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."

  • rob60990

    According to futon critic, NBC cut 2 episodes of both Deception & Revolution.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Rob, now posted, thanks.

  • RyanCanada

    i loved P&R but its lost me this season, i stoped watching it, i wouldnt be surprised if P&R and Community get cancelled, and Parenthood renewed, everyone i know loves it, its been in my opinion Parenthoods strongest season yet. this shortened season was so stupid on NBC’s part, its like they’ve cut every 1hr series, but what are they making room for? btw Whitney better be extented and renewed or im dropping all shows Except Grimm, i cant give up on that show i love it too much lol

  • Seattle Frauds

    @ Oliver Twist
    Um don’t get smart with me boy.

    I do need to be told to laugh, I don’t like watching television comedy that looks like a movie and hurts my eyes but you do single-cam boy so power to you.

  • Nicole

    for the people saying move parenthood to a different night.. it does well tuesday. so why move it. And maybe putting it on at 9 would help but it cant go on any earlier then that. The show is to adult and young children are still up from 8 to 9 so anything on tv has to be kid friendly still especially if its on nbc. So to make my point im glad to hear parenthood is safe.. but leave it where it is. and im so looking forward to the last few episodes this season. This season has been my favorite..

  • Michelle

    Definitely hope to see Parenthood come back! Such a great, underrated show. As for Parks & Rec, I agree it’s not as strong creatively as say season 3 and I thought the DC arc was kind of a mess, but they’ve been on a roll for the past 5 episodes, so hopefully that will continue. I’m cautiously optimistic about a renewal (possibly shortened season) if for no other reason than NBC has to air something on Thursdays at 8pm and it’s certainly not going to be a new show they want to protect, like the Michael J. Fox series. I honestly don’t even see his show running on Thursdays at all – 9pm is still a tough slot to launch a new show when it would go up against Grey’s Anatomy, Person of Interest and Glee. I would think it’s a top candidate for airing after The Voice.

  • Ram510

    I’m not too concerned about Community. I believe that if NBC doesn’t renew community even if its just midseason again Comedy Central will pick it up. I’m sure Sony is ambitious enough to strike a deal with them.

    As Parks & Recs I agree with commenter Daw Johnson, I love the show but it just hasn’t grown and this season has been its worst creatively. At this point P&R should be ready to take over as NBC’s flagship comedy and its just not there. I think as long as the rating don’t slide too bad it will be renewed since NBC really has nothing else.

  • Billy martins

    I”ve think NBC network shall get rid of their ages show like Law & Order SVU & move parenthood from Tuesday to Wednesday at 10pm following Chicago Fire at 9pm Here is how the shecdule shall be starting with
    8pm The Voice
    8pm The Biggest Loser~{Midseason}
    10pm revolution
    8pm The Voice
    8pm The Biggest Loser~{Midseason}
    10pm Smash
    8pm ~{new}
    9pm Chicago Fire~{New Time}
    10pm Parenthood~{New Day}
    8pm community
    8:30pm Parks & recreation
    9pm Up all nite
    9:30pm Whitney
    10pm Do Not Harm/{new}
    8pm deception/{new}Midseason
    9pm Grimm
    10pm Dateline

  • Ashley

    I feel like the writers/showrunner for Parks is treating it like its final season. In that respect, I’d be OK with it ending. Its still my favorite comedy on TV, but I do think they will run out of story lines and I love the show so much I’d like to see it end on a high note. Season 2 and 3 were so strong and also the first half of season 4. I thought a few of the episodes last Jan and Feb were showing signs of fatigue but then they ended season 4 strong. This fall started a little slow (I wasn’t sold on the DC Arc) but I think ever since the Halloween episode the episodes have been strong creatively) So…I agree it has sputtered some recently, but overall still a very good show. I think they will either end it this year, or give it one more final year (maybe even a shortened final season-13 eps). Either way, I hope they are given some advance notice so story lines can be written to give the show a satisfying ending.

  • Mitholas

    Am I the only one with the distinct impression that NBC just wants to get rid of its older single-camera comedies? 30 Rock and The Office are in their final stretch of episodes, Community is not going to get better ratings, or get generally better with Harmon gone, and it has always been a question mark when it comes to renewal. Up All Night is getting that weird revamp, which seems like an experiment with a show they thinknis expendable. Parks and Rec is then the only comedy left from an NBC comedy era that is particularly dear to me. I have a feeling NBC wants out of the critically-acclaimed-but-poorly-rated shows.

    As for Parenthood, it will probably always get shortened seasons, but as long as it’s still on the air, I’m not complaining. 13 episodes of the best drama on network television is eons better than not having it at alll. It’s been doing well this season,so I doubt they’d can it now.

  • Spencer

    Does anyone know why it is that Parenthood always has a shortened season, when it receives above average ratings for NBC?

  • Networkman

    Parenthood should come back for a season 5 and 6 both containing 16 episode orders. That would bring the final episode total to 100. NBC should scrap all the Thursday comedies. I feel the network should concentrate on having comedies on Tuesday and Wednesday(Friday if needed). But NBC knows Parks & Rec will see embrassing numbers without The Office. Before the season is
    over, NBC should see how Parks & Rec would perform airing after Go On. Doing better than The New Normal would be its only chance of surviving.

    8pm The Voice
    9pm Ceelo Green Project
    9:30pm Guys with Kids
    10pm Parenthood

    Possible Wednesday 2013-2014
    8pm Micheal J. Fox
    8:30pm The New Normal
    9pm Go On
    9:30pm Parks & Rec

  • Oliver


    Community is way too expensive for Comedy Central, and I don’t see Sony having enough incentive to slash the license fee far enough so they can afford it. It’s not a Cougar Town, Happy Endings or even a Futurama situation, it has enough episodes for syndication and it’s not easy to slash costs.

    If NBC cancels Community then it’s almost certainly dead, barring a complete miracle (Netflix? Hulu? Amazon?).

    The only other way is if Sony have a strong reason to think it might blow up in syndication, a la Family Guy, and wish to keep it in production to hedge their bets. Perhaps if it’s doing exceptionally well in syndication on the Comedy Network in Canada (where it airs in primetime after TBBT)?

  • Dan S

    @Mitholas, why would you think NBC wants to stop doing single cam comedies ? I for 1 refuse to sit through a multi cam regardless of how popular it is. True their current crop like 30 Rock, Community, P&R & The Office are coming to an end. I’ll only watch the new MJF show if it’s a single cm, I haven’t heard otherwise yet what format will be used. The revamp for UAN to multi cam will be a monumental bomb & hope NBC doesn’t start moving their comedies in that direction.

  • Suzette

    As a non American, I’m very surprised and amazed that shows like Parks & Rec and Community aren’t doing as good as Big Bang Theory.

  • Tom

    I think we need to add an important caveat:

    Parks’ ratings, in its current timeslot, would lean towards a renewal.

    Parks’ ratings, once it moves to 8:30, could easily drop to “only renewed as filler”.

    The big question being what NBC does with Thursdays next season. If they air three (or even four!) new comedies, they will need some insurance, even if that insurance is “scheduled” for Friday.

  • Nora

    They’ve GOT to renew Parenthood!

  • CenterGravity

    Go Community!

  • Michael

    @John A…I agree and disagree. This season of Parenthood has been one of the tightest seasons of television I’ve ever watched. No filler. No throwaway episodes. They all work and cohere beautifully. I don’t doubt that the talented cast and crew could have possibly made an equally successful longer season, but, as is, this 15 episode season has been one of the best seasons of television I’ve ever seen.

  • Michael

    @Suzette…just be happy that you are a non-American. We like paint-by=numbers procedurals and comedies that don’t make us think.

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