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

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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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."

  • TVDude

    Given NBC’s newer love for farewell seasons, I think Parks will at least be back for one of those if nothing more. Although its ratings are nothing to get excited about, it’s performing better than 30 Rock, which got a farewell season. Given that NBC is cautious to not alienate current viewers and the fact two veteran shows are already leaving, I think it’ll be back for at least 13 episodes. It would be kind of neat to see it paired with 1600 Penn next year. As long as it doesn’t drop below Whitney, I think it’ll be back.

    Thursday’s next year might look like this:
    8pm Community
    8:30pm Parks and Recreation
    9pm 1600 Penn
    9:30pm The New Normal (Or Go On, but I’m willing to bet that at least one of the two will remain on Tuesdays).

    Wednesday will remain sitcoms and Tuesday will be used to launch a new show.

    While I don’t see my projected Thursday block performing well, I also think it would go through a lot of changes come midseason, especially if Community and Parks are given 13 episode orders.

  • Dan

    OK NBC, so after The Office and 30 Rock end you are gonna ax both Community and Parks while probably letting go of WHitney, UAN, and GWK.

    No Parks and Rec will be renewed, I think Thursdays could look like this

    8:00 Parks and Recreation
    8:30 The New Normal
    9:00 Go On
    9:30 Michael J Fox Comedy
    10:00 Parenthod / Grimm / Chicago Fire (Anything but Rock Center)

    Go On is a good candidate to inherit The Office’s 9:00 slot now that The Farm isn’t moving forward. Parks and The New Normal can both work at 8:00 and 8:30, while The Michael J Fox comedy is a good candidate for the 9:30 slot. Of course Parenthood will be renewed but maybe NBC will move it to Thursdays at 10, now that its proved that its a stable show. There’s not that much competition anyway Thursdays at 10 and Parenthood is a comedy-drama. Maybe Grimm would work there too. I don’t see NBC airing a new drama in that slot, thats better reserved for Tuesdays at 9 or 10.

    I cant make any guesses on Community because it has not premiered yet but my guess is that its probably done in May. Out of Whitney, Guys With Kids and Up All Night, Whitney has the best show at another year. Well see by May.

    NBC needs to cut back on Comedy for the fall but they have enough Returning dramas to fill slots

    Dramas SVU, Grimm, Parenthood, are all definites for renewal
    Dramas Smash (midseason), Revolution, and Chicago Fire all have really god chances.
    For Once there are no dramas from the fall which are in danger for cancellation.

  • Mithrandir

    I honestly can’t see Parenthood in a timeslot before 9PM. They address some sensitive topics in a very open manner, there is a significant amount of adult language on the show and regularly portray PG-13 sex and love-making scenes. An 8 PM timeslot would never work, I think there would be too much backlash from groups opposed to having a more adult-oriented drama on at an hour when young kids may likely see it. That said, I hope and pray Parenthood returns for a FULL season 5…it is one of my absolute favorite shows on TV.

  • Nick

    Parenthood could easily fit at 8 pm. If NBC thinks Whitney is family-friendly enough for 8 pm, they won’t give a second thought to Parenthood.

  • Michelle

    I actually hope that Parenthood continues to get shorter season orders, rather than the full 22 episodes, for however long it remains on the air (which is hopefully at least a couple more years!). I’m starting to think more and more that somewhere between 13-16 episodes is the perfect length for a network show. It’s long enough to allow for multi-episode arcs, but short enough to avoid too much filler. In addition to Parenthood, I think it worked really well for Parks and Rec in season 3 (16 episodes), which many people consider its strongest season. Same goes for 30 Rock – I think the 13 episode order was just the right amount to wrap up storylines. I’m sure 22 episodes will remain the norm, but I hope the networks continue to experiment with things like shorter seasons and more year-round development.

  • mm

    Save Parenthood!!!!!

  • Liz

    Please do not cancel Parenthood! It must be saved! Perhaps it needs to move to another night – but it shouldn’t be cancelled.

  • Big Joe

    I hope they renew Parenthood and that they keep it at 10pm. There are a lot of story lines that would have to be stifled and heavily edited for an 8pm time slot.

  • Elizabeth Colla

    What is not clear to most fans of Parenthood is the question of renewal or not! What is wrong with NBC? Parenthood is the best real family show on TV. You keep adding new shows, give them a few weeks then boom they’re gone. Parenthoodi is reality in this crazy world we live in. Keep it on and finally be a winner in showing the viewers good TV.

  • Olivia Lubeck

    I love parenthood!!! It is the only show I look forward to watching every week!! And the only reason I stay up late! NBC must keep it!

  • nikki

    Parenthiod is the onky show i follow i would hate to see such an amazing show cancelled

  • Amanda

    Parenthood better be coming back! It is such an amazing show, maybe giving it an earlier time will help ratings? I know for me 10 is normally too late so I DVR it and a lot of people seem to feel that way too. Please keep it, it has been a fave of mine since the first show!

  • Jennifer

    Love Parenthood want to make sure it comes back next season…..Great Show

  • toprat

    ,@seattle frauds, is it really nessessary to call people names over their comments.

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