Tag Archives: cancellation

Girls: 2 Broke and One New – A Retrospective, A Eulogy, and An Announcement

Way back in early 2012 I posted a three-part series about two sitcoms that had premiered the previous fall. Covering 2 Broke Girls‘ and New Girl‘s respective casts, styles of humour, and approaches to race, these posts exist as a window into their first seasons as well as an unfortunate snapshot of some embarrassingly unrefined writing from yours truly [with some unrefined opinions as well, as my perspective on Morgan Freeman and Black History Month has certainly shifted since then].

All credit where it’s due, both have come a long way since their inceptions, and in generally positive ways. While not shying away from their trademark “classy-dirty” style of comedy, 2 Broke Girls eased off of the racist humour and began giving their secondary cast members more screen time and character development. New Girl had Hannah Simon’s Cece join the primary cast, with Damon Wayans Jr. even returning for a lengthy stint after his departure following the pilot. I feel fairly confident in saying that neither show every truly dipped in quality, which is saying a lot for the medium and genre they share. I would even go so far as to say that both managed to improve with each passing season.

Now, in 2017, there were a few weeks where the fate of these two sitcoms was in question. To address them consecutively…

2 Networkless Girls?

After months of reviews in which I mused on the future of the show I finally penned a post in April asking “Is 2 Broke Girls Cancelled?”. It has since garnered more comments than anything else on this blog. In it I catalogued what the creators and industry insiders had to say about its future, as well as my personal opinion as someone who has reviewed 101 episodes of the show. I felt like, as someone who stuck with 2 Broke Girls longer than the contributors to its very own wiki even did I was allowed some say.

It was Deadline that pulled back the curtain on the fact that CBS was airing a sitcom that was produced for Warner Bros. That same outlet also broke the news that the network had axed 2 Broke Girls. CBS scheduling director Kelly Kahl is quoted as saying that, as far as she knows:

“it was a creative decision more than anything else. It was not a show we own but we picked up (new comedy series Me, Myself & I and By The Book) from Warner Bros. So I don’t think it was a business decision, I think it was creatively we felt it was time.”

It’s noted that the show made Warner Bros. a very significant amount of money per episode. In spite of being a key players in their weekday lineup, CBS appears to be searching for something else they can wholly own, distribute, and profit from. Kahl even says in the same breath as “was not a show [they owned]” that it was “a creative decision”, but as with all art it comes down to profits. Continue reading

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An Observation, Not Defence, of Community

If you consider yourself someone who is quite partial to NBC’s Community, then the following is probably not news to you. Earlier this week the network released their midseason schedule, revealing that the sitcom had been pulled.

For all of the Community-enthusiasts that hadn’t heard, this does not mean that the show is cancelled. thefutoncritic, on Twitter, reported that all 22 episodes of the 3rd season will still be shot and aired. What it does mean, however, is that the returning 30 Rock will own the 8:00 Thursday timeslot at the beginning of next year, with no indication of when Community will be shown.

The question I pose to you, then, is why? Community is one of the hottest new sitcoms out there, with a following that I can only describe as borderline fanatical, so why is it being taken off the air?

I mean, just look at these good lookin’ kids!

There are a variety of reasons, each of which raise its own sets of questions.

The most important, from what I could tell, was ratings. Community‘s first season was ranked #97 in the ’09-’10 Broadcast Primetime Show Average Viewership with 5 million viewers. It dropped 18 places its second season, down to #115, losing half a million views in the process. Suffice to say, the show is not doing well.

The A.V. Club’s Todd VanDerWerff shines some light on the issue by explaining that:

“Community, unlike, say, Parks And Recreation, is in a format that seems to be deliberately polarizing. If you can’t get on its particular wavelength, it’s going to seem a little cold and clinical to you, and the fact that its fanbase can be a little … relentless certainly doesn’t help matters.”

Basically, it’s a show that not everyone can get into. I’ve certainly talked to a fair amount of people who have tried to get into it and reported back that they just couldn’t. This is a phenomenon I can only explain by comparing the show to the study group itself. Being a part of it is fantastic, something that every member can attest to. Trying to become a part of it, however, is a truly daunting challenge [one that character Ben Chang has not yet completed].

Another comparison [apparently the last one wasn’t the only one] can be made between Community and the film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Both are loved and have large fanbases, yet one is floundering in rating and the other made only a little over half its budget. These are both works that clearly have a set audience, so maybe therein lies the problem.

Their audiences are too small. Yes, there are thousands of TV watchers who adore [worship] Dan Harmon and his show. A quick perusal of any episode’s review on The A.V. Club’s TV Club is evidence of this. These are fans who are so ardently loyal that they harangue the comments section of The Big Bang Theory (though to be fair, TBBT is not a good show). There are people who are all about this show but maybe there are not enough of them.

Perhaps in this case what Community really needs is a shift from quality to quantity in regards to its fans. If the show drops any lower in ratings you can be sure we won’t be watching the study group graduate from Greendale.