The success on other nights this fall has made NBC‘s ratings struggles on Thursday even more glaring. “Thursday night is a real challenge for us, something that we’re well aware of as we head into pilot season and start to think about the fall schedule next year,” NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt said at TCA today. “Comedy has proven to be very difficult for us.” No kidding. This past Thursday, The Michael J. Fox Show hit a series low of 0.6 rating in 18-49, a number a show rarely logs and lives to see another airing. “We’re, obviously, not happy about a .6 for any show and especially for Michael J. Fox,” Greenblatt said. “We like that show. We like Sean Hayes’ show a lot. Creatively, we think they’re good shows, and we’re really unhappy that we can’t find an audience for them in those time periods. So we’re going to still work hard to see what we can do on Thursday nights. It is a real, real uphill battle.”
Greenblatt’s initial assessment of Michael J. Fox Show‘s renewal chances was pretty grim: “Obviously, we have to see how it plays out for the next few months and then get in the scheduling room and make some hard decisions. It’s not anywhere near where we’d like it to be.” He got more optimistic as the session went on. “I’d love to figure out a way to bring it back,” he said. “We may move it around the schedule a little bit.” Of the other Thursday shows, Parks and Recreation got a spontaneous seventh-season renewal by Greenblatt today, with Community also a “strong possibility for returning.” On Thursday 10 PM drama Parenthood, “It’s a show we love. It’s doing really well creatively. We love Jason Katims,” Greenblatt said. “Everything is relative, but it’s actually done better on Thursday at 10 than several things we’ve had there in the past year or year and a half. So I’m hopeful that we can get it to another season. A lot will have to do with our development and all those other factors.”
Those other factors may involve football as NBC is reportedly interested in the package of Thursday games NFL is shopping. Greenblatt declined to comment on whether NBC is bidding on the package but said: “We love the NFL, and … we’d love to have more NFL games.Thursday night games might be really interesting to us.“ He indicated that a decision may come down soon.
Status report on other NBC’s bubble series:
Celebrity Apprentice: “We’re going to shoot it in the spring, and it will be available as an option to us in the fall,” NBC’s head of alternative programming Paul Telegdy said.
Grimm: “I should also say that I think the prospects for Grimm are very good,” Greenblatt said. Added entertainment president Jennifer Salke, “They’re not grim.”
Dracula: After the session, Salke indicated that there is a good possibility for the show to get another season as it is a big seller for the company internationally and its price point makes the show work for NBC.