NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ ties season 4 high; did NBC make a mistake with limited order?

NBC LogoSomeday, we like to imagine NBC waking up from a rather long nap and realizing just what a mistake they have made with “Parenthood” the past two seasons. The show does not have the best lead-in on television, does not really get much in the way of publicity, and is continually snubbed by awards shows. However, it still manages to consistently be a solid performer in the network’s primetime lineup.

On Tuesday, the show upped the ante in score a 2.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which put in a commanding first-place lead for the night (even if it is adjusted down in the final numbers). “Vegas” (1.5) has been a huge disappointment for CBS, and “Private Practice” (1.2) floundered despite having one of their best episodes ever Tuesday. All of this information causes us to beg the question: why isn’t this show getting a 22-episode order? We know that NBC is using this timespot to launch “Smash” in the spring, but there are still other spots on the schedule where lower-rated series (“Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order: SVU”) are getting full seasons despite having lower numbers.

If the shorter orders are for creative reasons, we’ll understand that. The last thing you want to do with a show is drag out its life to the point where the writing feels deliberately slowed down to accommodate a much larger episode count. We just don’t know for sure if that is the reason, but them little gem of a show is something that NBC should appreciate more. The one piece of good news we can offer is that season 5 seems to be almost a given at this point.

The only other major ratings new worth pointing out here is that despite “Go On” being a repeat, “New Girl” disappointed badly with just a 2.0 rating. Somewhere, Fox executive Kevin Reilly needs to be given a few cold, hard stares over the way in which he has crippled this show courtesy of its lack of a good lead-in, especially when it is one of the funniest on all television.

If you want to read more on last night’s “Private Practice” episode, you can do some over here.

Photo: NBC

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