PASADENA, Calif. — The future is looking bright at NBC for Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler, not so much for Michael J. Fox.
NBC entertainment president Robert Greenblatt said Sunday that Poehler's “Parks & Recreation” will be back for a seventh season next fall. Poehler, host of last week's Golden Globe ceremony, won a Globe for best comedy actress for her role as a small town bureaucrat.
NBC also signed a production deal with Poehler and committed to making a pilot for a comedy that she is writing, tentatively titled “Old Soul.”
Greenblatt, at a news conference, couldn't hide his disappointment with the performance of Michael J. Fox's Thursday comedy — “The Michael J. Fox Show” — although he made no official comment about its prospects beyond this year.
With an average of just below 4 million viewers this season, those prospects can't be good. The Nielsen company said the episode that aired Jan. 9 was seen by 3.1 million viewers.
“We like that show, we like Sean Hayes' show, too,” Greenblatt said. “We're really unhappy that we can't find an audience for them in those time periods.”
Greenblatt said Fox's comedy, which mirrors the actor's own life with him portraying a television personality returning to work with Parkinson's Disease, may be moved around NBC's schedule to find a new home. “I don't know if that's going to do much,” he said.
The entertainment executive would not comment on reports that NBC is interested in bidding for a package of Thursday night NFL games. Once NBC's strength, Thursday has become a black hole in the network's schedule. Meanwhile, its Sunday night NFL games are huge ratings-grabbers.
“We love the NFL,” Greenblatt said. “We'd love to have more NFL games.”
Greenblatt said NBC has learned lessons from last winter, when the network followed up a promising fall with a disastrous ratings performance. Airing the Winter Olympics in February will obviously make this year different, but NBC is putting on more original programming when the games are not being broadcast — including “The Black List” this month and starting a new run of “The Voice” directly following the Olympics.
Following a trend also taking place at other networks, NBC said it has ordered two new miniseries. “Emerald City” will be based on the Frank L. Baum books that inspired “The Wizard of Oz.” The other one is “The Slap,” a miniseries based on an Australian project where a family is pulled apart after an incident where a man slaps another couple's misbehaving child.