I don’t know which is worse: NBC moving Community to Fridays or that Whitney is going to be the show’s new lead-in. Trying to make a positive out of it is pretty hard. Friday night is the death slot in television terms (I guess Saturday evening would be worse but no one schedules anything on Saturdays anymore). Plus, NBC only gave Community a 13 episode order which isn’t cancellation but an easy out if the show’s ratings get any worse (which under other circumstances wouldn’t seem possible).
On the less dim side (it’s hard to find a bright side here), it’s out of an absolutely brutal timeslot. It was up against both American Idol and The Big Bang Theory making it likely for viewers to not only miss watching it live but also making it difficult to DVR if you were a fan of all three. I suspect the DVR numbers for Community are going to increase exponentially which may help garner it a back nine episode order if NBC is really trying to invest in Friday nights and not just putting Community and Whitney out to pasture.
What NBC and Sony Pictures should do if they really want viewers to start watching the show is make all seasons available on Netflix. Shows like The Walking Dead and Mad Men have shown benefits from having Netflix subscribers binge on entire season over the summer and then anticipate the shows return. I know Hulu Plus users have access but clearly that’s not enough.
Illustration by Chris Schweizer