Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #838: Community Conundrum

Okay, I will start with a confession.

I love NBC's sitcom Community.  In fact, it's the only American sitcom I watch with any regularity.  It has the smartest writing and the sharpest cast on American television.

However, it doesn't have a very big audience.  Chiefly from a combination of NBC's poor marketing and decision to slap it up against the more established Big Bang Theory on CBS, and from the fact that it's stuck on NBC.

Sadly this combination has combined to convince NBC to bench Community in mid-season to make room for their new sitcom Whitney, and the long running but perennially ratings challenged sitcom 30 Rock.
Community co-star Alison Brie.

Now this is another one of a long line of questionable decisions made by NBC recently.

Let's look at this partial list....

1. Making a pilot commitment with penalty with Roseanne Barr, to rehash her long retired sitcom. This with a star better known as a walking ad for psychotropic medication, who couldn't even carry a reality show on cable.

2. Making a put pilot deal with comedian Sarah Silverman, after a very pricey bidding war. Think about that, a bidding was for someone who couldn't even carry a show on cable even when it was shared by two different cable channels. She's big in L.A., New York, and among select hipsters, but in flyover country, where most TV viewers live, she's pretty much only known for her guest spot on Star Trek: Voyager.

3. Making a pilot deal with comedian Dane Cook, who while a big name in stand up, has a string of failed movies that doesn't bode well for his career as an actor or leading man, even in a sitcom.

And last, but not least....

4.  NBC has commissioned a pilot for a reboot of The Munsters.

Yes, I said the fucking Munsters.

Now I thought that when Comcast took over and ended the Zucker reign of error things would change at NBC.

In a rare instance it looks like I turned out to be wrong.

Now you're probably sitting there going: "Hey D, you're always talking about the importance of numbers, well, if Community's numbers don't add up, shouldn't it be okay to put a fork in it?"

Well, if NBC was going solely by the cold hard truth of numbers, I suspect 30 Rock would've been cancelled years ago. It's been an under-performer since its debut, and I suspect that it costs a hell of a lot more per episode to make since its cast is stocked with expensive heavy hitters like Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan.

Of course that's probably why the show hasn't been cancelled. The creators and stars are all big within Hollywood, making it the show Hollywood needs to feel superior to the peasantry, which is why they keep it on the air, showering it with awards and celebrity guest appearances.

Community doesn't have stars with big movie deals, piles of Emmys, or a never-ending parade of celebrity cameos, even though none of that have really helped 30 Rock, so NBC feels okay benching it instead of burning the calories needed to actually sell the damn show.


  1. NBC seems more reliant on established/flavor-of-the-day "stars" than CBS, ABC, and Fox. How else do you explain "the crazy Asian Hangover guy" being a main cast member on Community?

  2. He's more of a semi regular supporting player, and he is funny as the creepy, crazy Señor Chang.

  3. He gets the "with" before Chevy Chase's "and".

  4. Who did Comcast put in charge of nbc, brain-dead monkeys. Take that back brain-dead monkeys wold do a better job than this.

  5. You forgot to mention that the new Munsters series will be an hour-long dramatic show; an idea that is even more awesome than just doing a remake of the old sitcom.

  6. Benching Community??? Well, that's probably the worst news I've heard all year. I cannot understand how that brilliant little show has failed to find a bigger audience, while lesser shows thrive.

  7. "guest spot on Star Trek: Voyager."

    Didn't see it. I saw her on Monk once.

  8. I quit watching when they kept being insulting and dismissive of me.

  9. I am so incredibly old I watched the Addams Family and the Munsters clear back when they were on prime time.

    And I remember clearly discussing with my friends just how lame and unfunny the Munsters were. But we all loved the Addams family, despite the fact that it had the exact same storyline every episode.

    And I'm even a horror fan.

    I hope Ken is joking about the hour-long drama.