Three regulars on NBC's Thursday night comedy lineup for the 2011-2012 season are sticking around for another year. Community, The Office and Parks and Recreation have all been given single-season extensions.
The Office is the longest-running scripted comedy on NBC's schedule, currently in its seventh season. Despite the upcoming departure of longtime headliner Steve Carell, The Office has maintained its impressive ratings opposite CBS's comedy lineup and is the #1 sitcom for NBC. The show has averaged 7 million viewers per episode for its current season.
Parks and Recreation is currently in its third season. The show is from the same creative team behind the US version of The Office and aims for the same demographics, with former Saturday Night Live cast member Amy Poehler starring. Parks and Recreation has lagged behind The Office in critical reception, but managed to pull in respectable numbers of just over 5 million viewers per episode.
Community is a comedy about the staff and students at a community college. A sleeper hit, the show deviates from the more subdued humor of The Office and Parks and Recreation, having more in common with standard sitcoms like 30 Rock. Community has averaged 4 million viewers an episode in its second season, and comedy veteran Chevy Chase highlights an ensemble cast.
These renewals are of no surprise. Almost exactly a year ago all three shows were renewed for a single season each, with 30 Rock joining them for a Thursday night grand slam (30 Rock was renewed for its sixth season early in the fall of 2010). NBC is holding a steady second place for scripted shows on the Thursday lineup.
The news leaves two on NBC's six Thursday night comedies up in the air - neither Outsourced nor Perfect Couples have received an order for a second season. Outsourced started strong enough last fall for a full first season, but has since slipped into the low 3-million ratings.
Perfect Couples has fared even worse, with just 2.9 million viewers tuning in for its last episode. Both series are toss-ups for a renewal at this point. With decent marketing for the final spring episodes and consideration of their freshman status, they could make a comeback, but the network may be just as likely to pick up new shows during the summer pilot season.
Community airs Thursday nights @ 8 PM on NBC.
The Office airs Thursdays @ 9 PM. Steve Carell's final episode will air on April 28th.
Parks and Recreation airs after The Office @ 9:30 PM.