In advance of its “official” upfront tomorrow, NBC has announced its new schedule. We’ll have more coverage of the whole schedule coming later today or tomorrow morning. But given our collective love for “Community,” we wanted to get this bit to you right away. As we learned earlier last week, we will be getting more “Community.” However, it won’t be on Thursday night. There had been speculation that NBC may move the low-rated, critical darling to another night, but I don’t think anyone really expected it to get get dumped on Friday nights.
But there you have it, 8:30 on Fridays, following the (inexplicably-renewed) “Whitney.” Some may scream of the foul treatment of their beloved show but, frankly, I don’t think this is a particularly bad thing. First, NBC is trying to build-out Friday into something other than a graveyard which, putting aside the fact that most of NBC’s schedule on any given night is a graveyard, is not a bad idea. But more importantly, the “Community” fans are a pretty devoted bunch, and I expect the Friday ratings to remain about the same as they were on Thursdays (with one caveat I’ll get to in a minute). Last Thursday, “Community” was the twelfth-ranked show of the night, with about 3.12 million viewers. Had it aired on Friday, it would’ve been the eleventh-ranked show with that number of viewers. So it’s really not in a different situation except for this — the spread between the number one ranked show on Thursday night (“American Idol,” with 15.10 million) and “Community” is almost five million viewers more than the number one ranked show on Friday night (“Blue Bloods,” with 10.66 million) and “Community.” So the overall impact of “Community’s” low ratings hurt a bit less on Fridays, which means it’s conceivable that the upcoming fourth season may not be the last.
But that’s if the ratings stay the same. And the big caveat I mentioned is that creator Dan Harmon is not yet signed on for the upcoming fourth season. I have every expectation that NBC and Harmon will get their shit worked out. But, the network will do the show without him, and while they may think the show won’t suffer, fans may disagree. “Community” has a great writing staff, to be sure. But make no mistake, it’s Dan Harmon’s show through and through. Again, I fully expect we’ll see him
resign re-sign in the near future. But if he doesn’t, “Community” may suffer strongly for it, and NBC may find itself longing for the days of three million viewers.
But that’s all in the future. For now, Six Seasons and a Movie moves one step closer to reality. And that’s a good thing. Because that Greendale gang, they’re special.