It’s a sad day for the people of Pawnee.
In a seriously Eagleton-like move, NBC has sidelined Parks and Recreation until November 14, and will replace the upcoming episodes with a repeat of The Voice on October 24, an SNL clip show on Halloween, and finally, a live episode of The Voice on November 7. When the show does return in November, it will air back-to back episodes for two weeks before disappearing again all the way until January 9.
NBC is burning through its new shows like a historical Indiana fire and the network is scrambling to save what has been a disastrous TV season. Two of its new shows, Welcome to the Family and Ironside, have already been cancelled, while Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show continue to underperform. In the desperation to save face and ratings, Parks and Recreation has gotten lost in the shuffle.
NBC knows that the audience for Parks and Rec has grown as big as it ever will, and is banking that ratings juggernauts like The Voice will help attract viewers to the fledgling Sean Saves the World and Michael J. Fox Show. While this move makes good business sense, it is a bit of a disservice to fans that have been consistently tuning in to what has become one of NBC’s highest rated comedies. NBC knows that Park and Rec‘s small yet reliable audience will follow the show to whatever date or time slot it’s dropped into, so it’s not worried about delaying it for the rest of the year. It’s unfortunate that the network is willing to play keep-away with one of its most critically acclaimed shows in order to save new programs which are, at this point, pretty much dead in the water. NBC should do whatever it can to protect its shows, but not at the expense of the show that has carried the network’s Thursday night lineup on its back for the past couple seasons. It’s like Li’l Sebastion has died all over again.