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NBC Finally Realizes You Get What You Pay For, Agrees to Pay More

It only took five years, a huge loss in viewership, credibility and revenue, hiring a man who only knew how to make bad TV, the greenlighting of Knight Rider, the complete disavowal of the 10 o'clock drama, and an ongoing public-relations nightmare for NBC to officially decide it is time to stop sucking, even if it has to pay to make that happen. Jeff Gaspin, the man responsible for reprogramming NBC's prime-time lineup (and floating the notion that Conan could move back to 12:05), told the New York Times that the network is reversing a cost-cutting strategy and embracing a "We're going to have to pay" model. NBC is ordering almost twenty pilots (as opposed to ten last year) from expensive people like J.J. Abrams and Jerry Bruckheimer, in the hopes of finding a few shows that will help NBC finally "look like we know what we're doing." This strategy can't be as bad for the network as the last one: Under the cost-saving plan, NBC's entertainment division went from making $800 million a year to $300 million. Yet, it remains unclear how much NBC has actually learned from its years of bungling, as it is seriously considering a remake of The Rockford Files for its schedule next season.

NBC Opens Its Wallet to Build Up Prime Time [NYT]