Who laughs last? Ladies, it looks like. At least at NBC.
During a session at the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on Sunday, NBC’s executive team–chairman Robert Greenblatt, president Jennifer Salke and alternative and late night programming president Paul Teledgy–stated that the network’s established female-focused comedic series won’t be back until early next year, or later. This includes returning hit Parks and Recreation, which stars Amy Poehler; a new Tina Fey-produced comedy; and the continuation of the one-off special The Maya Rudolph Show.
The talk of funny ladies’ place at the Peacock began with the latter series, which got a preview episode back on May 19. According to Teledgy, the plan is to keep the show going after its test run, but only after the new fall programming has gone through.
“We say it was sort of an imperfect first episode, but that we’re very much in discussions with Maya and an expanding creative team about where the show is going when we come back sometime in the midseason,” he said in the Sunday session at the Beverly Hills Hilton.
Delaying The Maya Rudolph Show seems to be a creative choice, as Teledgy and the executive producers continue to discuss how to proceed with the variety show. Telegdy explained, “We’re focused on the balance. You know, how much musical material vs. sketches vs. things that actually happen in the studio, and also a structure and format [we can] replicate on either on a special basis or as a weekly show.”
No matter what format Telegdy decides to go with eventually, NBC is confident in the show’s future, especially if it continues to perform as well as the premiere did. “You analyze things minute-by-minute and the fact that it sustained the way it did so strongly is very encouraging,” Greenblatt noted at the panel.
Telegdy added, “We got a lot of positive feedback about that from NBC fans and Maya fans. She has a very loyal and ever-growing following from her SNL days.”
Interestingly, Poehler and Fey’s SNL-based fandom doesn’t seem to be enough to make their series fall must-haves alongside newbies A to Z and Marry Me. During a scrum following the exec session, Greenblatt noted that both Parks and Fey’s series “will be midseason.” “We haven’t gotten to that yet,” he explained.
Emily is covering the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour live from the Beverly Hills Hilton from June 12 – 22. Tune in every day for new pieces and follow her tweets at @Cinefilles and @emilygagne.