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Emmy Awards highlight NBC’s lack of new hit series

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Producer Mark Burnett (L) and TV personality Carson Daly, winners of Outstanding Reality-Competition Program for 'The Voice', pose in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015  in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Producer Mark Burnett (L) and TV personality Carson Daly, winners of Outstanding Reality-Competition Program for 'The Voice', pose in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015  in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Producer Mark Burnett (L) and TV personality Carson Daly, winners of Outstanding Reality-Competition Program for 'The Voice', pose in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.Photograph by Kevork Djansezian — Getty Images

NBC brought home the second-most awards of any television network at last night’s Primetime Emmys. Still, this year’s Emmys offered further proof of Comcast-owned NBC’s (CMCSA) problem developing hit scripted television series.

NBC’s 12 Emmy wins this year beat everyone other than HBO — which collected a whopping 43 statues — with the “Peacock” doubling ABC’s (DIS) output and tripling the four awards that Fox (FOX) and CBS (CBS) each claimed. However, only one of NBC’s dozen Emmys was awarded last night, with “The Voice” being named the best reality show, while the other awards were won away from the main stage at last week’s less prestigious Creative Arts Emmys.

What’s more, half of NBC’s Emmy haul this year went to “Saturday Night Live,” the iconic sketch comedy show that has now been around for more than four decades.

 

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out over the weekend, NBC’s problem right now is that it hasn’t turned out a new hit show in a couple of years, with the network leaning heavily on the ratings from two big, non-scripted shows: “The Voice” and “Sunday Night Football.” Those programs have helped NBC maintain a ratings lead over its rivals in the coveted demographic 18 to 49 year-olds, but WSJ notes that NBC also renewed just one of its new series from last season and is planning to launch more new series this fall than any other network — a distinction that calls attention to the lack of popular returning material. Meanwhile, popular show “The Blacklist” has seen its ratings dip recently following a scheduling change.

Once the home of “Must See TV,” NBC hosted a string of hit sitcoms stretching across decades, from “The Cosby Show” to “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” “The Office” and “3o Rock.” The network’s most recent sitcom hit, “Parks and Recreation,” was also the only NBC show to earn a nomination for Outstanding Series in either comedy or drama. The show, which ended its seven-season run in February, lost to HBO’s “Veep.”

Making matters worse, NBC famously passed on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” a comedy from former “30 Rock” creator and star Tina Fey. Netflix (NFLX) was happy to pick up the show, which also lost to “Veep” in the Emmys competition for best comedy, but which also has a much-hyped second season in the works.

For now, the network will look to its next crop of fall series, including “Heroes Reborn,” a reboot of a once popular superhero drama, as well as the heavily-promoted mystery/drama “Blindspot.”