‘Community’ returns to NBC; what should our expectations be?

We’re back…

If you’re as diehard a “Community” fan as we are around these parts, then you have probably been waited with bated breath for March 15 to roll around for quite some time. The return of season 3 is finally upon us, and we can see such what sort of insanity the Greendale Human Beings have gotten themselves into this time.

But with this show, we can unfortunately not just talk about blanket forts, pop-culture references, and paintball wars — we also must discuss ratings. As of late, “30 Rock” has been drawing a 1.4-1.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic in the same 8:00 p.m. Eastern timeslot, where it has been up against “American Idol,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “The Vampire Diaries.” In other words, the timeslot is a beast. The good news for “Community” fans? That “Big Bang” will not be on Thursday night. The bad news? It’s being replaced by something also rather popular: March Madness.

There is some hope among the internet community that the long hiatus has gotten new people into the show thanks to word of mouth, and it’s possible that it has. Our main fear is just that these same people have been catching up with the show online, and that is where they are going to continue to watch the show. Based on some major syndication benefits that could happen if the show gets to season 4 (and consequently past the 88-episode threshold that is common these days for studios to be able to sell off their shows), we still have the show coming back next year pending a major disaster. If the ratings stay the same as they were in the fall, the show will be back — however, this is still a challenge thanks to springtime being near (and the TV schedule being competitive). If the ratings drop, NBC may have to make a decision that even they don’t really want to make. (Based on everything we’ve heard, executives love the show and would prefer for it to be back. The fact that “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office” are really the only two comedies with consistently stronger ratings at this point doesn’t hurt.)

We don’t what else to say other than to watch “Community,” watch it live, and tell your friends to do the same. Based on what we’ve seen from Thursday’s episode already, it’s fantastic, and well worth thirty minutes out of your day.

Photo: NBC

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