Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The NBC and ABC Mid-Season Schedules Are Sad

Remember that time I really wanted to avoid talking about the upcoming mid-season sadness over at ABC and NBC so I just put up a bunch of GIFs? Well, there's no use in putting it off any longer.

So let's rip off the proverbial Band-Aid and discuss the fates of Community and Cougar Town and the rest of the mid-season lineup...

Starting in January, Community is off the NBC lineup, with 30 Rock taking its spot at 8/9c on Thursdays. Sadness. The easy route for some is to potentially blame 30 Rock, but that show is too amazing and I am too excited to have Liz, Jack, Jenna and the rest of the TGS gang back on TV. So anyone caught hating on 30 Rock shall be dismissed. The fact that Whitney is still on the schedule is an atrocity, but we'll get to that in a minute.

The network says this is just a hiatus, and that Community will still air its remaining 12(ish) episodes at some point in Spring 2012. Even then, the future of the show and the possibility of a fourth season are looking a little dim.

The reality is... Community's ratings are not good. Even by NBC standards. And when your ratings aren't good even on the 4th place network, something's got to give. But the fact that Community is such a great show should count for something, right? It takes more risks and chances than most half-hour sitcoms and certainly gives NBC better street cred than a show like Are You There, Chelsea? will. Plus, should NBC give the Study Group a fourth season, the show will be eligible for syndication, which means big bucks. And who doesn't want to come across "Remedial Chaos Theory" at 3am on TBS?!

So, final verdict is cautiously optimistic. Let's be honest, NBC is bound to have more than a few clunkers coming up mid-season and next fall—they might as well stick with a show they know has a strong cult following (hello, Chuck!) and give Community the Season 4 it deserves.

Cougar Town
And just when we thought things couldn't get worse, late last Friday ABC announced its mid-season and it was severely Cougar Town-less. As Andy would say... "C'mon!" Hasn't the network shamed this show enough? We already dealt with a three-month hiatus during the middle of Season 2, and there hasn't been any Cul-De-Sac Crew at all this fall! I know Work It and Last Man Standing are tremendous shows (they're not), but certainly there is somewhere on the schedule for me to get my Cougar Town fix.

To make matters worse, ABC cut the episode order from 22 to 15, so we are (at some point) going to get even less of the show than originally promised.  Again—sadness.

I understand that the show's name is awful, but ABC is probably aware that the show stopped being about "40 is the New 20!" about seven episodes into the first season, right? Of course, you'd never know that if you went to the show's online store, but still... the series has grown leaps and bounds from its icky premise and is one of the funniest shows on TV.

I'm less optimistic about Cougar Town's chances for a fourth season than I am for Community, despite the fact that Cougar Town gets more than twice as many viewers. The reason? ABC is not NBC. ABC is home to TV's #1 sitcom (and two-time Emmy winner) Modern Family, as well as a whole slew of highly-rated shows. Sure, it doesn't have American Idol like FOX, but it's certainly in a far better position than NBC. Add in the shortened episode order and the fact that we are once again experiencing scheduling issues, and it's not looking too good that Jules, Grayson, Andy, Ellie, Bobby and Travis will be around much longer. Ugh.

What's On Tap for Mid-Season
With highly anticipated shows like Apt 23 (or whatever they're calling it these days), Awake and Bent also missing from the mid-season schedule, there's not a whole ton to look forward to, with the huge exception of Smash, NBC's new musical scripted series. Whitney is still on the schedule, though it's been moved to Wednesdays at 8. Taking its place: Up All Night, which I am very much enjoying and happy to see join the NBC Thursday lineup. Truth be told, NBC couldn't cancel Whitney when it's getting semi-decent ratings with a lead-in from The Office. Chances are those ratings are going to take a nosedive when it's expected to start an entire night of TV on its own. Don't expect it to last too long in its new home.

I'll check in on the schedule at the beginning of January before everything starts premiering. For now, just put your prayers towards Community and Cougar Town returning next spring and then continuing on after that.

Six seasons and a movie, right?

[Image Source: NBC]
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