NBC Chief More Confident About 'Parenthood' Being Renewed Than 'Parks & Recreation?'

There’s certainly no upside to announcing renewals (or cancellations) before any decisions have been made, so it was no surprise when at today’s TCA session NBC chief Bob Greenblatt was non-committal when pressed for renewal info, neither Greenblatt nor entertainment president Jennifer Salke would confirm that Parenthood would be back but Greenblatt said it would be a strong possibility.  We’ve had it at certain renewal all season long in both the Renew/Cancel Index and Bubble Watch? Why? Because it has (very) slightly better than average ratings and is only a season away from having the necessary number of episodes for a more lucrative stripped (Monday-Friday) syndication deal. Sure, serial shows generally don’t perform well in syndication, but even more generally, networks don’t cancel average performers, so it’s hard to imagine NBC won’t renew the show.

On Parks and Recreation he was less committal and even lumped it in with Community, which seemingly isn’t a fantastic omen, even though Greenblatt spoke positively about Community. “I hate to sort of predict [about ‘Parks & Recreation] because its a long way between here and May, but we love it. I’m hopeful, and the same with Community.”

Though we have had Parks & Recreation at “likely to be renewed” it’s not surprising to us that he didn’t make as strong of a statement about its prospects as Parenthood (which again, we’ve had as a certain renwal). ‘Parks’ has been a bit less than average ratings performer, but close enough to average as to typically be renewed. But unlike Parenthood, Parks & Recreation will have the necessary episodes for stripped syndication at the end of this season.  I’m sure some will think the tone of Greenblatt’s comments suggests that we should ratchet down our optimism and bump Parks & Recreation down to being on the bubble/a toss-up for renewal. But based on its current relative ratings, I still think it’s more likely to be renewed. Enough episodes for stripped syndication is good, but more episodes for syndication is better!

As for Greenblatt’s seemingly effusive optimism for Community, that’s like being a Chicago Cubs fan before the first game of the season is played. It’s easy to be kind and optimistic when you haven’t seen a single ratings data point for the fourth season of Community!  At least heading into spring I am certainly more optimistic for Community than the Cubs. With Sony’s involvement, it’s not unthinkable that Sony will wheel and deal to get more episodes for syndication, even if its ratings are terrible.

“We’re absolutely hopeful it will lead to a fifth season,” Greenblatt said of Community. “I’d love nothing more than to see it continue.”

Greenblatt also took a never say never stance regarding another Munsters reboot. “I won’t say we won’t do another version of The Munsters again,” in a post-TCA session Q&A. Take that as you will, but I take that much more as “Why should I say never” than “We’re going to do another Munsters reboot.”

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