NBC Comedy Outlook: 30 ROCK Gets 13-14 Episodes for Final Season; COMMUNITY and PARKS AND REC Still in the Running; Two More New Sitcom Orders

     May 7, 2012

nbc 30 rock tina fey

NBC already ordered three new half-hour sitcoms: The New Normal, Go On, and Save Me.  The network just added two more—1600 Penn and Animal Kingdom—which leaves little room for the many comedies that currently have a slot on the schedule.  What does that mean for the likes of 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Community?  Here are the bullet points:

  • 30 Rock is looking at 13-14 more episodes for its seventh and reported final season.
  • Whitney is unlikely to return; Up All Night has slightly better odds.
  • Community and Parks and Rec are still very much in the running for renewal.

Hit the jump for details.

30 Rock alec baldwinAlec Baldwin suggested that the next season of 30 Rock will be the last, and while he’s prone to such proclamations, he’ll be right one of these seasons.  In the face of rising production costs, waning ratings this season, and 125 episodes in the bank for syndication, the 2012-13 season seems the right time for a proper sendoff.  Deadline hears NBC has signed deals with key high-level writers for an abbreviated order of 13-14 episodes for season seven.

That gives you some idea how NBC might juggle all these sitcoms.  Deadline says that all returning sitcoms are probably looking at similarly short orders if they make the cut.  Few among us will miss Whitney.  I watched every episode of Up All Night, but not so devotedly that I’d notice its absence next fall.  (It is probably not a great sign that Up All Night executive producer Jon Pollack jumped ship over to one of the newbies, Go On.)  I am much more invested in the future of Community and Parks and Recreation, so I am happy to hear that the outlook of both series is promising, if still uncertain.

1600-penn-bill-pullman-josh-gad-jenna-elfmanThe two new series both sound interesting—one based on premise, the other on cast.  Bill Pullman stars as the U.S. President in 1600 Penn, which THR describes as “a Modern Family-type of show set in the White House where all the kids are far from perfect.”  Jenna Elfman, Josh Gad, Martha MacIsaac, Andre Holland, Amara Miller and Benjamin Stockham round out the cast.  Gad will also write and executive produce along with Modern Family director Jason WinerGiven all the Modern Family connections, I expect to see 1600 Penn get a test run behind the network’s flagship sitcom when the schedule is announced.  [Correction: As a commenter kindly pointed out, NBC’s 1600 Penn and ABC’s Modern Family would probably need to be on the same network to air back-to-back.  I am dumb.]

I have followed Weeds through thick and thin over the last seven seasons.  As the soul of the show, Justin Kirk made that an easy decision, so I am happy to see him get his own show.  Animal Kingdom centers on “a House-like veterinarian (Kirk) who loves animals but typically hates their owners.”  Tyler Labine, Bobby Lee, and Amy Huberman co-star.  Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka (The Sitter) will write and executive produce.  Both 1600 Penn and Animal Kingdom will start off with 13 episodes.