An Open Letter to NBC, Re: Fall 2008 Schedule

Dearest NBC,

According to the trades, you have revealed your Fall schedule, which is one of those times when I head off to Variety to ponder what kind of stupid decisions you’ve made. Now, you’re right – you have occasionally made some good decisions, and there are some of them found within this year’s announcement. However, at the same time, there are some which frustrate me to no end, and which need to be discussed.

First, let’s discuss the good:

  • Friday Night Lights is definitely coming back, although not until the Winter. Through some sort of cost-saving measure (Hopefully not cutting out parts of the ensemble, although I could do with less Lyla in general), the show has been saved – long live quality television.
  • On the same front, unsurprising considering its buzz in critical circles, 30 Rock is returning for a third season. After such a creative push pre-strike, it should be interesting to see how it does in the post-strike period. Hopefully, like How I Met Your Mother, it will see a boost.
  • A smart network, “Thursday Night Live” will air for four weeks leading up to the Presidential Election following The Office on Thursday Night. This shall offer some strong comedy, which excites me.
  • NBC is officially not picking up Scrubs, a great decision in my books. Too bad ABC wishes to flog the dead horse a while longer.
  • Critical hit Life, even with low ratings, is renewed as previously announced, but might struggle for viewers on Friday nights in the Winter.

Now, based on this you’d think that I was happy with this upfront, that I wouldd have just posted about how great you were, NBC, and move on with my life. Well, let’s just say that I have some other issues – I won’t get into your new shows (Not much information is available, and what little there is doesn’t tickle my fancy to be honest), but there are a few decisions you’ve made that are potentially awful:

  • Airing after the Super Bowl, NBC is officially launching a spinoff of The Office. Now, this is only a potential evil: I haven’t seen the show, and no details are available as of this time. However, I’ll have more thoughts throughout the week on why I think this is a fairly volatile idea.
  • However, that’s not even the biggest concern with the Office – that belongs to the idiotic return to one-hour episodes in the Fall. I’ll rant more about this later too, but do we not remember those episodes? And how they were not up to the standards of the half-hours which proceeded? Did no one at NBC pay attention to the quality of the show in this decision? Clearly, they did not.

What these decisions represent to be is a shameless milking, a milking that goes against the quality of a television program. I think there is potential for an Office spinoff (I vote for Daryl, personally), but I don’t know if the show proper is at a place creatively where it will be able to excise part of itself. I guess that your confidence in The Office financially doesn’t quite jive with my own views of its relative quality this season, which is fine…I just wish you’d just kept it at a half hour. I could deal with spinoff, but the two combined just angers me.

I shall vent more anger tomorrow, so stay tuned. Plus, knowing you, you’ll have changed this schedule by then.



1 Comment

Filed under The Office

One response to “An Open Letter to NBC, Re: Fall 2008 Schedule

  1. Pingback: Cultural Learnings’ 2008-2009 Network Upfronts Analysis « Cultural Learnings

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