NBC’s midseason lineup was released this last Monday, and the internet rage was swift and fierce. Community didn’t have a place on it. No Troy and Abed, no Inspector Spacetime, no Señor Chang, probably not at least until the Fall of 2012 and then I expect it’ll just be to air the rest of the already filmed episodes. A twitter show-saving campaign started (look for the hashtag #savecommunity), but I don’t think it’s going to matter much.
A quick look at the numbers for Community‘s airing plainly shows the problem. Viewership is terrible and getting worse even including Tivo and on demand numbers. At press time, the last episode of Community was watched by 3.5 million viewers. This may not seem like much, but consider that The Big Bang Theory routinely draws 16 million viewers in the same time slot. Season to season, average numbers and rankings are dropping as well. The first season of Community averaged 5 million viewers, the second 4.5 million. Advertising dollars per 30 second spot are down as well year to year.
Community is one of the first examples of a critically admired show that’s peripherally in our genre of television. It’s also no shock looking at the numbers that it’s about to be cancelled. Television is about money making. If a show isn’t making money, it’s not going to be continued. A prime example is Jericho. While a brief reprieve was given to the post-apocalyptic drama after corporate headquarters were inundated with peanuts, I don’t think the same or a similar trick will work again.
Want to save Community? Watch it now, and when it returns. Watch it legally when it airs, on Tivo, or on Hulu, so it can be counted by the suits at the television studios. Consider that networks suits rarely care about fandom or critical acclaim, it’s all about the bottom line- total viewership and the advertising dollar.
Source – CNN