The Ups and Downs of NBC
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 00:09
For the past few years now, NBC has become the butt of many jokes concerning its ever-creasing dismal lineup of Primetime programming. If only counting primetime ratings, NBC has indeed fallen from grace but critics fail to point out its positives. “The Today Show”, was the number one morning show until a few months ago, the “The NBC Nightly News” is the number one nightly news broadcast, and “The Tonight Show” is still the number one late night talk show.
If it weren’t for primetime, NBC would very well be the number one network. And even that is turning around. The #1 rated primetime show for the past year was NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” which overtook the champion for the past eight years, “American Idol”.
Coupled with some strong new properties, including the new series “Revolution,” executive produced by “LOST” creator J.J. Abrams, things are turning around. After years of “Biggest Loser” overkill, things may be looking up for the peacock.
However, in what can only be described as a supernatural abnormality, NBC’s consistently superior and critically acclaimed Thursday night sitcoms have struggled to achieve strong ratings in comparison to other comedy programs on FOX, ABC, and CBS. With the exception of the masterful “Modern Family” and a select few others, many of these programs struggle to be average at best, with many such as “Two and a Half Men” simply giving the audience the same old hogwash week after week.
It’s as if the creators of these sitcoms have forgotten that the focus of almost every episode doesn’t have to center around the characters sexual and romantic exploits.
To be honest though, considering the fact that these shows absolutely destroy NBC in the ratings, the producers have no reason to change a thing.
But for those few who enjoy insanely witty, pop culture laden, and smart humor, the safe haven is NBC’s Thursday Night Comedy block. Here we’ll take a look at some programs to be featured in it throughout the next few months.
The crown jewel of the lineup is none other than three time Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy Winner “30 Rock.” The Tina Fey brainchild, starring herself and Alec Baldwin, takes viewers behind the scenes of a ficticous NBC variety show. With the wittiest references seen in a long time the show has consistently been laugh out loud hilarious and is back for an abbreviated 13 episode final season beginning Oct. 4th. Sad, but considering its abysmal ratings it’s a miracle the show has even made it this far.
“Parks and Recreation” will remind viewers of the “The Office” with its mocumentary style format which follows the staff of the Parks and Rec department of Pawnee, Indiana. With an amazing cast including SNL vet Amy Poehler, the show is a home run almost every night.
Speaking of “The Office,” while the past season didn’t quite match up due to the departure of Steve Carrell, the smartly written show returns for a final season this year.
“SNL: Weekend Update Thursday” is a simple extra half hour of comedy from the
“Saturday Night Live” crew.
After two brief stints in 2008 and 2009, the show makes a welcome return this season just in time for the Presidential election.
“Community” has been another fan favorite with but has mysteriously been denied the Emmy consideration its counterparts have become accustomed to. Featuring a group of misfit students at a community college, the show has seen some truly hilarious pop-culture referencing episodes complimented by its superior cast, including comedy icon Chevy Chase. Like “30 Rock,” the show has only been renewed for an abbreviated 13 episode 4th season and the show has been moved to Fridays at 8:30.