Last summer, not much was made in advance about “Undateable,” a fun sitcom from Bill Lawrence featuring a lineup that included Chris D’Elia, Ron Funches, and many more as a group of friends who hang out around a Detroit bar. That show ended up being a sleeper hit for NBC in the summer, and it was aired for a second season in the spring. Now, it’s got a very unusual season 3 arrangement that includes airing live episodes on Friday night.
So where are we going with all of this? We are basically leading into NBC’s decision now to give a similar treatment to two other comedies that did not see the light of day this past season: “Mr. Robinson” featuring Craig Robinson of “The Office,” and then “The Carmichael Show” featuring comedian Jarrod Carmichael. Both shows are going to get at least a chance to air, and their programming strategy is the same as “Undateable” season 1: Airing episodes in one-hour blocks until they are over.
Given that these two shows only have six-episode orders, though, these “seasons” are going to be over in an incredibly short span of time. NBC announced today that “Mr. Robinson” is going to premiere on Wednesday, August 5, where it will air at 9:00 p.m. Eastern in a lineup that also includes “Last Comic Standing” and “America’s Got Talent.” (Ironically, Robinson hosted the reality competition for a season.) Meanwhile, “The Carmichael Show” will premiere three weeks later on august 26.
Do either one of these shows have a big chance of drawing big ratings? It’s doubtful. At least with “Undateable,” that show got a chance to at least air the majority of its new episodes earlier in the summer last year. It’s going to be harder for either one of these shows to shine in a difficult part of the summer.