comedy done right
It seems that the network has gotten a little bored of having the occasional 40 minute episode of their Thursday night lineup (My Name Is Earl, The Office, Scrubs, and 30 Rock). It's been going on for 10 years now (it started with Friends), but NBC President of Program Planning Vince Manze says that it's not novel anymore and "I don't think anyone here thinks, at this point, super-sizing often is good for the shows. We're going to do our best to not have to do it next year."
The network is, however, going forward with plans to air several hour-long eps of The Office this fall. If that's successful, maybe they'll try it with other shows?
I recently posted news that producers of NBC's The Office were seriously thinking about extending the show to an hour every week next season. Some of you loved that idea and some of you hated it. Well, looks like we have a compromise.
According to Kristin over at E! Online, the show will have four, one-hour specials next season, as well as 24 episodes total. That's really good news, in this new age where many "full seasons" of shows often don't even hit 22 episodes. I was watching some old comedies on DVD the other day and noted that they often had 25 or 30 episodes a season back then.
Speaking of one hour, The Office one-hour season finale airs next Thursday at 8.
Rather surprising news coming from our friends over at TMZ.com: Alec Baldwin has told his bosses at NBC that he wants to be let out of his 30 Rock contract.
The news actually came during an appearance on ABC's The View (which seems to be the epicenter of all TV-related and celeb news these days). Baldwin pre-taped the interview today, which focused a lot on his recent problems with a phone call, and it will air this Friday morning.
No word on whether or not the recent controversy involving Baldwin is the reason why he wants to be let go from the show or whether he just wants to "pursue other opportunities," as they say, but the next few weeks should be interesting. Baldwin is one of the big draws on 30 Rock.
Update: NBC says no to Baldwin's request (though I guess that doesn't mean he can't leave when his contract is up).
I get a little bummed out whenever there's a rerun of The Office (I feel the same way when Letterman has a repeat week). But I saw this over at Best Week Ever and it will do until next Thursday.
It's a sneak preview of the next episode, and features Jim Halpert coming into work dressed like and talking like Dwight, which amuses Pam instantly and freaks out Dwight. I gotta say, John Krasinski does a terrific job impersonating the character of Dwight. It would have been so easy to go over the top with the voice and mannerisms, but he's actually kind of subtle.
"Identity theft is not a joke Jim! Millions of families suffer every year!" Video after the jump.
I guess some people don't think that NBC is "doing comedy right," and that the days of "Must-See TV" are long gone.
On April 12, NBC's Thursday night lineup of My Name Is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, and ER got the lowest ratings since the 1987 season. (NBC always finishes third, behind number one CBS and number two ABC.)
I guess I can understand ER not doing that well, since it has been on for quite some time (though the success of Shark surprises me), but I wonder why more viewers - beyond the loyal fans - aren't latching on to The Office and 30 Rock. They're both smart, funny shows, and you'd think more people would watch them, and Scrubs is still good even though it's been on for several seasons. Damn Grey's Anatomy and CSI!
First off, it was a great episode. Dwight shooting Roy in the eyes, all the Toby/Michael stuff (Toby is truly one of the great characters on TV right now), and Ed Helms returning at the end (which I didn't see coming) were all really funny moments. But I'm wondering: was the show really "supersized?"
Oh, I know it was longer. It started at 8pm and got over at 8:40, so it was longer in length, but didn't it seem like there were more commercials than usual? And what about that 4 minute long commercial for 30 Rock? Sure, they increase the length of the episode by 10 minutes, but 4 of those minutes are for an extended promo for another one of NBC's shows? It seemed to be shoved in there and was rather distracting.
And please, this isn't a post about "quality" or "that show sucks!"
Actually, it comes down to this: 30 Rock is owned by NBC and Studio 60 is owned by Warner Brothers. That's one of the many interesting bits of info in Lisa de Moraes' Washington Post column. I mean, that has to be the reason.
As de Moraes points out, it can't be because 30 Rock got better ratings than Studio 60, because Studio 60 got better ratings. It can't be because 30 Rock got a higher rating in the all-important 18 to 49 demo, because Studio 60 had higher ratings there, too. And it can't be because 30 Rock gets the upscale viewers that networks and advertisers like, because Studio 60 was just as good if not better there, too. And I don't think it's because Studio 60 is more expensive than 30 Rock, though that might tie into the whole ownership thing.
It is funny to see Kevin Reilly not really talk about Studio 60, a show he was "really behind" and greenlighted for a whole season. The way he talks now, 30 Rock is the centerpiece to NBC's entire future.
Fans of 30 Rock can rest easy: the show has been renewed for the 2007-08 season.
Even though the Tina Fey/Alec Baldwin/Tracy Morgan show is on NBC's "Comedy Done Right" Thursday lineup and has picked up viewer and critic steam since a so-so start, it was still iffy as to whether or not the show would actually be renewed for a second season. I'm not really sure why it was iffy, because I always thought the show would be renewed, especially since the show moved to Thursdays and people started talking about it more. I just wish Rachel Dratch was given more to do on the show.
The show returns tomorrow with one of those "supersized" episodes.
[via Pop Candy]
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