NBC cancels two shows, plans 'Community' return

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Two new NBC shows were cancelled Friday as part of a dramatic shakeup of the network’s fall lineup.

Wednesday night cop drama Ironside will air its last episode next week; Thursday night sitcom Welcome to the Family is gone ASAP. NBC will use a mixture of Dateline episodes and specials to fill the Ironside hole for the remainder of the year. Starting Jan. 8, Chicago Fire spin-off Chicago P.D. will take the 10 p.m. slot. On Thursdays, NBC will likewise use a rotating mix of content for the 8:30 p.m. slot for the rest of the year, including extra episodes of Parks and Recreation, The Voice (both live and an encore) and its The Sound of Music Live telecast. Fan favorite Community will return for its fifth season on Jan. 2.

Of these two changes, the big issue is Thursdays. The Wednesday 10 p.m. hole is one hour at the end of one night. NBC’s Thursday lineup is in such a crisis that even the guys at Chicago Fire wouldn’t know how to put it out. Last night’s three-hour block averaged only a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49, just barely edging out The CW overall. NBC’s two-hour once-signature comedy block has fallen 17 percent since last year, and 57 percent since 2009.

Dumping Welcome to the Family will certainly help. The sitcom about two families who come together because of their teenage kids’ unplanned pregnancy has averaged only 2.7 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. Yet the rest of the lineup isn’t doing much better: Parks and Recreation is averaging only a 1.6 so far, Sean Saves the World is at a 1.2 and The Michael J. Fox Show has a 2.3, a number inflated by its strong premiere week. The Michael J. Fox Show was also given a pre-pilot full-season commitment in order for the network to land the show.

Here’s the full list of NBC scheduling changes, more details and analysis to come…refresh for updates:

Starting in two weeks, NBC Wednesday 10 p.m. timeslot:

–  Oct. 30: Law & Order: SVU (encore of season premiere)

–  Nov. 6: Dateline (original)

–  Nov. 13: Dateline (original)

–  Nov. 20: Dateline (original)

–  Nov. 27: SNL Thanksgiving special

–   Dec. 4: SNL Christmas special (9-11 p.m.)

–   Dec. 11: Kelly Clarkson Christmas special

–  Dec. 18: Michael Buble Christmas special

–  Jan. 8, 2014: Premiere of Chicago P.D.

Starting next week, NBC Thursday 8 p.m. timeslot:

–   Oct. 24: The Voice (encore)

–   Oct. 31: SNL Halloween special

–   Nov. 7: The Voice (live)

–  Nov. 14: Parks and Recreation (back-to-back new episodes)

–   Nov. 21: Parks and Recreation (back-to-back new episodes)

–   Nov. 28: Sunday Night Football Thanksgiving game

–   Dec. 5: The Sound of Music Live telecast

–   Dec. 12: The Sing-Off

–   Dec. 19: The Sing-Off

–  Jan. 2, 2014: Season premiere of Community (back-to-back episodes)

–  Jan. 9: 100th episode of Parks and Recreation (8:30 p.m.)

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