NBC’s comedy line-up in trouble

17 04 2007

With the numbers in for NBC’s Thursday night line-up in, it could spell trouble for the shows. Thursday were once a night, the network ruled with show such as Friends, Seinfeld, Cheers, Will & Grace, etc. This past week marks the weakest rating the network has ever received. The Office (No. 38), which is subsequently down from its previous season, only attracted a slim 5.1 million viewers easily beaten by Ugly Betty in its timeslot. Many have speculated how long the show will continue along. With increasingly disappointing numbers, The Office (which has been renewed for a fourth and possible final season) might not make it past next fall. 30 Rock (No. 46), which despite pathetic rating has been renewed for a second season – most likely brought on by its critical praise, wrangled 4.7 million viewers. Capping off the night of laughs was Scrubs (No. 29), which while down from its fifth season still remains leagues ahead of these two doomed comedies, walked away with more than 6.8 million viewers.
It might be time for NBC to let go of dead weight (The Office, Andy Barker P.I., 30 Rock) and focus on re-creating the magic again with strong ensemble comedies that are both witty and character driven as they did with Seinfeld and Friends, two shows which in syndicated average more viewers a week than new episodes of The Office or 30 Rock.
Audiences aren’t liking either of these shows, so NBC should move to develop something that will help revive the sitcom, not further erode the format.

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