Friday, September 23rd, 2011

It's Probably Best If You Don't Look at Last Night's Ratings for NBC's Comedies

It's official: we are weirdos, outside the mainstream, who like things that most people find unpalatable. Admit it, you've always known it deep down, but now we have the TV ratings to prove it: over 10 million more people watched The Big Bang Theory than Community last night.

No, last night's ratings weren't great for the shows we like to champion around these parts. Community was watched by 3.98 million people; Parks and Rec, 4.11; The Office, 7.63. Whitney actually did OK, with 6.71 million people watching that. But compared to Two and a Half Men (28 million), 2 Broke Girls (19 million), and The Big Bang Theory (14 million), they're all losers. It's those numbers for Community and Parks and Rec that really break my heart; they're both down significantly from last year. The two best comedies on network TV by a wide margin are being pretty much ignored by most people. I'm not sure how they can survive with those numbers.

But hey, they exist right now, right? We at least have that. And when NBC ends up canceling Community and replacing it with the sort of lowest-common-denominator multicam show that prints money for CBS, we can at least turn to cable, where there are far more outlets for the type of comedy that we misfits love so much than ever before. Because man, it certainly doesn't look like it has much of a future on network TV.

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  • Col. Hapablap

    Put "Parks & Rec" back where it belongs, at 9:30, when more of us viewers in its target audience are actually watching television. They keep moving it around and confusing me every season. Stop sucking, NBC.

    • Joshua Kurp

      @Col. Hapablap It's not NBC's fault, though. It's convenient, but inaccurate, to blame the network. They hyped Community, Parks, and especially The Office A LOT this past month. The real problem is that people aren't watching the show, and that has nothing to do with their timeslots. It's really a time where I want to scream out: WHY ARE YOU SO DUMB, AMERICA? WHY IS JIM PARSONS' STUPID VOICE FUNNIER TO YOU THAN RON SWANSON?!?

    • Jason Farr@facebook

      @Joshua Kurp I agree that it's mainly America's fault for being so prone to liking mediocre crap, but NBC didn't do nearly the amount of publicity for the rest of Thursday night comedy as they did Whitney. You couldn't escape that campaign. If they had put that kind of effort into Community's 1st season, or heck,= even Scrubs years ago after Garden State popped, they could be in a better position. Instead, that Whitney kind of publicity didn't happen except for crap like Joey. And that's why that network is hurting. I mean, look at the big movies stars they've had on the network the last 7 years. They couldn't make that work for them? The shows are good. They have people who are huge movie stars…yet the shows aren't being watched. America likes them, NBC isn't utilizing that somehow.

    • Col. Hapablap

      @Joshua Kurp I feel you, but you have to agree that making it a midseason show, then moving it an hour up, and then running a more limited promotional campaign is a setup for failure. They have never given the show a real shot to remain in a solid timeslot. And then add to that the reality that younger, educated viewers tend to watch later shows, and it just doesn't make sense. "Community" and "Parks & Rec" simply aren't 8-9 PM shows. And yes, when you air does impact your ratings.

  • chris chris

    Maybe the rating system is broke? I really want my Community and P&R and 30 Rock to continue at least for 3 more years.

  • http://www.twitter.com/becca_oneal Rebecca O'Neal

    I really just don't understand.

  • Jason Farr@facebook

    I will never understand the stupidity of America. I honestly do think this in some way comes back to Zucker. He did some damage to NBC while he was head of entertainment. He didn't create lasting success and squandered what could have been. Now people just aren't used to watching NBC so they don't see the commercials for their great lineup and it comes at a time when traditional TV viewing is dying. Kids are gonna be hard to grab cause they're broke and watch everything online and older audiences are stuck in their routine of watching ABC and CBS.
    Here's what really bothers me, though. I can handle living in a world where 2 1/2 Men and Big Bang have more viewers than Community and Parks and Rec because they have a broader appeal. But I cannot understand why I have to live in a world where Jim Parsons wins an Emmy two years in a row when Nick Offerman and Community don't even get nominations. The industry should at least give these shows their due as being far superior.

  • Carl Hess@twitter

    So, should be start our internet campaign to get Community picked up on a cable channel now?

  • http://twitter.com/joshung Joshua Ungerleider

    I thought Community always hovered around a 4? Is that far off (I have no clue what the numbers mean)?

    For what it's worth, I don't think NBC renewed Community thinking "This is the year it will be a ratings smash hit" so unless they really tank, I can't imagine them getting cancelled midseason.

  • http://videoshare.tumblr.com Firas Alexander

    What a let down. I really wish we had a better way to gauge ratings too, but I think the networks are trying to get exposures for the ads that fund them and that NBC's comedy block (as funny as it is) is probably making people who decide the fates of shows nervous.

    My suggestion: Networks put the ads that are supposed to run with the show online. Fans of the show go to the website and watch the ads. This gets counted as a "real view" for the show, since all they really care about is making money and all we want is Community, Parks and Rec, etc. to have a healthy life span.

  • Nick Taylor@facebook

    Can we talk about moving Community away from getting its face punched in by god damn Big Bang Theory? Abed < Sheldon

  • Wilberforce

    9.6 million people watched the middle

    Farck me

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Worcester/818292220 Ben Worcester

    Somewhere David Cross has a quote, while talking about why Arrested Development pulled low ratings, to the effect of: "Americans like shit." Tellin' it like it is, for the most part. Can't remember where I heard him say this.