The outlook for a show NBC recently pulled from its midseason schedule remains undecided, but the ratings-challenged show has at least one factor in its favor.
"Community’s" departure from the midseason lineup doesn’t mean the program is canceled, writes Joe Adalian in New York Magazine’s Vulture blog.
"The show remains in production on the second half of this season, and NBC insiders say there are absolutely no plans to cut back on the episodes already ordered," Adalian writes.
And the biggest factor that could keep "Community" on TV? It’s "spelled s-y-n-d-i-c-a-t-i-o-n," Adalian notes.
Sony Pictures TV, a co-producer of the show with NBC, has been looking for a cable syndication deal this fall, the piece notes.
"Sony really, really wants four seasons of the show, and they’ve demonstrated a willingness to go all out to make sure its shows get to syndication," Adalian writes.
So is the show safe? "We do not live in a Dreamatorium. The reality is ‘Community’ isn’t a ratings giant, even after three seasons," Adalian points out. "If the worst happens to ‘Community,’ the show would join a long list of beloved series that made it to three seasons, and no further."
Separately, Mo Ryan, the former powerhouse TV critic for the Chicago Tribune who is now TV critic for AOL TV, is making it a personal crusade to keep "Community" on NBC.
In an open letter she wrote to NBC Entertainment honcho Robert Greenblatt yesterday, Nov. 15, 2011, Ryan said, "The upshot of the past decade of nuttiness, weirdly enough, is that fans of quality television have a lot of affection for NBC and its offerings. And fans of quality television are a loyal bunch. As your network prepares to launch its mid-season offerings (including the very promising ‘Smash’) and otherwise tries to revive NBC’s fortunes, could you just do those quality-TV fans a favor and reward them for sticking around during NBC’s darkest timeline?
"Would it really cost you much to put ‘Community’ back on the schedule at your earliest convenience? I don’t think it would. Ratings matter, of course, but sometimes, goodwill and karma matter too. Think of how much you’d have as the head of the network that took good care of one of its most innovative and beloved offerings."