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NBC to air Universal Orlando/Harry Potter special on Sunday

By Robert Niles
Published: June 3, 2010 at 2:18 PM
NBC will broadcast a half-hour TV special on the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park this Sunday, June 6, at 7pm Eastern and Pacific (6 Central and Mountain).

The special will include a video tour of the new land, as well as commentary from cast and creators.

The NBC television network is part of NBC/Universal, which shares ownership of the Universal Orlando resort with Blackstone Group.

Update: If you missed it (or want to see it again), here's the video.

Readers' Opinions

From Melissa Donahue on June 3, 2010 at 2:39 PM
This is great to know, Robert. Thanks for posting!
From Nick Markham on June 3, 2010 at 4:13 PM
I was going to submit this as a story actually. Glad you saw it to Robert!
From Tim W on June 3, 2010 at 7:13 PM
Thanks for the tip Robert!
From TH Creative on June 4, 2010 at 1:43 AM
"What's Good for Tourism and Entertainment is Good for Central Florida."
From Robert Niles on June 4, 2010 at 2:06 PM
I'm interested in the math here. (I know, me being interested in math. HUGE shock...) But I wonder how much money NBC/Universal will net from additional tickets and hotel reservations from people watching this special versus additional ad revenue that Dateline would have netted for this 30-minute broadcast spot. (I presume that NBC will book some ad revenue from the Harry Potter special as well.)

If NBC ends up money ahead here, as opposed to "taking one for the team," I wonder if that might convince the Peacock to arrange more airtime for Universal theme parks, the way that ABC puts Walt Disney World on air at every opportunity. (See Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.)

From Brandon Mendoza on June 5, 2010 at 8:12 AM
I miss these kind of things! I feel like new things at Disneyland/ Disney World had TV specials more often back in the 80's, but that could just be me as a kid.
From Michael Owen on June 6, 2010 at 1:44 PM
Many commented on Universal's lack of promotion for Hollywood Rip, Ride and Rockit! When it opened, now we see why. Universal have really pushed the boat out with the Wizarding World, it's good to see.
From Melissa Donahue on June 6, 2010 at 3:54 PM
Getting excited to watch this in six minutes! Hope we get to see some special sneak peeks.
From Manny Barron on June 6, 2010 at 5:08 PM
I waited till 6 to watch this. Unfortunately there was an error on the post. It was at 5 mountain time instead of the mentioned 6. NHL started at 6 here in MST. Guess I'll have to look for it online.
From Robert Niles on June 7, 2010 at 7:32 AM
It ended up starting at 8pm here in LA, due to the hockey game. I thought it was well done - straight out of the ABC/Disney corss-promotional playbook, but with a touch more geek appeal than I've seen in ABC specials on Disney theme parks. No, it wasn't made for Theme Park Insider readers (you'll learn more about the new land on our Wizarding World of Harry Potter page), but I think casual observers likely would have been impressed.

My big question continues to be: Where's J.K. Rowling? I'd think that an on-camera endorsement from her would be a huge, huge boost to the project.

From Scott B on June 7, 2010 at 7:43 AM
I had some issues with it. First and foremost, they kept on refering to it as a park and I know we all know it is but a small section of a larger themepark but I can't help but wonder if people not "in the know" may think it is something bigger than it is.

Another issue I had was a genuine lack of footage. There was more film footage than park footage. I get it, it is a sort of like a teaser to get you jazzed up. But what is more effective, hearing an actor talk about how cool a roller coaster is or I don't know, actually showing the roller coaster. I mean, I've ridden Dueling Dragons countless times, so I know what I'm store for (though I did want to see some of the theming), but the public should get at least a tiny glimpse of the coasters in action. Seriously, hearing Daniel Radcliffe talk about how close the coasters come to each other is cool and all, but a quick glimpse of the coaster in action....wouldn't that have dropped some jaws?

Just nitpicky things of course.

From Wok Creative on June 7, 2010 at 7:57 AM
I agree with Scott B in wanting to see more - the basic rule of "show, don't tell". The special itself wasn't advertised a whole lot, so mostly only fans of some sort would have known about it, and the delays with hockey...
I understand the tease factor in getting people to want to go, but it would have been nice to see... something.
I did enjoy the interviews with the people from Universal Creative. Most know about Dueling Dragons already being there. It would be fun to see how they went about re-theming and what it looks like now.
From Brandon Mendoza on June 7, 2010 at 10:07 AM
I agree, I wish they could have given us a glimpse (maybe a second or less of footage) of some of the attractions, or even the exteriors but from angles that you can't see on foot?

And I'm not sure if I was seeing things, but was the footage of the indoor parts of Hogwarts and other sets from the movie created digitally for the fly throughs?

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