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NBC Is a Worthless Primetime Network

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | January 7, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Think Pieces | January 7, 2015 |

Deadline announced today that NBC has cut the second season order for About a Boy from 22 to 20 episodes. About that, I don’t really give a damn. About a Boy is occasionally cute, but it’s not a show I keep up with unless I have an extra 22 minutes to spare at the end of each week (a rarity).

More concerning was this:

“Following a double run of back-to-back episodes of Parks & Recreation’s final season, the block will be populated by multi-camera comedy series Undateable and One Big Happy. With single-camera About A Boy and its Tuesday companion, fellow single-camera freshman Marry Me, on the bench with no return date set, NBC won’t need that many originals of About A Boy.”

It’s not as if any of that information was new, but realizing that Parks is leaving, and even Marry Me will soon be pulled made me understand just how completely worthless a network NBC has become. Yes, the late-night schedule is still very much relevant (with the Tonight Show, Late Night and intermittently, Saturday Night Live), but just think about that primetime schedule. If you’re a person that watches quality television, when do you watch NBC?

Yes, Hannibal, when it returns (though, I almost wish that NBC had let it go so Bryan Fuller could’ve taken it to Netflix, where he would’ve had more creative freedom). But Parenthood is leaving. Parks is leaving. The Must See Thursday night comedies are gone. Parks will soon be gone.

What’s left? The Voice? Blacklist? Celebrity Apprentice? Chicago Fire? The Mysteries of Laura? State of Affairs? There’s nothing left to keep NBC viewers from yesteryears from continuing to come back. Why would any of the 30 million people who used to watch Seinfeld stick around to watch Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon?

What the hell happened to NBC, and when did it become the new CBS? Yes, NBC does lead among all networks in the ratings this season in the 18-49 demo, but what have they got to show for it? Who is going to be binge watching Chicago P.D. a year from now? And Undateable? Has anyone seen this show? It’s fucking unwatchable. Did the programming department just stop giving a sh*t? NBC has completely lost its identity.

What the hell happened? The Peacock used to strut proudly with Frasier and Seinfeld and Friends and E.R., and Will & Grace. Even when the Peacock was limping, it still had bright colors with The Office and 30 Rock and Community.

I liked NBC better when it was in last place. Now it’s just bullshit buoyed by a singing competition and a James Spader pseudo-procedural with a talentless supporting cast. Everything else is just filler that gets moved around so that NBC could take advantage of the lead-outs for its two hit shows.

And yet, somehow The Apprentice has been on for 14 seasons.

Think about this: Donald Trump is the fucking mascot of NBC.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.