Sunday, May 13, 2012

New NBC Fall 2012 Schedule (Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes)

This afternoon, NBC announced their new fall line-up for 2012. Here is an excerpt from a New York Times blog:

The other scheduling move that may raise some eyebrows is the attempt to open Fridays to comedy. NBC is shuffling two marginally rated sit-coms, “Community” and “Whitney,” to the ratings wasteland of Fridays, counting on the fact that fans of those shows, especially “Community,” largely watch them on delayed basis anyway.

In the fall, Community will no longer be on Thursday nights in the comedy block -- it will, instead, move to 8:30 on Friday nights, following Whitney. So what does this mean? At this point in time, I am torn between believing this is a good decision and a poor one. There are really two thoughts running through my mind right now, so I'll break them down here:

  • The move from Thursday nights to Fridays is a good one for a few reasons. The largest, and perhaps most important is that Community will no longer be competing with The Big Bang Theory and American Idol for ratings. Consistently on Thursdays, we have been squashed beneath these two shows in terms of viewership. It would always be impossible for us to receive decent ratings when the 8PM Thursday night television slot is dominated by Jim Parsons and Ryan Seacrest. So, a move to Fridays would ensure that Community does not have to fight to retain its small, but devoted audience. The second thing about the move that is beneficial is that we have a lead in. In spite of my displeasure for Whitney as a comedy -- and for her, as a person -- the comedy has done better ratings-wise than we have. In spite of the fact that Community is more of a critically-acclaimed show (or at least beloved by television reviewers where Whitney is not), its numbers have never been strong. If the show has a lead-in, there is a potential to increase viewers and ratings from those who will merely keep the television on after Whitney.

  • There is, of course, a downside to this move. Personally, I think it's universally known that Friday nights are where shows are sent to die off or fizzle out. Now, this isn't entirely the case -- take, for example, the announcement today that CBS is renewing CSI:NY (a show that was moved to Friday nights) and cancelling CSI:Miami. Shows DO have the potential to thrive in a Friday night time-slot. The concern that I have is that NBC is aware that the viewership of Community falls mainly in the more... youthful side of the spectrum. Grimm is a show that I know has been somewhat "successful" on Friday nights, but the demographic for the show seems to be wider than that of Community. Whether or not that is statistically true, I do not know. What I DO know is that I am a 23-year old college graduate who can be a homebody. But I also enjoy having Friday nights to spend with my college-age and 20-something friends. And a majority of the people who watch this show are probably the same way -- a move to Fridays where ratings weren't a concern because of lack of competition would be moot if, in part, current viewers were lost. I consistently make time on Thursday nights to watch Community because it is Thursdays -- what else am I going to do? I have work the next morning. But Friday nights? Friday nights viewers have a vast majority of options -- clubs, friends, movies, dinners, dates, etc. without the major concern of scheduling their lives around television. And perhaps this is NBC's way of determining whether or not the fans of Community DO watch more on Hulu,, etc. than they do live. The second concern associated with this move is the recruitment of new viewers, which seems unlikely to occur. I have friends who watch The Big Bang Theory on Thursday nights and are very devoted to it. However, if I were to try and introduce them to Community, it would be futile since it is on Fridays and they enjoy going out with friends, spending time with their fiances, etc.

So I am torn between this decision being good for the show, or ultimately just a gentle way for NBC to put it to sleep. Given the news of a potential departure (or at least a step back from the show) of Dan Harmon as the showrunner, it seems evident that Community is going through some changes. Whether or not these turn out to better or hinder the show is yet to be seen, but you can bet that I will do my absolute best to continue to stick around consistently on Friday nights. 

And now let's discuss what this means for you all -- for readers of the blog-review. As you are well-aware, I usually post the reviews on Friday mornings (at work, oops). The benefit of the show's move is that I won't have to stay up late in order to write them and post them in the morning. So hooray for a silver lining. ;) Instead, what will likely happen is that I'll watch the episode on Friday nights, do my thorough re-watch and then post the review sometime on Saturday mornings. At least it'll be a nice kick-start to your weekend (I hope!)

As always, whatever happens with this show aside, I cannot thank all of you enough for being such wonderful fans. But it's more than that -- I have to thank a lot of you for being wonderful friends. Community, much like its plot, has brought together an unlikely group of people and chang(ed) them from being passive viewers to active fans, friends, and Human Beings. Whether this season is our last, whether Dan Harmon returns or not, just know that I am thankful for each and every one of you and will be forever altered by your presence in my life. :)


  1. That's sweet. :D We need to stay focused on the positive and get to mid-season! NBC is clearly going to re-evaluate at mid-season. If we can do well enough until then, maybe they'll put us back into the Thursday mix. I can't see Friday as a long term solution for a comedy.

  2. I can't help but think it's a good thing for us. The chances of a back 9 just went up exponentially. If our numbers stay in line with what they currently are, that will be considered successful on a Friday night. And I highly doubt NBC will launch one of the midseason comedies on a Friday night. So bottom line, if we hold our own there, we'll get a full fourth season. Do I love the fact that we are on Fridays? Of course not. But I honestly think the show can make it work. We're on the fall schedule, something I completely was not anticipating. Hopefully we'll get some good promotion during the Olympics. Hopefully we Communies can put our numbers where our mouths are and keep it steady. I believe in us. Small but MIGHTY. Clearly getting to another night would be awesome. Let's sit back and see how the new shows do.

    I want to hope that Dan is merely in renegotiations right now for his contract. I'm sure the main priority was getting the deal closed for the show. It WOULD be a tough loss for the show. But there are able people who could step up and maintain the integrity of the show. Ganz...Bobrow...McKenna. I trust them. And selfishly for my ship purposes, McKenna has written some fabulous J/A stuff and seems to be in support of them. #fourseasonsandarelationship

    And I love you too, Jenn.

  3. Awwww, thank you so much, Jenn! If I may quote "Wicked," "Who can say if I've been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

    I have really mixed feelings about the move to Friday. I feel a bit betrayed by the network for basically putting the show out to pasture, but I'm also hopeful that we'll get a back 9 if we can keep our ratings up. Someone on Twitter pointed out Chuck as an example of this. I guess we just have to wait and see what happens.