NBC bets on comedy, to air "Voice" twice a season

Mon May 14, 2012 12:34am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The struggling NBC network on Sunday announced 16 new TV shows - seven of them comedies - for the 2012-2013 season, and in a show of confidence said it will broadcast singing contest "The Voice" in the fall as well as the spring.

NBC, which has been the least-watched of the four major U.S. TV networks for several years, said it hoped the slew of new comedies would capture the young viewers most coveted by advertisers because of their spending power.

"We want to get more comedy on the schedule. I think it would be good for the health of the network," NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters in a conference call.

"We are adding several new comedies which we hope will portend the future of where we go with shows that are broader and more accessible and will garner a bigger audience," Greenblatt added.

NBC, majority-owned by Comcast Corp , unveiled the schedule a day ahead of an "upfront" presentation of its 2012-2013 schedule to advertisers. Some 75 percent of advertising sales are made in the few weeks following the upfront presentations.

Walt Disney Co's ABC DIS.N, CBS Corp's CBS CBS.N and News Corp's Fox NWSA.O present new shows later this week.

The new NBC comedies, which will start rolling out in September, include a family comedy set in the White House called "1600 Penn", a show about gay dads and surrogate parenting from "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy, and "Animal Practice" - a show about an unorthodox veterinarian in New York.


Reality series "The Voice" executive producer Mark Burnett (L-R), coaches CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton, and producer and host Carson Daly take part in a panel discussion at the NBC Universal Summer Press Day 2012 in Pasadena, California April 18, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser