NBC Cancels Brian Williams Pet Project 'Rock Center'

NBC Cancels Brian Williams Pet Project 'Rock Center'

Head of the NBC News Group Pat Fili-Krushel announced late Friday afternoon that the news magazine “Rock Center with Brian Williams” would be cancelled after its final airing on June 21.  

“I would like to thank Brian, Alex, David and the entire ‘Rock Center’ team for their efforts. The show will be missed,” Fili-Krushel wrote in an email released after a very busy news day heading into a weekend. The timing suggests the 4th place (and sometimes 5th place) peacock network was hoping to minimize the public relations black eye associated with the failure of such a high-profile show. 

The show had been Brian Williams’ pet project and there have been fireworks between the nightly news anchor and the network. Just a few months ago, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Williams was “angry” with the network after the news magazine had moved to a fifth time slot in only two years.  

But NBC brass might have upset Williams with the move. He closed Rock Center on Feb. 8 with a segment characterizing Friday as its “latest resting place.” Sources at NBC News say Williams was angered that Burbank execs did not give the show the promised promotion, while plans to expand it to multiple weekly airings have been abandoned.

But the troubles on Rock Center went deeper than its time slot. Recently the show came under fire for an embarrassing segment featuring one of the show’s “journalists,” Chelsea Clinton interviewing the GEICO Gecko.  

Read the entire email to NBC News employees about the cancellation via TV Newser:  

All,

I wanted to let you know in advance of NBC Entertainment’s Upfront presentation on Monday that a decision has been made about the future of “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” Unfortunately, the show will finish its run on the primetime schedule on June 21.

While we’re disappointed with the news, we are very proud of the hard work that the ‘Rock Center’ team put into the program each week.

There have been so many notable moments — unprecedented access to the White House Situation Room, a compelling hour-long broadcast on the Boston Marathon bombings, the Emmy Award-winning exclusive with Jerry Sandusky – just to mention a few. Everyone gave their all to bring the most interesting stories to our viewers.

I would like to thank Brian, Alex, David and the entire “Rock Center” team for their efforts. The show will be missed.

Pat

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