BC-TV-TUBENOTES:PH – entertainment (300 words)

NBC Entertainment gets news president

(EDITORS: Archive photos for many of the celebrities mentioned in the TUBENOTES column are available on KRT Direct.)

By Gail Shister

Knight Ridder Newspapers


As expected, Kevin Reilly Monday was named president of NBC Entertainment, effective May 27.

The highly respected Reilly will succeed Jeff Zucker, czar of NBC Entertainment, News & Cable Group. Zucker hired him last fall as his No. 2 out of FX, where Reilly developed such hits as “The Shield” and “Nip/Tuck.”

“This was our plan coming in the door,” says Reilly, 41. “The idea was to do some on-the-job training to have a smooth transition.” Zucker will relocate from L.A. back to New York. (His family never left.)

With “Friends” and “Frasier” retiring, Reilly’s big challenge will be “seeding some new comedies.” Particularly on Tuesdays, where Fox’s “American Idol” “is just shredding everybody.”

He’s not as worried about a “Friends”-less Thursday. The second round of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice,” the breakout hit of the season, will outdraw the first, Reilly predicts.

Having an all-“Apprentice” Thursday lineup “would be a bold first stroke,” he jokes.

Don’t look for more than one original episode per week, though. “We don’t want to burn it out. Format-wise, we could go many cycles and many seasons, like (CBS’s) “Survivor.”

Part 1 of NBC’s cheesy earthquake disaster mini-series, “10.5,” starring Kim Delaney, scored 20.4 million viewers Sunday – the most-watched episode of a mini since CBS’s “Jesus, Part One” in May 2000.

Despite all the hype about its open-adoption segment, ABC’s “20/20,” with Barbara Walters, drew only 8.9 million viewers Friday – more than a million below the show’s season average.

(c) 2004, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Visit Philadelphia Online, the Inquirer’s World Wide Web site, at http://www.philly.com/

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

AP-NY-05-03-04 1915EDT

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