Deadline has a reputation for getting the story right half the time, and not getting it right at all the other half, in which case it deletes the posts and whistles while hoping that no one is looking. The news they have tonight is both good and bad for NBC’s Thursday night lineup: Word is that “30 Rock” is near renewal for a shortened final season of 13 or 14 episodes. That’s the good news; “30 Rock” has been flailing this season, and a short order will allow it to burn all of its creative energy in a shorter burst. It also means “30 Rock” will get to go out on its terms, and on a relative high. I hope Liz can keep it together with James Marsden through the rest of the series. They’re cute together.
For some reason, however, applying the same news to “Community” and “Parks and Recreation” — that, if they’re renewed at all, they will likely received shortened seasons — doesn’t sound as sweet, mostly because I thought they were shoo-ins for full renewals given the dismal ratings of NBC and their syndication opportunities. However, from what I understand, NBC as a whole may be moving in a different direction next season. “Betty White’s Off the Their Rocker” was a hit on the network, so you can probably expect more television in that vein. You can also probably expect to close that vein on your arm, and amputate NBC from your body. We probably won’t be watching much, if any, of NBC in the future.
Gut punch? Sort of. At least shortened seasons of “Parks and Recreation” and “Community” will give us time to say goodbye, and allows the Internet three months of uninterrupted grief rage and a LOT of letter writing campaigns. The Internet is at its best when it’s grief raging.
Also note: “Whitney” looks like it’s going to get the shitcan, and it’s not looking great for “Up All Night,” although things can change depending on the success of pilot season. We’ll keep you updated as news comes in.