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DVR Divas: Is Thursday Night on NBC Still Must-See TV?

by Patricia Chui, posted May 17th 2010 12:16AM
Community: Modern WarfareOn Sunday's upfronts conference call, NBC unveiled its fall lineup -- and one of the surprises was that sophomore sitcom and critical darling 'Parks and Recreation' would not be part of the fall schedule, but would be moved to midseason.

'Parks,' of course, is part of NBC's Thursday-night lineup, otherwise known (in one of the most insidious and effective examples of TV advertising ever) as "must-see TV." Historically, it's been a powerhouse of a night, since the '80s it's boasted such successes as 'The Cosby Show,' 'Friends,' 'Seinfeld,' 'L.A. Law' and 'ER.'

But have Thursday nights on NBC always been great? How does the current slate of shows compare to past blocks of programming? Does the lack of a strong ensemble drama cripple the lineup irreparably (and can 'Love Bites,' which will be filling that 10PM slot, save NBC's Thursdays from a season of 'The Jay Leno Show' and 'The Marriage Ref')?

Our DVR Divas panel of Patricia Chui, Chris Harnick, Joel Keller, Eric Larnick, Andrew Scott and Kelly Woo look back at our favorite NBC Thursday-night lineups through the years and examine today's comedy block of 'Community,' 'Parks,' 'The Office' and '30 Rock,' all the while wondering: Is Thursday night on NBC still must-see TV?

Note: This broadcast was filmed before NBC's upfront call announcing the new lineup.

Audio only:

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How is this even up for debate?

Community is HILARIOUS -- funniest new show by far (sorry Modern Family, but you've been pwned -- Community fans will see what I did there); The Office is perennially funny (I'm sadden to hear that NBC thinks it might keep the franchise afloat without Steve Carell--it can't); Parks and Rec is spotty, but generally ranges from "amusing" to "ROLFCOPTER"; and '30 Rock' is the reigning king of funniest shows on television.

If you aren't into emotionally stunted, nobody-talks-like-that, woman-child surgeons (Grey's) or lameduck, played-out reality (Survivor), NBC absolutely has the must-see lineup (Fringe is solid, but I honestly can't even tell you what is on before it--I think it's Bones?--so the whole evening can't be considered "must see").

May 17 2010 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In my home we record Community, P&R, Office & 30 while we watch Survivor & Fringe. That's how we get the best of both worlds. We watch the NBC comedy block either at 10pm on Thursday, or Friday night or Saturday night. We often have to replay/rewind during the NBC comedy shows because WE ARE LAUGHING SO MUCH while watching them. That being said, I definitely plan on buying Community as soon as it is released on DVD - it's a gem. I already watch The Office in syndication and I'm very much forward to enjoying 30 Rock when it eventually moves to syndication as well. We didn't like the 1st season of P&R, but it has improved so much this season. We think NBC has finally put together a solid comedy block (and it took sooooo long) so we're surprised to see them mess with it by moving P&R to midseason. We wonder if Amy P.'s pregnancy has anything to do with that - maybe they needed to work shooting around that ? The replacement series 'Outsourced' sounds terrible on paper (what is next, a sitcom named 'Furloughed' ?) so we look forward to P&R being added back into the line-up ASAP next season.

May 17 2010 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I completely agree with your guys' points, and I personally think this past season was a return to glory for Must-See TV. The current four comedies are the best on network TV. "Modern Family" is good but overrated. You could put it over "The Office" this season, but it can't touch the other three.

I've always loved NBC's Thursday night comedies, but this is the first season that I've really watched for two complete hours. There was always a half hour in there where I could just wander from the TV and do some dishes.

May 17 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

Are you kidding it's been must see since 2006 with "My Name is Earl" & "The Office" ever since then there have been amazing comedies on NBC thu

May 17 2010 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That moniker has moved to ABC on Wednesday night (The Middle, Cougar Town, and Modern Family).

May 17 2010 at 7:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

must-see tv?more like must miss tv.i watch ch. 6 on thursday.all i watch on nbc is law&order&svu.now just svu. nbc stands for-Nothing But Crap.

May 17 2010 at 3:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I feel like if I heard the phrase "I feel like" one more time, I was going to stab myself in the neck with a pen.

May 17 2010 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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