NBC has really changed a lot in the last twenty years. When Seinfeld came out it had relatively low ratings and didn’t really attract a meaningful audience for a few years, after which time it became one of the most popular shows in NBC’s history. If a show like Seinfeld would have started in the last couple of years it would have been cancelled by now due to its initial low ratings.
It seems that this is what is behind what seems to be NBC’s disdain for their show “Community.” At its low point last year, it had 3.1 million viewers, which is actually somewhat respectable. However, it could be doing much better — and yet NBC seems to be fighting against their success. Here are some of the ways in which they have done this.
First, they pushed back the premier of the fourth season of “Community” seemingly indefinitely and made no announcement of when it was actually going to start, instead allowing star Yvette Brown to tweet about its return after delaying it numerous times.
Second, it was initially going to air on Friday nights in its new season. While Friday nights used to be a well respected time slot, it has since become a sort of joke and a place to put shows that networks essentially want to die without spelling it out for them explicitly.
Part of it came from the fall press tour, during which executives at NBC explained that they wanted more “broad” comedies than those they were currently playing on Thursday night and this led somehow to new shows like “Animal Practice,” which was cancelled after only a few episodes — much to the delight of PETA, who deemed the show more than a bit cruel to animals.
After the cancellation of “Animal Practice” it seems that perhaps NBC has had a change of heart and given “Community” back its Thursday night slot. It has shown that it could possibly be invested in making the dreams of superfans come true and give it six seasons and a movie — that they see that complex characters that are broken are more interesting and fun to watch than cookie cutter characters with no depth. If you have missed out on watching Community thus far, you should get on Netflix and catch up on the three seasons before its fourth season premiere in February.
With Chevy Chase quitting, it makes me think there is trouble behind-the-scenes that may make the show difficult to produce:
Chase played a great character in the show but according to many was too difficult to work with. Now that he is out, the rest of the team can focus on making a good show.