Trouble for Community evident with premiere

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Well, to put it into terms any hardcore fan of the show Community would understand, it looks like NBC “Britta’d” it again.

For those of you not enamored with the students at Greendale Community College, this means the network screwed up. It is bad enough that, going into this fourth season, NBC fired creator and executive producer Dan Harmon, but now it seems NBC feels that the show is not important enough to merit a proper premiere. If this is how the airing of season four is going to play out, I’d have much rather seen the show cancelled at the end of season three, which I felt wrapped up everything quite nicely anyway.

Yet the question remains: Why bring the show back from extinction just to continue messing with it?

Unsurprisingly, reports seem to indicate that some of NBC’s new comedies aren’t doing so well — they’re doing so poorly, in fact, that even the meager ratings Community usually brings in would be a step up, so the network might move Community back to Thursdays as a lead-in, as speculated by entertainment blog Vulture. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network just did this with Whitney by cancelling Animal Practice, yet Community remains up in the air.

Alternatively, it could be that NBC wants to double down on the success of the few sitcoms it has that are doing okay, such as Go On, and thus not waste its efforts on promoting Community.

In either case, my resentment comes from the fact that NBC knows that any time slot they put Community in will gather the same core viewers, like myself, who have watched it from the beginning. Community actually gets a significant portion of its views from online and DVR as well, something that network executives have yet to grasp.

I am still baffled by the fact that network television executives mess around with their most critically acclaimed shows that have dedicated audiences. They focus on their simple, trite, safe shows that garner the big ratings because those equal big bucks. Money is their bottom line — but when you have a niche to fill, why not try to please the fans who in theory have tastes must less capricious than the average viewers?

Maybe that’s the problem, though: High-brow shows outside of basic cable and subscription-based networks just don’t have any appeal to the average American. I think that instead of trying to become more in tune with what the public wants, good shows like Community should stick to their guns. If they fail, at least they’ll have failed without selling out.
And hey, there’s always the Arrested Development route of coming back with new episodes on Netflix seven years later.