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NBC tries to get over the 4th place hump

NBC Logo on NBC building

Jeremy Hobson: This is a big week for the TV networks. They'll be selling their fall shows to potential advertisers. It's called "the upfronts" because advertisers can lock in ad rates "upfront" for the season.

And as Marketplace's Janet Babin reports it looks like NBC may turn to its news team to deliver a hit show.


Janet Babin: The last thing many people remember about NBC is Jay Leno's weeknight show that crashed and burned. NBC's new owner, Comcast, will now go the safe route -- it'll reportedly debut a primetime news magazine.

Stephen Battaglio is business editor at TV Guide.

Stephen Battagalio: This is what I know about the show: it's not a filler. You know, NBC has a very strong news division: it makes a lot of money and they have a lot of big-name news talent.

Like the new show's reported host, Brian Williams. And while a new drama or comedy can easily become a money pit, news is far cheaper to produce.

Robert Thompson is a pop culture professor at Syracuse University.

Robert Thompson: Would I want to bet my retirement fund, what's left of it, on the success of this? No. This is, I think, in some ways going to be a tough sell.

Tough, because the world doesn't exactly need another news magazine. But at least, says Thompson, NBC won't rely on a new reality show to save itself.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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