Six seasons and a movie…eventually

Last night, fans of Community found out that our beloved show won’t be returning next Friday, October 19th, as scheduled.  It’s not returning…um…well, we have no idea when.  Naturally, we’re a bit scared.

The thing is, Community fans have spent a year constantly worrying about their show.  Last November, when NBC announced Community wouldn’t be returning in January after its Christmas hiatus, fans realized something that would become abundantly clear over the next eleven months: their show is in danger.

Since that first battle cry, there have been rallies, letter campaigns, Twitter trending topics, and an art show.  Our fandom has reached out to the cast and writers, and I don’t think our appreciation has ever gone unnoticed.  I love this show, and I would do anything for it, but I’m getting tired.

I’m tired of hearing that the show will come back, but its creator won’t.  Of hearing that its star will be participating in the Emmys but the show itself was completely shut out.  I’m tired of being told the network and studio like the show, know how much it’s loved by fans, and yet do nothing to make the fans believe they have any faith in it.

NBC issued a statement about this scheduling change, but as you can imagine, it wasn’t very comforting:

“Given the success we’ve had for the past four weeks – including winning the first week of the season in A18-49 – we’ve decided to continue to concentrate our promotional strength on our new NBC shows that are scheduled Monday through Wednesday and have therefore decided to hold COMMUNITY and WHITNEY from their previously announced premieres of October 19th.  Without having to launch these comedies on Friday at this time, we can keep our promotion focused on earlier in the week — plus we will have both comedies in our back pocket if we need to make any schedule changes on those nights.  When we have a better idea of viewing patterns in the next few weeks, we will announce new season premieres of WHITNEY and COMMUNITY.”

 Yeah, I don’t know, either.

Yes, NBC.  Congratulations on winning your demographics for the first time in ten years.  I know, this is huge for you.  You’re just doing so well.  And I get it – you want to focus on the shows that you’ve been promoting.  Because, you know.  It’s not your fault that you’ve barely promoted Community since it premiered.

That’s the part I can’t understand – it hasn’t been promoted, so instead of starting to market it, they’re going to pull it.  That’s…not how logic works, NBC.

The whole thing seems like NBC’s trying to keep their hands clean in what they hope will be Community’s failure.  They don’t want the fan’s vitriol, so instead of saying, “We mismarketed our programming,” (or even, “We made a mistake scheduling these shows on Friday”), they’re saying, “Someone made a mistake, and we’re going to wait to see how to best fix this problem.”

I’ve seen speculation that Community and Whitney (which was also scheduled to premiere on the 19th) are being held to replace soon-to-be-cancelled comedies.  I think this is our best-case scenario.  If this is the strategy, then maybe I have too little faith in the network, and I hope that I do.  And it would give Community a chance – if it aired during the week, not on Fridays (famously the night networks burn off shows on their last legs), its numbers would be higher and there’d be a greater chance of it being discovered by new viewers.

Maybe I’m wrong about all of this.  Maybe the plan all along was to keep Community around and fit it in around the failing new comedies.  But NBC isn’t giving us any reason to stick with it once the show itself is gone.  I’m a Greendale Human Being until I die, but I’d like to say one thing to NBC.  Offense taken.

If you’re like me and you like reading other Community fans’ thoughts on what’s going on, you should check out Jenn’s blog on the subject, or join Kim for a gif party of rage.