When NBC pulled Community from its schedule in December, saying it would bring the show back in midseason, fans began to spin all sorts of dark predictions as to what would happen to the show. Well, if you bet on “NBC will bring it back in midseason, just like it said,” get ready to collect: the network has made official that the community-college sitcom will be back to finish its third season Thursdays, starting March 15, in its old 8 pm timeslot.
Does this mean a fourth season? Six seasons and a movie? Let’s take it one thing at a time.
Of course, the law of universal balance–and the fact that there are only so many half-hours on a Thursday night–means that something has to make room for those episodes, and in this case Parks and Recreation will be going off the air for five weeks. That’s not necessarily a bad sign for Parks, though; it’ll still air a complete season, but its remaining episodes will air in a better timeslot (after The Office) after Up All Night finishes its run, and will air through the end of the regular season.
Of the two shows, Parks (which NBC owns, unlike Community) seems to have the better chance of coming back next year, but as I said: one bit of good news at a time. The rest of NBC’s midseason announcement, including the scheduling of midseason comedy Bent, follows below:
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – February 21, 2012 – NBC announced the premieres of the new comedies “Bent” (March 21) and “Best Friends Forever” (April 4), as well as the comedic hidden-camera series “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (April 4) to its spring lineup. “Community” also will return to the Thursday schedule starting March 15.
NBC’s spring schedule features the highest percentage of original programs in the network’s history with only 13 total hours of repeat programming from Sunday to Friday through mid-May.
The announcements were made today by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment.
“We are happy to have an unprecedented amount of original content on NBC this spring,” said Greenblatt. “‘Bent,’ ‘Best Friends Forever’ and ‘Betty White’s Off Their Rockers’ are welcome additions to the Wednesday schedule, and we know that the loyal fans of ‘Community’ will be pleased with its return to its home on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m.”
“Bent” will premiere on Wednesday, March 21 (9-9:30 p.m. ET) followed by a second episode (9:30-10 p.m. ET). The series will continue with original back-to-back one-hour blocks on Wednesday, March 28 and April 4 (9-9:30 p.m. ET and 9:30-10 p.m. ET both nights). Following the season finales of “Whitney” and “Are You There, Chelsea,” “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” premieres on Wednesday, April 4 (8-8:30 p.m. ET) followed by “Best Friends Forever” which also debuts on Wednesday, April 4 (8:30-9 p.m. ET).
“Community” returns on Thursday, March 15 (8-8:30 p.m. ET) as NBC re-sets the night with “30 Rock” shifting to 8:30-9 p.m. (ET) followed by “The Office” (9-9:30 p.m. ET) and “Up All Night” (9:30-10 p.m. ET). “Parks and Recreation” comes back on Thursday, April 19 (9:30-10 p.m. ET) to finish its season after “Up All Night” has ended its 24-episode original season run in the time period.
“Rock Center with Brian Williams” will also move one hour later on Wednesdays (to 10-11 p.m. ET) starting March 7 for five weeks and then return to 9-10 p.m. (ET) on April 11. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” returns with original episodes on Wednesday, April 11 (10-11 p.m. ET) leading to its season finale on May 23rd.
“Bent” is a romantic comedy about a womanizing, surfer dude contractor and his beautiful, no-nonsense, type-A client, who work together to remodel each other’s lives as they renovate her Venice, California home. The recently divorced Alex (Amanda Peet, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) is a high-strung lawyer who is raising her young daughter, Charlie (Joey King, “Ramona and Beezus”) as a single mom. She downsizes into a smaller house and hires charismatic Pete (David Walton, “Perfect Couples”), a free-spirited ladies’ man and recovering gambling addict who desperately needs this gig with Alex to jumpstart his life — and prove that he is no longer a screw-up.
Also starring are Margo Harshman (“Sorority Row”) and Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”). The single-camera comedy is from writer and executive producer Tad Quill (“Scrubs,” “Spin City”) and director Craig Zisk (“Nurse Jackie,” “Weeds”). The series is produced by Universal Television and Rosalita Productions Inc.
“Best Friends Forever,” from executive producer Scot Armstrong (“Old School,” “Hangover 2”), is a new comedy about old friends, new beginnings and awkward situations. Jessica St. Clair (“Bridesmaids”) and Lennon Parham (“Accidentally on Purpose”) star as Jessica and Lennon, best friends who live on opposite sides of the country with the men in their lives. When Jessica is served divorce papers, Lennon convinces her to return home to Brooklyn and back into the apartment they used to share. Soon, the girls fall into old habits: movie marathons and late-night, girl-talk sessions — none of which is good news for Lennon’s live-in boyfriend, Joe (Luka Jones, Upright Citizens Brigade). Stephen Schneider (“Happy Endings”) and Daija Owens also star.
“Best Friends Forever” is produced by Universal Television and American Work, Inc. Along with Armstrong, St. Clair, Parham, Alexa Junge (“Friends,” “United States of Tara”), Fred Savage (“Party Down”) and Ravi Nandan are executive producers. Donick Cary is consulting producer, while Keith Raskin serves as producer on the series.
After a strong sneak-peek debut in January, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” takes senior stereotypes and blows them out of the water with a cast of sassy septuagenarians who are hip, sexy and ready to party. America’s favorite comedy sweetheart sends a fearless band of senior citizens to the streets to pull shockingly hilarious pranks on the younger generation in this outrageously funny “hidden camera” show. In the vein of “Punk’d,” the show delivers cleverly crafted comedic stunts, candid moments and priceless reactions captured by hidden cameras. Sassy seniors are on a mission, targeting unsuspecting young “marks” with their irreverent behavior.
White, a seven-time Emmy Award winner, stars in and executive-produces the series, adapted from the hit Belgium series “Benidorm Bastards.” Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltowski, White, Scott Hallock, Kevin Healey, Tim Van Aelst and Tim Gibbons are the executive producers of the series produced by Kinetic Content in association with Hallock Healey Entertainment.