NBC Exec on Chuck's Big Finish, SVU Minus Mariska/Chris, and Wonder Woman Troubles
NBC’s fall schedule is out, and we’ve got some burning questions. Luckily, new Peacock president Bob Greenblatt took a few minutes (literally) out of his jam-packed day to tackle a few of our biggest ones. Suffice it to say, TVLine was just as interested in what didn’t make the sked as what did.
TVLINE | You famously plucked Wonder Woman from the ashes. What were you hoping for from the pilot that you didn’t get?
I was happy to make the pilot. I don’t know that I’m the best audience for this genre. It was tricky for me to step back and take a look at it and see if this was going to be the right take on this show. With this kind of audience, you have to get these things absolutely right; there’s no room for error. At the end of the day, I didn’t think we had done that.
TVLINE | Everyone and their sister wants to get their hands on the pilot — mostly to see how bad it really is. Are you concerned about it leaking? Would it embarrass you?
No. Not at all. The action is amazing. Adrianne Palicki is beautiful. Elizabeth Hurley is fantastic. It’s like any creative thing — there are going to be people who like it or don’t like it. I have people who don’t like some of our hit shows. I’m not embarrassed about anything. It’s all subjective.
TVLINE | With the news that you’re considering bringing in an actress — perhaps Jennifer Love Hewitt — to replace Mariska Hargitay halfway through Law & Order: SVU next season, is this confirmation that you believe there’s life in this show beyond Mariska and Chris Meloni?
I do believe that. Although, to clarify, this isn’t to replace Mariska. The idea is that we want to bring in somebody midway through the season alongside Mariska and Chris. Mariska’s deal is closed for [a 13th] season, so she’s not disappearing. Creatively, I think it will give [Benson] some competition, which I think will be interesting. And then we have to look at what a 14th season might require. Mariska just adopted a child. We don’t know yet if she wants to do the show for a Season 14, and we’re looking at options. Jennifer Love is somebody who we’ve been circling, but I don’t know that that is going to happen at all.
TVLINE | The word “replacement” was used because the new character would be introduced as Meloni’s new partner as Hargitay’s character moved into more of a supervisory role.
That creatively is the thinking. New showrunner Warren Leight is in the process of figuring all of that out. We’re trying to change it up and see if some new configurations could keet the show going for several more years.
TVLINE | Meloni’s deal for Season 13 isn’t done yet. Are you concerned?
I think we’re gonna be in pretty great shape with Chris.
TVLINE | Why did you decide to make Chuck‘s upcoming fifth season its last?
It seemed to be the way to end it appropriately for the fans who love it, and not get into a situation where it might end or might not end and then it ends and we haven’t concluded the storyline. It gives [producers] a chance to plan for it. I think that’s the best way to do it.
TVLINE | You only ordered 13 episodes of Chuck. Any chance you’ll increase that number?
I don’t think so. Unless suddenly we have 10 million viewers watching it on Friday night, then it would.
TVLINE: The Munsters — does that project still have a pulse?
That’s something I read a very early draft of in January, and it’s an idea that I quite like. It’s still very much in development.