Wednesday, October 25, 2006

NBC brings the funny back to Thursdays

Sorry for the delay in comments on "Gilmore," "Veronica" and "Friday Night Lights," but while I was wrestling with my thoughts on each, NBC went and announced a big shake-up of their Thursday lineup. Short version: "Deal or No Deal" is gone from the night, and beginning Nov. 30, "Scrubs" and "30 Rock" take over the 9 o'clock hour. ("30 Rock" also gets a super-sized episode on Nov. 16, along with extra-length "Earl" and "Office.")

Not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, I'm glad to see "Scrubs" back early, and to see "30 Rock" getting a chance on a different night. ("20 Good Years" is dead.) But I can't see any scenario where those two shows aren't going to get destroyed by "Grey's" and "CSI" -- especially since there's so much thematic overlap between "Grey's" and "Scrubs."

And I need a ruling: Is it ironic that "30 Rock" is now going to air in the timeslot that NBC was afraid to leave "Studio 60" in?

21 comments:

Aristophanes said...

Thanks for the news, Alan! I'm pleased to see that Scrubs has returned so early in the season. It will be interesting to see how this new lineup pans out. If they have reasonable expectations, it might be a success.

Anonymous said...

This is great news, and this is possibly the first time ever in NBC Thursday night history that all 4 comedies are actually funny or in the case of Earl, at least watchable! Kudos to NBC!

Matt said...

Moderately ironic, at least moreso than "rain on your wedding day" is ironic. IMHO, they'd be canning 30 Rock right now save for two factors:

1. Desire to suck up to Lorne Michaels/Tina Fey.
2. It almost guarantees NBC an Emmy win in Supporting Actor/Comedy for Baldwin. (Hell, NBC could plausibly get all 5 nominees just off Thursday night--McGinley, Suplee, Baldwin, Krasinski, and Wilson would be a darn fine and deserving group.)

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Like I didn't have enough shows in that hour. I already watch CSI, Grey's, and The O.C.

I'm glad NBC is giving 30 Rock a chance, but I wish the show were funnier. Even with all its problems it's still WAY better than Studio 60, though.

Mike said...

I'm definitely excited for such a great four-comedy lineup, but this move does suddenly make Thursday at 9 the most jam-packed hour of TV all week. My DVR can only record two shows, so now I have to choose between Grey's, Scrubs/30 Rock, and The OC. My gut reaction is to dump The OC after that awful third season, but I'm actually hearing good things about the fourth season. I didn't really care for Scrubs last year either, but I have too much history with the show to stop watching now. Grey's is actually the one most on top of its game, but I don't have too much of an attachment to it.

Of course, maybe The OC will just continue to suck and make that decision for me. I've certainly heard that it was going back to season 1 quality before, but that never turned out to be true.

Tosy And Cosh said...

I love the move, given that I've never seen Grey's or CSI - so 9 on Thursday's was pretty barren for me, actually.

Jennifer J. said...

Considering Earl/The Office is getting it's keister kicked in the ratings by Ugly Betty (which is why I never started watching it--I have too much loyalty to Earl/The Office!)...I can only imagine how much worse it will be for Scrubs/30 Rock as GA and CSI are the two top-rated shows. I am grateful for Scrubs to be back sooner, but sometimes I just shake my head at the brains of TV programmers. I guess I should be grateful I still have a VCR (only one Tivo) and can tape something...just have to choose what. Happy to hear 20-whatever is dead in the water. It looked stale and awful!

dez said...

Same for me, tosy and cosh! This works out great on my schedule.

My worst hour is 8 o'clock Thursdays because of Survivor/Earl/Office/Betty/Smallville, but I solved that by watching Betty online and leaving the others for my dual-tuner DVR and one VCR. I love the new streaming-eps-online thang. There are even less commercials on it than on regular TV. Of course, the size isn't great, but it's also not like Betty is an SFX-reliant show, so I can deal.

Marsha said...

Thankfully, Scrubs seems to be mostly ratings-proof. NBC throws it on the schedule whenever they feel like it, and now that it's making them money in syndication, the audience is only going to grow. The loyal will find it wherever it is. So I'm not worried about Scrubs doing ok opposite Grey's.

Thank goodness I have two TiVos.

Tosy And Cosh said...

dez - I have one TiFaux, but given how often the wife and I are in and out on weeknights, it's effectively just used to make sure we catch the ONE thing per timeslot we want to watch - so, much as the buzz has me tres intrigued, I haven't caught any of Betty. (Thank God for Sci-Fi's re-running new Battlestars late Friday nights, thereby preventing a Men in Trees/Battlestar spousal face-off)

Brian said...

It's probably not going to beat either show, but at the same time, the one-hour comedy block is indeed counter programming to the two dramas, more so "CSI" than "GA," but even if I haven't watched "GA" in awhile, I don't remember it being as light as some suggest. Nevertheless, isn't this what NBC is supposed to do in order to improve in the ratings? Even if it's a struggle for both sitcoms, it's the only plausible way to try to regain the audience.

Now, I've said this before, and I will say it again: promotion is key. If nobody knows about these shows, nobody will watch. Thus, NBC better spend the next month making sure everyone who has watched NBC or one its cable networks at some point in the month that they are going on that night. It will help both those shows as well as "Earl" and "The Office," both of which seemed to be treading upward until baseball aired on Thursdays.

Matt said...

Another question is, if "Day Break" does not go well for ABC, does NBC choose to play on Wednesdays at 9 rather than stick with Biggest Loser? Something edgy and limited-runny like Black Donnellys could do very well against Criminal Minds, I think.

Anonymous said...

DAMMIT. Why, NBC, why? I love SCRUBS, like 30 ROCK. I am beginning to get sick of Grey's. It's just annoying and repetitive at this point.

Why doesn't FOX move the OC already. All their other programming is godawful - except for House. I was ready to give up on it,but from what I read everywhere the OC is really good this year. I guess I will watch OC, Tivo Greys and watch SCRUBS on NBC.com? Unless the OC isn't better.

Alan, have you seen the new OC episodes? I need help deciding.

Marsha said...

Not all Fox programming sucks - I still like Prison Break.

Hey Alan, did you watch it? Did they simply not explain how Michael saved Sucre, or did I miss something???

ooda said...

I really don't like 30 Rock (seemed like tacky funny, with attempts at being intelligent), apart from Alec Baldwin, but damn, it's going to be sad being what happens to it now. It already looks destined for cancellation, and while I applaud NBC for at least giving it a chance, and trying to bring back Thursdays, I can't see this turning out well.

Devin McCullen said...

As far as I could tell, Michael basically used the motorcycle as a counterweight to shift the log up enough to get Sucre free. Of course, there was no reason Mr. Genius couldn't have thought of that before Sucre almost drowned.

The one thing that should help Scrubs and 30 Rock get off to a good start is that it's after sweeps, so Grey's and CSI will be in reruns for awhile. Speaking of sweeps, since it doesn't start until next Thursday, apparently Lost is only going to have 1 sweeps episode before it goes on hiatus? What genius came up with that plan?

David J. Loehr said...

I don't really see the logjam problem, but that could be because "Scrubs" means I'll actually watch broadcast tv on Thursday nights now. (Or whenever I time-shift it to instead.)

brutony said...

I LOVED 20 Good Years-how can you go wrong, with Sir John Lithgow and God himself, Jeffrey Tambor,,plus, the show was FUNNY! Save 20!

Cheesesteak said...

Okay, for the Office, I've now heard that there's a supersized episode on November as well as an hour-long Christmas episode. Is this indicative of anything?

Anonymous said...

omg i cant believe that they had an earthquake in the 3rd last episode of the oc. i just hope that no one dies.

Anonymous said...

omg I cant believe that 4 the 3rd last episode of the oc they have an earthquake. I really hope nobody dies. And i hope kirstin doesnt loose the baby. I LOVE THE OC