October 9, 2012

THE SKED: “Community” and “Whitney” Stay On the Shelf

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Adjust all those DVRs set for the season premiere of the newly revamped COMMUNITY.  (And both of those set to record WHITNEY as well.)  The two shows had been scheduled to join the NBC Friday line-up on October 19, but now their debuts have been postponed, with Grimm reruns in that slot for the moment.

The NBC statement attempts to pin the decision on a desire to focus more marketing attention on the shows, but this, in a word, is nonsense.  (There are other words.)  The network was never going to spend significant money on off-network promotion for two shows at death’s door airing on Friday nights, and there’s already been 5 months of opportunity to promote the shows on NBC’s own air.  It’s far more likely that with the dismal numbers for Animal Practice unlikely to improve, and with Guys With Kids and Up All Night showing limited promise, NBC needs Community and Whitney in the wings to fill slots on Wednesday and Thursday.  (Presumably the full-season backorders for Go On and The New Normal mean those series will stay where they are.)  It would certainly make logical sense to put Whitney with the multi-camera Guys, and obviously Community could fit on Thursdays, where it’s aired for the past 3 years–although neither show is particularly likely to do much better than the show it would be replacing.  (And yet both will still be better off midweek than in the Siberia of Fridays.)

If these moves are coming, look for them to be announced in the next couple of weeks, after NBC has had a chance to see a few more numbers for the current benighted shows in those slots.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."