What Will Happen to NBC Next Fall?

in category of TV
For anyone who doesn’t pay attention to television ratings, it might be a surprise to find out that NBC’s situation is pretty dire. They are routinely the fourth-place network (after ABC, CBS and FOX), and sometimes barely beat The CW. Univision has even had more viewers than NBC on certain occasions. The Super Bowl was a nice boon to NBC’s efforts, but their future still looks bleak. Essentially, NBC has veered into a tenuous situation. They air numerous shows that are critically acclaimed, but are also somewhat high-brow and not necessarily appealing to the masses. For instance, Community is a critical darling, but it takes some dedication to understand. Most people don’t have the time or willingness to invest this much time in a TV show when they can simply turn on The Big Bang Theory at the same time and laugh pretty easily. The same can be said for 30 Rock and Parenthood, two other shows that boast average ratings. NBC is facing a bit of a conundrum now. They have ordered quite a few shows for next fall that are closer to the styles of Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea?, which mirror the hits found on CBS. However, critics and the blogosphere abhor these shows. What’s more, NBC is a very collegiate corporation—so many of its stars come from shows on E! (Chelsea Handler and Joel McHale), Saturday Night Live (Mya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey), or other subsidiaries within the family. It’s unlikely NBC will turn their back on these stars, but what are they to do? They can’t simply bring back their whole fourth-place line up. Furthermore, the cult-like fans of their current show (whom are small in number but are the most enthusiastic of any network) will feel betrayed, too, and won’t just automatically tune in for the newly ordered Dane Cook or Roseanne pilots. As of now, your guess is as good as mine, but I am going to predict that the Thursday night line-up will stay intact, but we will see many more guest stars and promotions. Furthermore, Parks and Rec and Community will be sold into syndication soon, which is very profitable. On the other hand, I’m going to bet that Whitney will get the ax, because it’s simply too new to survive the chopping block.

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