Today, NBC is making some pretty big moves when it comes to the future of their primetime lineup. Are there cancellations? Definitely, and we also have word now on when some new shows are going to premiere.
First of all, we begin with the predictable news that after weeks of low ratings, “Ironside” and “Welcome to the Family” are canceled. This is particularly bad news for both Blair Underwood and Mike O’Malley, who for whatever reason cannot keep a steady full-time job in TV despite being great actors with expansive resumes. This is the second straight show featuring Underwood to not last beyond a year, while O’Malley had many failed pilots before this one. (He was, however, brilliant both in “Glee” and in “Justified.”) Neither one of these shows premiered to big ratings, and it has only gotten worse in the months since.
As for what will be replacing these shows, the big news is that “Community” season 5 will now premiere on Thursday, January 2 at (you guessed it) 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. NBC seems to have no problem at all repeatedly throwing this show to the wolves and against “The Big Bang Theory,” though “Parks and Recreation” proved with their own ratings this year that the problem here really is more of “the timeslot than any fault of “Community’s.” While the long-term ratings are unclear, we expect solid numbers for the first episode back featuring Dan Harmon running the show again. Last year, the critics were less than enthused about a season with new people helping to steer the ship. “Parks and Recreation” is going to shift back a half-hour, and will now go up against “The Millers” (a less formidable foe that was picked up today for a full season).
Meanwhile, new series / “Chicago Fire” spin-off “Chicago PD” will launch on Wednesday, January 8 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern in the place of “Ironside.” It’s another cop show, so we have a hard time really imagining that anyone will be too excited to check that out when you consider that there is already “CSI” on at that same timeslot. We expect “Chicago PD” to last maybe around three episodes longer.
This is a busy week for “Community,” as star Donald Glover has been in the headlines for a lengthy rant on Intagram talking about his emotional struggles of the past year. He has since denied that he is depressed, and Harmon has also come out and said that the two have been in communication.