TV Ratings: 'Community' & 'Parks' Up, 'Fringe' Down 23%

It appears that the newest additions to NBC’s Thursday night comedy line-up may have found their primetime audience as last week's episodes of Community and Park & Recreation both received some their highest ratings. Conversly, while the peacock was rejoicing, things weren’t so positive on the other side of the proverbial road as FOX’s sophomore science fiction series Fringe hit an all time low, but is Fringe really to blame or did the World Series have something to do with it?

For some time now NBC has been trying to position its Thursday primetime line-up as the place to go for comedy, but it didn’t appear to be working as last year's addition of Park & Recreations wasn’t exactly met with rave reviews and their newest Joel McHale driven comedy, Community, received mixed reviews and had to contend with switching timeslots from 9:30PM to 8PM.

It looks as if everything has settled nicely for NBC as last weeks episode of Community pulled in 5.6 million viewers, the highest number since moving to 8PM, while Parks & Recreation achieved its highest ratings since last April with 4.9 million viewers.

While the ratings were looking good for the first part of NBC’s Thursday night line-up, the second half wasn’t as positive as both The Office and 30 Rock dropped around 6% in the ratings. 30 Rock has always had a tough time in the ratings, despite all the Emmy wins, but The Office is supposed to be NBC’s golden goose.

The only thing I can attribute the decline to is how poorly this season of The Office has been (with the notable exception of the wedding special). They’re cannibalizing the entire show and its characters; Stanley cheating on his wife just out of the blue, Jim becoming Co-manager with them building him his own office (cause you know that’s how companies do things – especially in a recession), Pam’s mom all of a sudden not only changing actresses, but also her opinion of Jim (She really liked him in the earlier seasons), the horrible receptionist, Erin (how hilarious is she? Not at all). There are more gripes, but I think you get what I’m saying. They need to keep it simple.

Now, back to FOX. With the World Series over, last Thursday brought about the end of the two-week hiatus of fan-favorite series Bones and Fringe, but I don’t think anyone told the fans, as both series saw a dramatic decline in ratings. The return of Bones was viewed by 8.5 million viewers (down 11%) while Fringe saw the largest decline in viewers since the disaster that was The Chevy Chase Show by only pulling in 5 million viewers (down a staggering 23%).

Still, can Fringe really to blame? When the World Series flows into November sweeps, things always get messed up. I, myself, missed both Fringe and Bones because everything that I had looked at had told me that it was pre-empted. My DVR didn’t pick it up because it wasn’t listed on the schedule. The only way you would have know that the shows were back last week is if you caught the commercials that said if the World Series was over before Thursday, the shows would return as normal. You would think they would do a little more for two of the network's top shows.

Although, to be fair, can the World Series really be blamed? Bones was in the same position as Fringe and they only saw a minimal drop in the ratings. So, I’ll leave it up to you, the readers… was it the World Series or has Fringe been going down hill? Are you still watching?

I’ll admit that I’m getting a little bored with Peter always having a “friend” that can do whatever normal technology can’t. It’s just as bad as CSI zooming in on images that come from security cameras, but I still tune in, despite the flaws.

I’m just wondering what their end game is… What’s going on? What are Fringe force fighting against? Why is there a half of an apple on on my television screen before they go to commercial?

Community and Parks & Recreation air on Thursdays starting at 8PM on NBC

Fringe airs on Thursdays at 9PM on FOX

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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