NBC’s new Thursday-night lineup
Big changes have come to NBC’s Thursday-night comedy block, and our feelings are mixed on the lineup.
The once-regal lineup that included shows like “Friends” and “Frasier” is not doing so well these days. NBC is far behind CBS and ABC in ratings and is making stupid moves to “fix” this problem. In the A.V. Club’s words, cult favorite “Community” will not return until “Vague Spring Day, 2012”; NBC entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt promised that the show will finish out season three sometime this spring. A wonderfully clever show with dismal ratings (see: “Arrested Development”), “Community” was snatched off the schedule this winter, pushing fans into a panic. The good news is that “Community” is not cancelled; the bad news is that the show’s future is as indefinite as its spring return date. Will the Greendale Human Beings get their six seasons and a movie? Probably not, unless NBC gets its act together and stops throwing “Community” under the bus with a terrible timeslot and few promotions.
Taking “Community”’s spot in the lineup is “30 Rock,” returning for its sixth season. The show was delayed due to Tina Fey’s pregnancy, but she had daughter Penelope in August and “30 Rock” went back into production after a tumultuous time off the air. One of its stars, Tracy Morgan, had a highly publicized homophobic rant ruin an already damaged public image, and Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight for playing Words with Friends. The show is already planning on an episode based on Morgan’s rant, and hopefully a Words with Friends episode is on its way as well.
After “30 Rock” at 7 p.m. are “Parks and Recreation” (7:30 p.m.) and “The Office” (8 p.m.). Then, replacing the disastrous “Whitney” is “Up All Night,” starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph. Arnett and Applegate play parents to a newborn baby, and Rudolph plays Ava, an Oprah-like talk show host and Applegate’s boss. It is a much better fit for Thursday nights, as it is actually funny and does not feature a laugh track. Seeing “SNL” veterans Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph all on the same night is extra special, especially as they continue to prove Jerry Springer wrong. Women can be funny, and Thursday nights on NBC continue to prove it. Now if only NBC could replace Wednesday’s “Whitney” or the new “Are You There, Chelsea?” with “Community,” then everything would just be good again.