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NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt Announces NBC’s Next Live Event

NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt (left) speaks with moderator Harry Jessell (left) at the LiveTV:LA event. (Photo credit: GP Productions)

NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt announced plans to present a live drama version of “A Few Good Men” during his keynote panel at the first LiveTV: LA conference held Friday, October 7th at Loews Hollywood Hotel.

Addressing roughly 300 attendees comprised of producers, studio owners and technicians devoted to developing presenting live content, Greenblatt spoke about the network’s choice to experiment with a live remake of “The Sound of Music.” Content such as late night sketch tent pole “Saturday Night Live” is in its 40th season, and popular television series  including “30 Rock” and “The Big Bang Theory” have had successful live episodes, and NBC wanted to create a stand-alone television event piece that would entice viewers.

“To get the viewers, you have to do something that feels like an event. They have to be compelled to watch. Live TV has the element of ‘it’s happening right now,’” said Greenblatt. “This show had the best mix of a Broadway musical and live TV. Of course, when television started all programming was live, so everything old is new again.”

Greenblatt admitted while they “stumbled around slightly” producing the live telecast of “The Sound of Music” the network was happy with the complete experience. There are some audio glitches that the crew is currently working through on their next production, “Peter Pan,” set to air December 4th. During the early stages of rehearsals they have orchestrated camera positions and movements and feel the quality of the project will be elevated the second time around. Greenblatt fully applauds Carrie Underwood’s performance in “The Sound of Music” and feels the stars of “Peter Pan” – Allison Williams (Peter Pan) and Christopher Walken (Captain Hook) will provide an equally enjoyable and unique experience for young and old viewers alike.

“Christopher Walken will present a performance you will have to see to believe. It’s a different take on Captain Hook, but a take that is perfect for this production,” said Greenblatt. “I was completely blown away.”

Greenblatt chose the “Sound of Music” Thursday evening timeslot primarily out of necessity. Sunday was booked for Sunday Night Football, and all other evenings had programming that was doing well in the ratings. He also noted that while social media was important in promoting the program, it is never an element that any program should rely heavily upon.

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