'Parks and Recreation': Poor audience test results are normal, NBC's Ben Silverman says

Reports of poor test results for NBC’s new sitcom Parks and Recreation hit the web today but NBC Entertainment co-chair Ben Silverman tells EW these kinds of negative responses are not unusual for a new series. "All of the research we do around initial rough cuts is negative," Silverman says. "If you had seen the initial research on all of ours and our competitors’ successful shows, it tends to be like that." Silverman says he has "no idea" how the test reports were leaked. Parks and Recreation, which stars Amy Poehler and comes from The Office‘s Greg Daniels and Mike Schur, premieres on April 9. Poehler plays Leslie Knope, an ambitious but clueless parks department employee who hopes to rise within the local government of Pawnee, Ind. Rashida Jones and Aziz Ansari costar.

Daniels and Schur were originally assigned to pen an Office spin-off for NBC but developed Parks and Recreation instead. Silverman says, though, that he is still definitely interested in pursuing a spin-off of the Steve Carrell comedy series.

Talk about it on PopWatch:

Parks and Recreation: Focus on THIS!

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • dashiki

    Why do networks even use focus groups anymore? So lame.

  • KAH

    Translation: This show isn’t going to get great reviews, but it’s my job to promote, promote, promote
    EW, you gotta do a better job of getting rid of spammers, as evidenced by Jack Green below

  • lilkunta

    Y r focus groups lame? They save networks $.
    i like Amy but wont watch this show. Sounds very stupid.
    If (when) the show fails will she stay in NY or move back 2 NY?

  • lilkunta

    I agree KAH. I am rerouted so a verification page so how the hell is Jack green getting through?

  • outside agitator

    sad to say but the previews look terrible in spite of the cast.

  • Alan

    I smell a Kath & Kim part II coming on here. High expectations, looking forward to it…….and *splat!*….unfunny sitcom disappointment.

  • izikavazo

    Uh, are we going to base our opinions on focus groups?

  • Phil

    Ben Silverman is a no-talent ass-clown. NBC needs to find a way to get rid of him and Jeff Zucker so the once-great network can get back on track. Honestly, I don’t have much interest in Parks & Recreation. I’ll give it a chance, but from what little I’ve seen of it, I’m not particularly enticed.

  • Mister F

    What were they judging this on exactly? The pilot only? I bet a lot of people will get turned off by the pilot and tune out right away, but the other people that stick with the show will usually find a great show. I’m sure that will be the case for P&R.
    It took me Season 2 to fully appreciate The Office as well as some other shows (i.e. Buffy, 30 Rock).

  • Hot Pocket

    When is NBC going to put a multi-cam back on their network. That’s why the network is still in fourth place. They abandoned their whole Must See TV audience on Thursdays.

  • Chappel

    I lost interest in this show when I saw their promo featuring “speed bumps” on a playground slide. I’ve never been a big fan of humor built around the concept that stupid people are funny, so I’ll pass on this one.

  • andy


  • Rich

    If the opinion of focus groups on pilots is always negative, why do they use them?
    They should let Kurt Russell and that chimp do the programing. Worked once before.

  • PeterBilt The Nature Boy

    Jack Green is pure evil……Anywho. May give it a shot. Low expectations for I find Poehler to be lame, but the Office hilarious. Vicious circle

  • carol

    I think the previews are funny, I am looking forward to the show, like The Office, I think it will grow on people.

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