If you appreciate “Whitney,” the following news will be music to your ears; otherwise, you’re likely instead to cry over the latest move that NBC is making to support the low-rated comedy starring Whitney Cummings.
Following the end of “Guys With Kids” season 1 (and possibly the series as a whole, given the show’s low ratings and poor reviews) on March 6, the network is going to air repeats of “Whitney” following new episodes until the show airs in April. At that point, they will then likely try to plug in something that is not a comedy at all.
What we are really seeing from NBC at the moment is a network that is in many ways at a crossroads, along with much of network TV in general. DVR viewing is accounting for almost half of viewership, and this hurts scripted shows like comedies, which are easy to enjoy during a meal the next day, probably more than anything else. We would be stunned to see the network keep the four hours of comedy that they currently have on the schedule every week moving into next year, especially since we are in an era when reality shows and live programming are starting to become networks’ bread and butter (at least on broadcast TV).
While it is unlikely to save “Guys with Kids” or even “Whitney,” what may help some low-rated comedies in the future are the new measures that Nielsen is slowly rolling out in order to better calculate how many viewers are watching shows through other formats, including online streams and digital downloads. Some formats still do include advertising, and this could help justify keeping these shows around even if the live viewership is low.
If you want to see some of what NBC has planned for the upcoming TV season in terms of comedies, you can do so over at the link here.