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

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

January 6th, 2013

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."

  • Anne Noise

    Keep them both, please, I love them both.

  • Paul

    Forget Parks and Recs overall ratings for a moment. With The Office gone, 30 Rock gone, Up All Night a goner, Thursdays need comedies. You can’t just put all new ones – at least that’s not NBC’s practice. Parks and Rec survives for at least one more season to see if they can find more Go On’s and The New Normal’s to keep Thursdays afloat.

  • Cyrax86

    They should keep the established Community and Parks & Recreation for the 8 pm hour and launch new comedies in the 9 pm hour, at least the former two has a base while it would likely be impossible to launch new sitcoms against TBBT.

  • Yamaha

    Parenthood is a no brainer renewal.

    The comedies shouldn’t even continue after this season, I would’ve given P&R one more week though. After seeing Whitney & Guys with Kids ratings this past week the multi-cams are their future.

  • Austin

    Parks and Recreation and Parenthood are my two favorite shows on TV. If one of them isn’t renewed, I’d be so sad. Both of them having amazing casts especially Parks and Recreation. There isn’t one boring person on that cast. While Parenthood captures drama and I like it better than Homeland… is that wrong? :P

  • 134sc

    I like Parenthood (good acting and writing), so I will be happy if it comes back. That being said, I won’t be crying myself to sleep if it doesnt.

  • steven

    I think they should move parenthood to 8 on thursdays next year, followed by the michael j fox comedy and another comedy, then a new drama at 10

    parks and recreation would either get a full final season or be held to mid-season. i love the show so i hope it isnt canceled. if 1600 penn works out, maybe those 2 can pair up?

  • Potato

    @Cyrax86– Yeah, community plays an excellent sacrificial lamb, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it stick around. Much easier than trying to put something new against the number one (? maybe, not totally sure) comedy on the networks.

  • John A

    NBC never treat Parenthood well. It never gets a full season when it deserves it. But glad its safe at least.

  • Oliver

    It would be a big surprise if Parks isn’t renewed, even if it only has a 13 episode order for mid-season. NBC seems to be holding on to it for 2014 syndication.

    TBBT is the #1 scripted (well, #1 non-sports) show on television.

    They faced zero original competition.

  • Seattle Frauds

    single-cams sucks! Parenthood rules

  • Oliver

    @Seattle Frauds

    Erm, except Parenthood, like all modern dramas, are single-cam.

  • ethan

    no reason for nbc not to keep these…both solid performers worth keeping around another year or two while they try to rebuild the network. then again they do have a lot of intriguing shows coming soon, so if they all or mostly do well, parenthood could become expendable. still i expect it to get at least one more season.

  • ian

    What I think NBC Thursday will look like next fall

    8:00: the new normal
    8:30: parks and recreation
    9:00: new michael j fox comedy
    9:30: go on
    10:00 new drama

  • Seattle Frauds

    Um Oliver Twist I wasn’t talking to you so why did you respond?

    I was only talking about the comedies not the dramas idiot.

  • Oliver

    @Seattle Frauds

    You don’t seem to understand how commenting on the Internet works. This isn’t a platform for private conversations.

    Why don’t you like single-camera comedies? Do you need to be told when to laugh? If not, why aren’t you begging the networks to create multi-camera dramas?

  • Greg

    My guess is a 13-episode final season for Parks and Recreation, two 16-episode seasons for Parenthood (ending the show with an even 100) and Community cancelled by the end of May.

  • Daw Johnson

    I’m a massive Parks fan, but the reality is that the show has had plenty of opportunity (and buzz, media attention, etc) to grow its audience, and it just hasn’t.

    And, worse, it’s been very weak creatively this season (easily its worst since its first), and it’s never been a dominant awards performer, so it’s not even a major asset for NBC in that regard.

    I don’t expect it to be cancelled, but there was talk that Parks was on the cusp of replacing The Office as NBC’s flagship, and that just isn’t happening.

  • Oliver

    @Daw Johnson
    NBC’s mistake was not putting Parks after The Office during its first season, which put a ceiling on its ratings.

    Same with Community, which NBC dumped in its crappy 8pm timeslot after 3 episodes behind The Office, before having to face TBBT and Idol in its second season.

  • Nick

    What NBC should do next season:

    8: The Voice/ The Biggest Loser
    10: The Eleventh Commandment (new)

    8: The Voice
    9: Untitled Cee Lo Green Project (new)
    9:30: Go On
    10: Untitled Cuaron & Friedman Project (new)

    8: Parenthood
    9: Revolution
    10: Family Affair (new)

    8: Parks & Recreation
    8:30: The New Normal
    9: Untitled Michael J. Fox project (new)
    9:30: Untitled Peter Murrieta Project (new)
    10: Law & Order: SVU

    8: Dateline
    9: Grimm
    10: Dracula (new)

    8: Untitled MJF project (R)
    8:30: Untitled Cee Lo Green Project (R)
    9: Dracula (R)
    10: Law & Order: SVU (R)

    Sun- (midseason)
    7: Dateline NBC
    8: The Celebrity Apprentice
    10: Chicago Fire

    Midseason- Community

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