October 26 2012 11:57AM
Hm, an NBC property with a highly-dedicated, yet small, fan base didn't start up this fall as was expected. Instead, they're showing, well, who knows, because who watches NBC? How many people have that channel saved in their favourites or bother to record anything on that channel?
Nobody, that's who.
Community, a moderately-successful comedy with a huge, huge fan base turns four this fall. Well, at some point. I got into the show last season after its Season 3 premiere and within ten minutes I was hooked, looking for reruns and bootlegs on Seasons 1 and 2 to watch in order.
Essentially, Community is the only thing worth watching on NBC. Except they don't want to show it. No, due to sagging ratings due to the fact that a lot of people, like me, weren't tuning in to watch when they were supposed to, but were streaming it online, downloading episodes, recording episodes, or watching from college dorm room, where ratings aren't traditionally counted.
A series that is beloved because it is original and daring, the theory goes, is doomed because there isn’t enough of an audience for the unconventional.
The actors have a different theory: people are watching, but they aren’t being counted.
“We hit the sweet spot in regards to critical acclaim and fan love,” says Brown, who plays the matronly voice of reason on the show, Shirley. “We just haven’t found that Nielsen sweet spot. It would be cool if this is the show that makes them rethink how they monitor who watches a show.”
Its current model is probably financially unsustainable, but that's an issue with the model itself, not the product, which is well-loved by millions. As a result, a lot of people who love the show are locked out. The show fired its showrunner Dan Harmon. It was scheduled to debut in October and never did. It is on hiatus. Its fans are waiting for an announcement that is coming any day now, but isn't coming. And I am angry.
If it sounds like a dumb decision from the network, keep in mind they are the same people who gave a sports league with a lockout problem $1.8 billion dollars. Oh, yeah, the NHL has cancelled games through November, and apparently the Winter Classic is next on the chopping block.
So it's like Community, sort of, if the NHL was consistently entertaining and also got rid of its showrunner.