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January 16, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | January 16, 2009 |

Here’s some random TV news to keep you afloat this morning: NBC has announced that both “The Office” and “30 Rock” have been picked up for another season. It’s not entirely surprising, at least for “The Office,” but neither show gets the ratings that NBC once put up on Thursdays, and despite a lot of awards, “30 Rock” hasn’t caught on with mainstream America. In fact, there are actual people — real life persons — who don’t think the show is funny (and by extension, reviews for fake movies based on “30 Rock” references are met with pockets of hostility). It’s not the show it was in Season 2, but it’s still the best comedy on television, followed by “The Office,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “Scrubs,” two of which are sliding, while “HIMYM” inexplicably just gets better.

And speaking of “Scrubs,” which has had three pretty good episodes and one outstanding episode this season (I’m going to steak night …), despite heavy promotion, and despite the fact that Bill Lawrence was giving interviews to everyone leading up to the season opener, ratings were not good — down 30 percent. In fact, it’s averaging 6.4 million viewers, down from 15.4 million during the series second season. And I’ll concede that, Dr. Cox, who has always been the best part of the show, looks downright bored with it so far this season. There’s no ooomph in his anger. Another season doesn’t look likely, even without Bill Lawrence and Zach Braff. Unfortunately, that means: No egg on NBC’s face.

Of course, part of its ratings woes are the fact that it’s running against “American Idol.” But there’s good news there, too: It was down 10 percent from its premiere last year and 7.3 million viewers off its premiere in 2007. Of course, it still whipped all the competition, and unlike in past years, when a lot of viewers watched the embarrassing audition rounds and then tuned out, lately “American Idol” has built on its audience as the season progressed. Folks be tired of the mildly exploitative, cringeworthy, embarrassingly cruel auditions, I suppose.

Also, NBC has set a date to premiere Amy Poehler’s new NBC sitcom: 8:30 Thursdays, starting April 9th. It’ll takeover “Kath and Kim’s” time slot, a show that’s decidedly on the bubble for next season (as is “Lipstick Jungle,” which I didn’t even realize was still on, and “Knight Rider,” which I’m not surprised is still on, though there’s no reason for it). No one knows what Amy Poehler’s show will be about. And for the record: “The Biggest Loser,” was also picked up for next season. Jumpin’ Jehosophats. People actually watch that show? It’s better, on VH1, with pseudo-celebrities.

In funnies: The Lifetime Network has picked up a new show, ordering 12 episodes of “Drop Dead Diva.” The show is about a beautiful, diva model who dies and is instantly reincarnated into the body of an overweight attorney. “It’s the type of show that truly enhances the Lifetime brand — the duality of emotionally compelling drama with an equal balance of humor,” said Lifetime’s exec vp JoAnn Alfano said.

Uh huh.

A last note: “Friday Night Lights” returns tonight on NBC, and “Battlestar Gallactica” returns on the Sci-Fi network. Set your DVRs.

Lots of TV News 4U! / Dustin Rowles

Industry | January 16, 2009 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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