NEW YORK—After months of mixed messages (opens in new tab) and speculation about NBC and other broadcast networks handing the 10 p.m. hour back to stations, new reporting (opens in new tab) suggests that NBC has decided to keep programming the 10 p.m. hour at least through the 2023-2024 season.
“Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, relayed the message during recent agency presentations, stressing that the network will not be getting out of the 10 PM hour” during next year’s season according to a report in Deadline (opens in new tab).
As previously reported in TV Tech NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell (opens in new tab) confirmed in October that NBC had explored the idea of handing the 10 p.m. prime time slot back to affiliates so it could reinvent the money in streaming content.
“If we are being prudent operators, which we try to be in allocating a bunch of resources to one part of the business, you have to look at the allocation of resources to others,” Shell said in an interview with CNBC (opens in new tab). “I don’t think we’re ready to make a decision on 10 o’clock or anything else but we are looking to reallocate resources.”
Shell stressed however that “given the numbers, whatever the numbers are right now, we have a lot of great shows at 10 o’clock. We make a lot of money at 10 o’clock….There’s no question…as linear declines. You’re gonna have to make some trade offs and we’ll be looking at that [and] our investors will want us to look at that.”
Executives at some station groups, such as Hearst Television (opens in new tab), have said they expect the networks to eventually hand back the 10 p.m. hour, which would open up opportunities for them to program the time slot.
In response, CBS said (opens in new tab) it was firmly committed to the time slot.
In the meantime Deadline is reporting that NBC is looking for more procedural dramas (opens in new tab) to fill the time slot.