Highlights From NBCUniversal Upfront; News Personalities Introduce Programming, Showrunners Appear Via Video & Ariana Madix Gets Her Moment

Despite the WGA picketers outside, NBC held its upfront presentation Monday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Missed the star-free event that was hosted mostly by news personalities, Real Housewives and Mario Lopez? Here were the highlights:

Seth MacFarlane got another chance to show off his singing pipes — and crude sense of humor — by appearing in a pre-taped segment as his alter-ego Ted at the top of the presentation: he sang an original song about NBC selling ads about “detergent and feminine pads” and “kicking nads.” In 2021, Peacock gave a straight-to-series order to a live-action comedy series based on MacFarlane’s 2012 movie featuring the furry character.

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The trailer for the new sitcom Extended Family featured Jon Cryer easing the pain in his butt with a hand massager. The former Two and a Half Men star is appearing as Abigail Spencer’s ex in the new comedy from Mike O’Malley.

Before introducing a package on SNL‘s 50th anniversary, Willie Geist suggested that if people squint their eyes, he looks like Weekend Update’s Colin Jost. (Not really).

In a package featuring show creators like Amy Poehler, Simon Cowell, Rian Johnson and Dick Wolf, NBC made sure to include a caption that said “all interviews were captured in April 2023 before the writers strike.”

CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, the co-anchor of Squawk Box, was given a very un-newslike task: he introduced the drama trailers which included the return of This is Us star Mandy Moore in season two of Dr. Death and Annette Bening appearing opposite Sam Neill in Peacock limited series Apples Never Fall.

Singer Grace Potter performed during an Olympic segment, no doubt fulfilling a lifelong goal to rock a NYC upfront presentation while pictures of athletes were projected behind her.

Maybe we all need to check out Telemundo more: one of the only two series actor to appear on stage was William Levy, the comely star of the channel’s Vuelve a Mi (Come Back to Me). The other was Rafael Amaya, who announced the return of the long running Super Series franchise El Señor de los Cielos (Lord of the Skies), back for a 9th season.

Ariana Madix kicked off a segment about BravoCon by “magically” appearing in a box centerstage. “If only they could make some of those other people disappear,” said the Vanderpump Rules star, an obvious reference to the scandal that rocked the show this year. (Madix and Tom Sandoval split due to an alleged affair between Sandoval and co-star Raquel Leviss). The new cast of The Real Housewives of New York City, which kicks off July 16, was also introduced on stage. That led to the presentation’s most cringeworthy moment when Sonja Morgan, one of the OGs from the former cast, mispronounced the word kudos. Oy.

Reba McEntire is joining season 23 of The Voice as a mega mentor, so she got to perform, as did a casually-clad Nick Jonas.

The picketers!

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