NBC delays 'Community' again: A look at the pros and cons

Yahoo Contributor Network

The new season of "Community" hasn't even begun, and already the show looks to be in trouble again. NBC recently announced that the start of the new season will be delayed to an unspecified date. "Community" was expected to debut on Friday, Oct. 19; however, NBC has confirmed that the show will be delayed as it hopes to focus on promoting new shows. Once again, the fate of this sitcom is up in the air. Fans will likely get the 13-episode order at some point this season, but it's anyone's guess as to when. There are pros and cons to the move, but the fate of the show looks increasingly grim. Here is a look at the good and the bad of the show's latest hiatus.

The pros

The biggest pro is the fact that a delay means that NBC can promote the show. That is necessary, especially since "Community" was scheduled to move to Friday nights. It was hard to know that the season was even supposed to begin on Oct. 19, and that is a direct result of poor promoting. There have been minimal commercials and very little buzz. In fact, the only buzz has been negative.

The ongoing feud between Chevy Chase and creator Dan Harmon has been about the only newsworthy aspect of this show. Harmon didn't return this season, and that only adds to the uncertainty. People knew that NBC picked up a 13-episode order this season, but that's about it. By delaying the season, NBC can start promoting it when the timing is right.

In addition to the promotion, there is also the possibility of a better time slot. Friday nights are a wasteland for sitcoms, and "Community" had little chance to build an audience on that night. By delaying the season, NBC can hopefully move the show to a different night to replace another failing show. Alternatively, "Community" can return to Thursday nights, since shows like "30 Rock" are also having shorter seasons. It's unclear if that will help "Community" succeed, but it can't make things any worse.

The cons

The biggest con is that the delay is further proof that NBC has little faith in this show. In fact, it's a wonder they even brought it back at all. Sure, the lousy ratings were enough of a reason for NBC to put the show on hiatus last season; however, they haven't done anything to try and boost things. When this season starts, it's hard to picture NBC giving it any attention. That is especially true if they don't plan on bringing it back after the 13-episode run. The other problem with the delay impacts the content of the show. If "Community" had any hopes of returning beyond this season, it needed to build a bigger following. In order to do that, the new producers needed to establish a working formula for those outside of the show's niche audience. That's going to be hard to do with a production delay. If NBC holds the show until January, the producers won't have any chance to adjust the content to make it more appealing. Basically, the show is facing the prospect of having the network simply burn off the remaining episodes when they have nothing better to air. If that happens, "Community" will have lost whatever chance it had of saving itself.

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