Friday, January 28th, 2011

NBC's Thursday Night Ratings Hang On For Dear Life

It's kind of weird that tracking NBC's Thursday night ratings feels like checking the lifeline of good comedy on TV, right? Like, if Parks and Rec and Community suddenly tank and get cancelled, it would really be a terrible sign for great, single-camera sitcoms on TV on any network, NBC or otherwise. As the highest-profile smart sitcoms on TV (well, Modern Family counts too, but they certainly have no issues with ratings), they're kind of the canaries in the comedy coal mines. If they fail, NBC's new bosses are likely to take a cue from the much-more-successful CBS and put broader multicam stuff on the air instead. And frankly, that would be heartbreaking.

So! With that in mind, let's see how they did last night.

Community stayed even with last week's numbers, pulling in 4.6 million viewers. That's the good news! The Office, 30 Rock and Parks and Rec didn't fare as well, losing 11%, 11% and 6% from last week, respectively.

Meanwhile, Perfect Couples took a serious dip of 19% from its premiere, and Outsourced got a modest 6% bump (although it was still the lowest-rated show of the night).

The takeaway? The four beloved shows in question are all hanging in there. Did any of them beat last night's rerun of $#*! My Dad Says? Depressingly, no. But as long as they can keep these numbers, they're don't look to be in danger of getting cancelled anytime soon.

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  • krendik

    The success of CBS comedies is further proof of our decline into Idiocracy.

    I bet those numbers get better once time-shifted views are factored in.

    • HerooftheBeach

      I tend to see it the opposite way, that Community and Parks and Rec are feeling out a bold new frontier for comedy. If we lost them, we wouldn't be sinking into decline but just failing to move forward. Which is still really fucking depressing, but a little less pessimistic maybe?

  • JoshUng

    When watching NBC on Thursday night, I change my mind three different times as to what the best comedy on TV is. Its too bad the ratings don't reflect the quality of the shows. While none of the shows may quite be Seinfeld (which is arguable), I'd say the entire lineup (or at least the strongest 4, last year's lineup) is stronger than other years. Excluding Outsourced and Perfect Couples, when I can say the Office is my least favorite show on a particular night, that's pretty good.