10 Ways NBC Can Keep Using Brian Williams
Can Brian Williams make an NBC comeback? CNN reported on Sunday that NBC News chairman Andy Lack is kicking around ways to keep the anchorman at the network–but not on NBC Nightly News.
Williams, of course, has been off the air since February, when he was suspended after it was revealed that he had embellished the truth about his experience covering the Iraq war. It's been assumed for some time that Williams won't be back at Nightly News, but should he be shown the door, there's still the sticky issue of Williams' $10 million-per-year contract, which he just signed last year.
According to the CNN report, Lack is asking staffers to "think creatively" about Williams' new role. In that spirit, we've come up with a few ideas for Williams to remain on NBC.
• Today's resident bartender. Andy Cohen has guest bartenders on Watch What Happens. Why don't Kathie Lee and Hoda have the same on their hour of Today? Williams could top off the ladies' chardonnay while regaling them with tall tales like a good bartender should.
• NBC Nightly Newz with Brian Williams. If you spell "news" with a z, anything goes.
• Sabado Gigante with Brian Williams. The Univision staple is ending its run at the end of the summer, but Williams has long wanted to host a talk/variety/game show. Acquire the rights (Don Francisco can still show up from time to time), and let Williams have some fun on Saturdays. (Simulcast it, dubbed in Spanish, on NBC Universo!)
• Williams is The Wiz in NBC's The Wiz Live. Keeps the family trend of starring in NBC's live productions going!
• Nick Cannon Presents Brian Williams. No idea what this might be. But television executives seem to really love Nick Cannon. Let him figure it out.
• Star of Dick Wolf's new series Chicago News. A spin-off of Chicago Med, which was a spin-off of Chicago P.D., which was a spin-off of Chicago Fire. Williams plays a Chicago anchorman who, with a little help from his pals at Chicago's Fire, P.D. and Medical institutions, gets the scoops first.
• Contestant on The Voice. Sneak him on to slow-jam the news and Pharrell can mentor him as a crossover R&B act for adult contemporary radio. He's booked as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and also plays himself in a sketch, parodying his past woes and current adult pop star persona.
• The Brian & Chica Show. Perhaps Williams' image rehabilitation starts with the kids. You can't still be mad at him after he co-hosts a Sprout show for preschoolers (which also airs on NBC Saturday mornings) with a puppet baby chick, right?
• Seriously, We're Closed. Can I Get You An Uber? with Brian Williams. After Last Call with Carson Daly, Williams can entertain the real stragglers and insomniacs who still haven't gone to bed. What's on the show? Does it matter? It's 2:07 a.m., for goodness sake.
• Guest star on this year's Heroes Reborn: "Save the news anchor. Save the world."
So yeah, looks like Andy Lack has his work cut out for him.