NBC schedules Manze for promotion

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    In an unexpected exec shuffle, NBC is set to elevate longtime blurbmeister Vince Manze to a newly created position as prexy of program planning, scheduling and strategy for the net.

    With the move, NBC is looking to beef up an area of key importance, scheduling, as the net continues its climb out of the ratings basement. While NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly has made major strides restoring the Peacock’s rep as the “quality” network, NBC hasn’t had as much success using the strengths in its lineup to turn less-splashy shows — such as “Friday Night Lights” or “30 Rock” — into ratings hits.

    Manze, most recently co-prexy and creative director of the NBC Agency, is best known as the brains behind a slew of popular Peacock promo campaigns — from “Must-See TV” in the 1990s to the more recent “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” push for “Heroes.” He’s also one of the few surviving senior execs from the Don Ohlmeyer/Warren Littlefield era of Peacock dominance.

    As a result of the exec shuffle, Mitch Metcalf, exec VP of program planning and strategy, will report to Manze. Metcalf has been NBC’s chief scheduler since 2000. Among Metcalf’s bigger success stories: launching “Deal or No Deal” into the stratosphere with a weeklong scheduling stunt and moving “Law & Order: SVU” from Fridays to Tuesdays.

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