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Community fans have been on a roller coaster for quite some time. Ever since it went on hiatus last season, we’ve been in constant fear that our beloved show would be cancelled. We were appeased with the news that it was coming back this season, but now we’ve been dealt some more questionable news: the premiere is being pushed back.
Filming has already started, as evidenced by photos the cast has shared on Twitter. It was scheduled to start, with Whitney, on October 19th, but now there is no date given for the rescheduled premiere. Oh, dear, this sounds an awful lot like the indefinite hiatus the show went on last season.
NBC says that the reason for pushing the fourth season of Community and the second season of Whitney back is so that it can build on the success of its new shows that are doing well in their timeslots on Monday to Wednesday nights. In a press release, NBC says that they got the highest ratings among 18- to 49-year-olds in the first week of the season. It is also the only one of the top four television networks that has seen an increase in viewership over the last year.
NBC is seeing more success from its new shows than its older ones; Revolution is now their most-watched scripted show (The Voice topped NBC’s unscripted category). 30 Rock, once a favorite on the network, had less than 3.5 million viewers for its premiere. That’s fewer viewers than new shows Go On and Guys with Kids now pull in. Boston.com reports that only Up All Night (which comes on right after 30 Rock) and the news show Rock Center (which comes on later in the same night, Thursday) have lower viewership than Emmy-winning 30 Rock. The Office (which also happens to be scheduled on Thursday) is also facing low ratings. Maybe NBC needs to rethink how it pairs its shows, since Thursday’s returning shows are struggling. By holding Community and Whitney back, NBC has the option of using them in case they need to make schedule changes later.
The performance of veteran shows spells out bad things for Community and Whitney. Many wonder how Whitney even got renewed for a second season (it can be painful to watch), and though Community is a cult favorite, it appeals to a niche market. NBC seems to be trying to find shows that will appeal to a broader market. Of course, we’ll have to see if viewers stick around after the first few weeks of these new shows.
As a Community fan who anxiously volunteered to review it weeks ago, I can’t wait for it to start its fourth season. Let’s hope NBC gets its promotion under control and can finally bring the study group back to Greendale Community College and back on the air.