At the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Los Angeles over the weekend, NBC Universal Television Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin announced that the network would return to a traditional upfront on May 17.
For the past two years, NBC opted to forgo an elaborate presentation in favor of a series of more subdued meetings and smaller presentations to groups of advertisers and media buyers at its Rockefeller Center headquarters up to eight weeks before the customary week of announcements. Gaspin cited television pilot production schedules and advertiser concerns as reasons for the change.
NBC's return to its previously held Monday spot means that it will now share the day with Fox, which moved to Monday from Thursday when NBC left an opening in 2008. Although NBC's presentation will take place in the morning and Fox's in the afternoon, it could be an issue if both networks wish to hold a party that evening. A source at Fox—which annually hosts its party in Central Park's Wollman Rink after a presentation at New York City Center—told Mediaweek that the network had no intention of changing its schedule to accommodate NBC's return.
A venue for the upfront hasn't been confirmed, but during its previous Upfront Week appearances, NBC traditionally made its presentation at Radio City Music Hall.