NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt braved the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour today, answering questions about his struggling network and zeroing in on a couple returning shows.
Smash Season 2, Greenblatt teased, will feature far more focused storytelling than what he admitted was an inconsistent opening set of episodes.
“We had some ups and downs creatively as the season went on, which is true of any [new] show,” Greenblatt said, adding that Jennifer Hudson will appear in three of the first four episodes of 2013 and new showrunner Josh Safran has a "specific" vision for Season 2.
"You were on the edge of your seat [reading his scripts]. It just felt like there’s a real plan in place and things are coming together in a way that feels more consistent.”
As for Community, a returning series on the opposite end of the critical spectrum from Smash, Greenblatt said he'd "love nothing more" than to extend the series beyond its next 13 episodes, but moving it to Fridays was party of an overall strategy to "broaden the audience" of NBC's sitcoms.
“We’re in a transition with our comedy programming,” he said. “Those Thursday comedies, which the critics love and we love, tend to be a bit more narrow than we would ultimately like as we go forward. Community has always been on the bubble, and we decided to bring it back and see what a fourth season will do for us.”