NBC stars past, present and future turned out at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall Monday as the No. 4 network introduced its new fall lineup to advertisers. Among the day’s highlights:
• Matthew Perry, along with castmates including Amanda Peet, D.L. Hughley and Bradley Whitford, promoted Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip, Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing-like take on the making of a late-night show. Perry, joking about the high expectations of the series with such marquee names attached, said, “Please be thinking of us as the little show that could.”
• Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, who star in the new 30 Rock, (also about the making of a late-night show) joked about their sitcom’s similarities to Studio 60. Alec Baldwin intoned, “Every once in a while there comes along an idea so moving, NBC only has two of them.” Added Fey, “I think it was author Paris Hilton who once said, ‘Does this look inflamed to you?'”
• My Name Is Earl star Jason Lee joked, “Being on NBC has allowed me to achieve three childhood dreams: One, hosting Saturday Night Live. Two, growing a mustache. And three, losing a Golden Globe to Steve Carrell.”
• NBC’s new Sunday Night Football crew – John Madden, Al Michaels, Bob Costas, Jerome Bettis, Cris Collinsworth and Sterling Sharpe – tossed autographed footballs to the audience. After a particularly floppy toss by Collinsworth, Costas quipped, “Jerome threw a perfect spiral and you threw a wobbly duck.”
• Crash director Paul Haggis introduced his family drama The Black Donnellys, about four Irish brothers and their struggles in Boston. Quipped Haggis: “You win a couple of Oscars and you’d think you’d be on the No. 1 television network. But I’m most happy to be on dangerous ground.”
• Meredith Vieira joked about leaving The View to take Katie Couric’s Today show spot. “After nine years with four women, it was take this job or become a lesbian,” she quipped. “And now Rosie O’Donnell will be taking my spot on The View!”
• NBC played up its other big score: Regis Philbin, who’s signed on to host the Simon Cowell-produced series America’s Got Talent. Also on the schedule is Treasure Hunters, a new reality show from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard described as The Amazing Race-meets-The Da Vinci Code.