NBC has renewed its Thursday night prime time comedy lineup, which consists of Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock. Despite having varied ratings (ranging from strong to OK), all four shows are being brought back for the upcoming 2010-2011 season, in order to preserve this great two-hour block of yuk-yuk.
While some people may only care about some of this news (or none of it at all), I for one am ecstatic!
We'll take this show by show as we talk ratings. As a bonus, I'll pitch you an episode of each show that I feel is a must watch:
Community is the only freshman in the bunch, but it's become something of a breakout hit, even though it only averages about 5-6 million viewers on the regular. Still, like 30 Rock, the show has gained some pretty strong critical acclaim and those who love it (like yours truly), love it fiercely. Joel McHale is a great leading man, Chevy Chase hasn't been this funny in years, and The Hangover's Ken Jeong is the highlight of an all-around great supporting cast.
Recommended Episode: "Debate 109"
The hilarious supporting cast of Community
Parks and Recreation got slammed pretty hard by both viewers and critics in its first season - but not hard enough for NBC to ax it. In its second season I think the show has really hit its stride, spreading screen time amongst its hilarious supporting cast, which includes Aziz Ansari (Funny People), Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza (Funny People) and Chris Pratt. Amy Poehler has equally found her comfort zone playing do-gooder bureaucrat Leslie Knope. Parks and Rec's position between Community and The Office has certainly helped its ratings; having guest stars like Louis C.K. hasn't hurt either.
Recommended Episode: "Ron and Tammy"
The Office needs little explanation at this point - most of us have been following the exploits of the gang at Dunder Mifflin Scranton for so long now we consider it something of a second life. Despite some people saying the show has "jumped the shark" this year, The Office has actually increased viewership in its sixth season, averaging about 9.4 million viewers, which makes it network TV's #1 prime time scripted show for the adult 18-34 range. Those syndicated episodes are only helping its audience grow.
Recommended Episode: "Niagra (pts. 1-2)"
30 Rock continues to be that little show that critics adore but only a core audience of fiercely loyal viewers tune in to watch. In this, its fourth season, the show is averaging around 7 million viewers - though that is a big deal considering it airs against network Juggernauts CSI and Greys Anatomy. The combination of Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin anchor this show; plus, its seems to be the only place where Tracy Morgan is actually be funny anymore (sorry Cop Out).
Recommended Episode: "Black Light Attack!"
Are you happy to hear that NBC has renewed its Thursday night comedy block for 2010-2011? If not, which show(s) could you stand to part with?
Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock air Thursdays on NBC from 8-10pm.