When you lie, you should at least try to make your lies plausible. Granted, NBC’s recent history and near-future make that difficult.

“NBC Entertainment chairman” Robert Greenblatt implied at the TCA conference this morning that he doesn’t know if the new sitcoms on his Fall schedule are clever or smart.

Variety says he thinks Whitney and Up All Night were steps in the right direction. While that’s vague enough, it becomes a lie in the context of smart and clever.

But Greenbo should have some judgment on shows that already have a handful of episodes in the can. It’s too late to use weasel words like hope.

Greenblatt has pinned his hopes for these new shows on promotion during The Summer Olympics, going so far as to offer commercial-free debuts of Animal Practice and Go On.

But even if people take a bite of your free samples, they won’t come back and buy the product week after week if the sample tastes awful.

Furthermore, “NBC’s reality chief” Paul Telegdy insists that two cycles of The Voice this season will not hurt the franchise because they’ve retooled later rounds to include spinning chairs and whatnot. That misses the point. The point is that after crowning the best amateur singer in December, people won’t be as willing to restart the process in January. It weakens the concept. Dancing with the Stars can get away with it because it’s more like a game show.

But maybe The Voice wouldn’t have had a long lifespan as a galvanizing force anyway, as its ratings this Spring fell behind the CBS comedy machine.

And regarding The Today Show, Greenblatt suggests that it will come back to have a comfortable lead over Good Morning America, but offered no reason for that statement beyond the hope, again, that The Olympics will help.


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