional Radio City Music Hall song and dance in favor of an “NBC Experience” interactive presentation and party.

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