NBC can't quite figure out how to remind viewers it exists, so they're hoping a schedule shakeup will do the trick.
But that means fans of "Community" will have to find something else to watch.
The network has pulled the Joel McHale series off its schedule, although it does plan to bring it back at some point -- just not at midseason, according to Hollywood trade publications. "Community" has averaged a 2.5 rating/4 share through seven episodes on Thursdays in Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co. Through the end of October, it's one of NBC's lowest-rated shows, ahead of only "Free Agents" and "Chuck."
It will be replaced by "30 Rock" beginning Jan. 12, a show that last season averaged a slightly better 3.0/5. The multiple Emmy winner is expected to have enough breathing room from the summer scandal involving star Tracy Morgan, who took heat for comments deemed insensitive to the gay community in his standup act.
"Parks & Recreation," which has matched "Community" this season in ratings, will remain as the Thursday 8:30 lead-out, with NBC hoping better numbers for "30 Rock" could help pull that show up. "Parks & Recreation" audiences have declined 14 percent from last year through the end of October.
"The Voice," NBC's top-rated show from last year, returns at mid-season, taking over where "Sing-Off" has struggled considerably on Mondays. By February sweeps, it will be joined by the new drama "Smash" from Theresa Rebeck, a former writer for "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," who also wrote the story for the 2004 box office bomb "Catwoman."
"Parenthood," which has averaged a 3.6/6 through October, will end its season on Feb. 28, making room for the reality show "Fashion Star" to begin in March.
"Whitney" (3.0/5) will move to Wednesdays beginning Jan. 11, and replace "Up All Night," which has drawn a larger audience in that timeslot this season. It will be followed by "Are You There, Chelsea," the new series featuring Chelsea Handler.
"Prime Suspect," which has done little to wow audiences, will be pulled from the schedule for now, long enough to make room for "The Firm" on Thursdays following NBC's comedy block. "Prime Suspect" has averaged a 3.4/5 in the timeslot this season, well ahead of the 2.5/4 NBC managed there last year. The network, however, hopes the name recognition of their John Grisham series will help it defy what has otherwise been a weak audience lead-in of comedy.
NBC has decided to keep "Grimm" on Fridays, but torture it with an even weaker lead-in. Once "Chuck" ends its run in January, it will be replaced in February by the return of "Who Do You Think You Are?" That show earned a 3.4/6 last year, but if it can match those numbers, it should be a much better lead-in for "Grimm" than "Chuck," which this season is managing just a 2.1/4.
"Harry's Law," which has been one of NBC's highlights this season, will move to Sundays in March, leading into a new edition of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice." The reality show will remain in its two-hour format for spring, which debuts Feb. 12.
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