Photo: NBC, ABC, Fox, Shutterstock.com
After a three-month hiatus, NBC’s “Community” is back on TV tonight. The show suffered a mid-season shuffle due to bad ratings/viewership, and to make room for returning comedy “30 Rock,” which also hasn’t fared well with audiences this season.
“Community” will be taking the spot of Amy Poehler‘s show “Parks and Recreation” for a few weeks while the freshman comedy “Up All Night” finishes its first season. (All of which deserve to have through-the-roof ratings)
It’s not just NBC, the other networks have some comedies and dramas that just aren’t registering with audiences. CBS just announced its new renewals and many shows like the “CSI” spin-offs and the freshman medical drama “A Gifted Man” were left off the list.
Before any series gets cancelled, here are five we hope you’ll start watching.
1. “Community” – Obviously this is one we feel strongly about.NBC executives gave the series a time-out in November when it announced its midseason lineup. But they never said the show was cancelled… they just neglected to mention a return date.
Now that the show is coming back on the air, whether or not the show will get a season four is still a looming question. But considering how little faith NBC has had on the show this season, it’s hard to be optimistic.
“Community” is a hilarious, oddball comedy that follows seven friends in a study group at a community college. But instead of highlighting certain episodes or dwelling on the plot, it’s better to mention the real champions of the series: the characters.
Look out for an upcoming “Law & Order” spoof — apparently it’s amazing.
2. “Cougar Town” – It can’t help its name. Even the creators want to change it. Courtney Cox stars as Jules Cobb, a real-estate agent who is friends with her ex-husband, has a kid almost out of his teens, has a new fiancee that lives across the street, and holds wine-drinking gabfests in her kitchen with friends who live in her cul-de-sac.
Another show that would be lost without its fantastic actors, this ABC show started out as a disappointment in the first few episodes, but it has turned into one of the best ensemble comedies currently on TV.
“Cougar Town” has had viewership problems right out of the gate which haven’t instilled any confidence for ABC executives. When the fall season premiere calendar was announced last summer, the comedy was not on the list. The only reason ABC put it back on the air was due to the abysmal ratings and quality of their cross-dressing show “Work It.” And even now, the ratings are hitting series lows. In fact, cast members Dan Byrd and Josh Hopkins have just been cast in new pilots unless “Cougar Town” is saved.
3. “Parenthood” – Back to NBC.Ever since NBC transferred “Friday Night Lights” to DirecTV’s 101 Network and ended the show prematurely at five seasons, there hasn’t been another drama that has made as much of an impact on the Peacock network … Until “Parenthood” came along.
Created by “Friday Night Lights” showrunner Jason Katims, this family ensemble drama packs as many emotional punches as the football drama did while maintaining realistic life situations.
“Parenthood” just wrapped up its third season after getting an increase of two episodes. And while that is a healthy sign, ratings are still much lower than they should be, leaving it permanently the subject of cancellation speculation. The fact that the third season finale wrapped a little too neatly also doesn’t provide a lot of hope. Plus, it doesn’t help that conservatives like Bill O’Reilly have criticised the show for its storylines involving teen sex. It simply needs another chance.
4. “Fringe” – A J.J. Abrams show. Without giving too much away or confusing anyone, we can simply say that lately, “Fringe” has been on par with some of the greatest sci-fi shows like “The X-Files” or “Battlestar Galactica.” But it’s much more than gadgets and strange scientific theories.But Fox execs are worried it’s just too expensive to keep producing more episodes. In fact, Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly says the show loses a lot of money for the network and he is “not in the business of losing money.”
Starring Anna Torv as FBI agent Olivia Dunham who investigates unexplained events, “Fringe” is one of the many shows on this list that got better and better with age.
This show, like Abrams’ other series “Alcatraz,” is a hard one to follow unless you start from the beginning. But it is definitely worth the effort.
5. “Alcatraz” – Speaking of the other J.J. Abrams show… This prison-break thriller premiered just two months ago to very solid ratings and quickly became one of the best-watched new shows.
But now, its numbers are dwindling. Even with a two-hour episode that aired last week, the show can’t seem to pick up its momentum. While its direct competition on Fox was just cancelled (“Terra Nova”), there’s still speculation on whether the show will see a second season.
The show’s premise is that prisoners who mysteriously vanished from the island in 1963 are now returning in the present day for some secret plan.
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