NBC Unveils New Midseason Schedule; COMMUNITY Benched to Make Way for 30 ROCK Return

     November 14, 2011


NBC has released their midseason schedule, and there’ve been quite a few shakeups. The much-derided Whitney moves to Wednesdays, Up All Night will settle in as part of the Thursday night comedy line-up, and gone is the Maria Bello-starred cop drama Prime Suspect. It appears that NBC has finally given up on the drama series, which has been struggling ratings-wise for quite a while. My biggest complaint, though, is the complete absence of Community. The show, which is one of the smartest and best shows on television right now, is nowhere to be seen on the schedule. While the series hasn’t exactly been a ratings juggernaut, it’s captured the hearts of critics and fans alike as one of the most innovative (and at times rather strange) comedies to grace our TV screens. Hit the jump for much more.

community-season-2-imageMichael Ausiello of TV Line says that Community is being benched to make way for 30 Rock’s return (the Tina Fey comedy was pushed back to midseason to account for the actress/showrunner’s pregnancy), but no one knows exactly how long the show will be off the air. I understand that the network wants to see how Up All Night fares on Thursdays, but I’d much rather see the tired and no-longer-funny The Office take the back seat. My fear is that if Up All Night does literally any better in the timeslot than Community, NBC will decide to keep it there and dump Community someplace where it’s destined to attract approximately zero more viewers. The loyal (and rabid) fanbase will follow the show anywhere, but if NBC wants a ratings hit then taking the show off the schedule will do nothing to fix that (take note NBC, you’re officially on my list).

As far as new series go, Smash will premiere on Mondays, Fashion Star will hit on Tuesdays, the Chelsea Handler-inspired Are You There, Chelsea? will air on Wednesdays, and The Firm sets up on Fridays. Conspicuously absent is the Jason Isaacs-starred Awake. Going into the fall, the series was one of my most anticipated, but here it’s nowhere to be found. The show took a four-week hiatus recently so the writers could reevaluate the series in order to could solidify their direction going forward, so that probably has something to do with it. It’s a fantastic concept, but I’m assuming it’s a bit difficult to navigate. Hopefully we’ll see the show sometime soon.

nbc_universal_logo_01Here’s the schedule:

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – November 14, 2011 – NBC today announced its new mid-season 2012 schedule which features the premieres of four new series in “Smash” (February 6), “The Firm” (two-hour premiere January 8, time slot premiere January 12), “Fashion Star” (March 13) and “Are You There, Chelsea?” (January 11). The new lineup also includes the return of “The Voice,” “30 Rock,” “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “Who Do You Think You Are?”

In addition, there are day and time period changes for “Whitney,” “Up All Night,” “Rock Center with Brian Williams” and “Harry’s Law.”

Following are night-by-night details:


Last spring’s hit vocal competition series “The Voice” returns even louder with an hour-long season debut following Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, February 5 (10-11 p.m. ET, time approximate) and then resumes in its regular day and time on Monday, February 6 (8-10 p.m. ET). Following “The Voice” is the much-anticipated musical drama “Smash” which premieres Monday, February 6 (10-11 p.m. ET).


“Fashion Star” – the new reality competition series hosted and executive-produced by Elle Macpherson – will premiere with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, March 13 (9-11 p.m. ET) and resume on Tuesday, March 20 (10-11 p.m. ET). “The Biggest Loser” will open a new edition on Tuesday, January 3 (8-10 p.m. ET) followed by “Parenthood” (10-11 p.m. ET) which continues through its season finale on February 28.


The freshman comedy “Whitney” (8-8:30 p.m. ET) moves into a new day and time beginning January 11 followed by the series debut of the new comedy “Are You There, Chelsea?” (8:30-9 p.m. ET) on January 11. “Rock Center with Brian Williams” (9-10 p.m. ET) also joins the Wednesday lineup starting February 8. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” remains at 10-11 p.m. (ET).


The new drama “The Firm” moves into the Thursday lineup (10-11 p.m. ET) beginning January 12 following its two-hour premiere the previous Sunday (January 8) from 9-11 p.m. ET. The first-season comedy “Up All Night” will also move to Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. (ET) on January 12 which is also the night that multiple Emmy Award-winning “30 Rock” returns for its season debut (8-8:30 p.m. ET). “Parks and Recreation” (8:30-9 p.m. ET) and the Emmy-winning “The Office” (9-9:30 p.m. ET) remain in the same time periods.


The returning series “Who Do You Think You Are?” makes its season debut on February 3 (8-9 p.m. ET). “Chuck” will have its two-hour series finale on January 27th (8-10 p.m. ET). “Grimm” (9-10 p.m. ET) and “Dateline NBC” (10-11 p.m. ET) remain in the respective time periods.


“The Celebrity Apprentice” returns on Sunday, February 12 (9-11 p.m. ET). “Dateline NBC” begins on Sundays (7-9 p.m. ET), on January 8. “Harry’s Law” moves to the 8-9 p.m. (ET) time period on March 4 and “Dateline NBC” will return to 7-8 p.m. (ET) on March 4.

The premieres of the new January-March program schedule follow in a grid (all times ET); new series are capitalized.


8-10 p.m. — “The Voice” (season premiere Sunday, February 5; series resumes February 6)

10-11 p.m. – “SMASH” (beginning February 6)


8-10 p.m. — “The Biggest Loser” (beginning January 3)

10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood” (through February 28)

10-11 p.m. – “FASHION STAR” (beginning Tuesday, March 13, 9-11 p.m. ET with two-hour premiere; one-hour broadcasts resume March 20)


8-8:30 p.m. – “Whitney” (beginning January 11)

8:30-9 p.m. – “ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA?” (beginning January 11)

9-10 p.m. – “Rock Center with Brian Williams” (beginning February 8)

10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”


8-8:30 p.m. – “30 Rock” (beginning January 12)

8:30-9 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”

9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”

9:30-10 p.m. – “Up All Night” (beginning January 12)

10-11 p.m. – “THE FIRM” (two-hour premiere Sunday January 8; Thursday time period premiere January 12)


8-9 p.m. – “Who Do You Think You Are?” (beginning February 3)

9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”

10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”


8-9 p.m. – “Harry’s Law” (encore broadcasts)

9-10 — “THE FIRM” (encore broadcasts)

10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (encore broadcasts)


7-9 p.m. – “Dateline NBC” (beginning January 8)

8-9 p.m. – “Harry’s Law” (beginning March 4)

9-11 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice” (beginning February 12)

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  • Edward Lee

    Thank God someone finally wised up and benched COMMUNITY. Now, all they need to do is really grow a pair and bench 30 ROCK for good, which I believe will happen after this season if I’m not mistaken. NBC really needs to get its house in order.

    • me

      You are human tennis elbow. You are a pizza burn on the roof of the world’s mouth. You are the opposite of Batman!

      • Jenn

        This ruined my day. Community is the only show on tv I watch. If they do officially axe the show, I refuse to watch anything on NBC ever again. I know… seems like an empty threat. They are messing with a very devoted fanbase.

        Thats it, it looks like it’s time to commit suicide caused by the unjust cancellation of Community.

    • Cartouche

      you are a complete Moron!! wait are you running NBC too???

      If COMMUNITY doesnt come back I will be so pissed. If you dont like the show you are an inbred moron who isnt intelligent enough to get satirical comedy, or anything for that matter.

      wise up NBC stop listening to douche bags like this and get it together..

  • tomincmh

    I really hope that was sarcasm. Community has not been a ratings juggernaut (being placed opposite BBT and American Idol hasn’t helped), but it’s really one of the only critically acclaimed shows on the network. It’s easily my favorite comedy on tv right now and the most ambitious one since Arrested Development.

  • dudeabides

    this is terrible news. NBC, you suck.

  • Eric Nixon

    There is no way that anything with Chelsea Handler will be as funny as Community. This is why NBC is in last place.

  • Michael

    When Chuck ends, NBC will have nothing good left to offer. I hate to disagree with you Adam but I’m one of the few in Chuck’s small fanbase and must submit the argument that Chuck is one of the smartest, funniest, and best shows on TV today. I will continue to watch Grimm and Whitney once Chuck’s gone though.

    • james

      Agreed on Grimm. I’ll continue watching it. But Whitney? Holy hand grenade, what a terrible show that is. I was flabbergasted when it didn’t get canceled. It’s by far the worst new comedy series this season.

      • bret

        I’m gonna have to disagree. Whitney is pretty solid. It has the hiccups of any new series (Anyone remember the first season of Seinfeld?), but it has strong leads with good timing. I’m pulling for it.

  • Perry

    I wish they would get rid of Harry’s Law.
    The second season of the show is awful.

  • Norman

    Terrible decision! Whitney is the worst show this season; I couldn’t get past 10 minutes of the ridiculous laugh track & I will never return. To make room for it & not Community is completely moronic. With Thursday being the only night NBC is worth watching (thanks in large part to Community), a boycott is not out of the question.

  • Mandy

    Boooo to the Community news! Community is one of my fav shows currently on TV.

    In happier news at least Grimm is sticking around. And I am excited for Smash. As a theatre major and someone interested in Marilyn, it looks like it could be a fun show.

  • whatever

    So, basically they are ditching Community in favor of the unwatchable Up All Night. Community has its problems (Chevy Chase, Britta, Tiresome black woman) but Up All Night?
    Community needs an opportunity to reset the way Parks and Rec did when they got rid of that one dud and brought in Adam Scott and Rob Lowe. Give them a chance to ditch the dead weight.

  • Chuffy

    Really? They are keeping Whitney and not Community!? Everyone know that the Chelsea Handler sitcom is going to be god awful as well.

    Community is bar far the best sitcom if not the best TV show on at the moment. It is certainly a great deal better than all the other by-the-numbers sitcoms currently airing.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  • JLC

    I can’t rag on NBC too much since they’ve already given Community two more seasons than the ratings probably warranted. (If only ABC had shown that kind of backbone with Pushing Daisies.)

    Still, this is a heaping helping full of suck.

  • Kenny B

    They wont ditch community. They ordered 23 episodes? They will get filmed, and after some show its canceled after 3 episodes, community will be back.

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  • Kyle

    Wait a minute so your saying Pierce, Britta, and Shirley are Dead Weight? Highly disagree, Pierce may not be the best character but he is funny and season 2 he made a great villian. Britta brings that roughness to the show. Shirley even though her character is kind of undeveloped, she stills a good edition to the show. Now I do believe they can work on Changs character.

  • Chris

    *sigh* No mention of Awake? Muchos suckos, I was very much looking forward to that show. Hopefully everything gets ironed out!

  • Chris

    No mention of “Awake” *sigh* That was the one series I was most-looking forward to. Hopefully everything gets ironed out!

  • cathy

    Damn you NBC!! Damn you! :’(

  • bob

    This is one of the smartest shows on television right now, the only one I watch on NBC. I hope it continues to be supported and renewed! All the people I know who enjoy it love it fiercely, myself included!

  • Maya

    If Community gets canceled, I will never return to NBC.

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  • tom

    Community will be back. Remember, it’s gonna be six seasons and then a movie.

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  • Matt

    NBC just pulled a Plaxico Burress. Going from 3 hrs of comedy to 2 was a mistake, and now this? Up All Night? Whitney? That stupid concept of a show with chelsea? No wonder you guys are failing. Terrible decision makers over there.

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  • Jeff

    I just don’t get how anyone can find Community smart or funny. It is ‘Saved By The Bell’ in prime time and a sad comment on the American public when the rehashing of a decades old Saturday morning children’s show is considered a ‘fresh’ smart’ and ‘funny’.
    I have tried but cannot see anything remotely interesting about this show and to be honest, find it physically painful to watch.
    Pillow forts and all…

  • Jeff

    This show is “Saved by the Bell” in prime time, idiots building pillow forts is neither smart nor funny and I feel sad for anyone who feels this re-write of a 2 decade old Saturday morning children’s show is smart or even suitable for adults to watch. Mind numbingly stupid.