Jennifer Armstrong
December 08, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EST

Apparently cutbacks aren’t just for jobs and budgets anymore: Floundering NBC is considering slashing away at primetime itself. “Can we continue to broadcast 22 hours in primetime? Three of our competitors don’t,” NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker said in an keynote address during the annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. “Can we continue to broadcast seven days a week? One of our competitors doesn’t.” Of course, he’s exaggerating even NBC’s current original programming a smidge: Fridays and Saturdays on the Peacock have been a mishmash of the flailing (Crusoe) and already-failed (Lipstick Jungle) along with a slew of reruns (Knight Rider, Law & Order, more Law & Order). But in his defense, Fox and The CW (as well as MyNetwork TV, if you count that) do program fewer hours than the Big Three nets do. And if cutting back means one fewer Knight Rider or Kath & Kim, well, that’s not necessarily all bad.

UPDATE: Turns out NBC is doing plenty of the more traditional laying-off-folks stuff as well. The network and its studio are merging their programming ranks and putting Angela Bromstad — who’d been heading NBC Universal’s international production — in charge of all scripted fare. Former BBC Worldwide America executive and Dancing With the Stars producer Paul Telegdy will head unscripted programming. NBC execs wouldn’t comment on specific jobs lost under the “restructuring,” but Teri Weinberg, exec VP of NBC Entertainment, will be leaving to form her own production company, and Craig Pleistis, exec VP of alternative programming, will instead head a new production company under NBC’s banner.

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