NBC Cancels Entire Primetime Lineup; Will Air Reruns From ’90s

NBC logoThis is the time of year, Modern Philosophers when the television networks announce which primetime programs are being renewed or cancelled, and which new shows will be a part of the Fall TV lineup.

NBC, long mocked for its horrible programming, has decided to make a very bold move.  The network announced today that it was cancelling every show in its primetime lineup, and replacing them with reruns of old NBC hits mostly from the 1990s.

“We know it’s a bold move,” admitted the NBC executive who drew the short straw and had to face the media.  “But when you think about it, what choice did we really have?”

This Modern Philosopher is not a fan of the move.  I will certainly miss shows like “Parks & Recreation”, “Parenthood”, and “Revolution”.

Wow.  Is that really all I watch on NBC aside from “The Tonight Show” and “Saturday Night Live”?  Yikes!

“It’s going to be back to Must Watch TV on NBC,” the nervous executive promised.  “We’re going to welcome back old friends that you’ve missed so much.  We’ve really missed them, too.  Believe me, we’ve missed them more than you’ll ever know.”

SeinfeldNBC’s Thursday night lineup for the Fall will feature “The Cosby Show”, “Cheers”, “Frasier”, “Seinfeld” and “ER”.

“Really?” asked Jerry Seinfeld when reached for a comment.  “I had not heard about this insane plan, and I look forward to notifying my attorneys.  Life was getting a little dull.”

Tuesdays will feature “Friends”, “The Office”, “30 Rock”, “Wings” and “LA Law”.

“Seriously?  They’re going to bring back “Wings”?” Matthew Perry quipped when reached on the set of another sitcom that’s sure to be canceled after one season.  “I didn’t think that show was a hit when it first aired, but what do I know about running a network?”

Other shows being revived by the Peacock network include “Will & Grace”, “Law & Order”, “St. Elsewhere”, “Hill Street Blues”, “3rd Rock From The Sun”, “ALF”, “Hunter”, “Night Court”, “Matlock” “Quantum Leap”, “Crossing Jordan”,  “Chuck”, and “Mad About You”.

ER“It’s going to be like the most exciting class reunion ever,” the NBC suit assured us.  “It will be like they never left.  And they will never leave again.  I promise!”

While it is an extremely curious move on NBC’s part, could it work?  Those shows used to earn amazing ratings when they first aired, and won a ton of Emmy Awards.  It doesn’t cost anything to air a rerun, so that has got to help NBC’s bottom line, right?

“Of course it won’t work,” a CBS executive told me with a hearty laugh.  “NBC might not even own the rights to those shows anymore, so they’re going to have a hard time putting them on the air.  The real issue is that most of those shows air a couple of times a day right now in syndication.  What sponsor is going to pay to run a 30 second spot on a show that the average 18-39 year old has already seen five times?”

“Does NBC think it’s TBS and Nick At Night rolled into one?” asked a Fox executive as she tossed back a celebratory cocktail.  “Talk about throwing in the towel.  They’d probably get better ratings if they just ran color bars every night from 8 until 11.  Or put Jimmy Fallon on all night long.  People love him.”

friendsBased on the response I’ve been getting from television experts, it’s not looking good for our old friends at NBC.

Of course, at least we can see our good looking “Friends” at NBC again every Thursday night.  I really have missed Ross and Rachel, and the rest of the gang….

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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46 Responses to NBC Cancels Entire Primetime Lineup; Will Air Reruns From ’90s

  1. markbialczak says:

    NBC did have some great shows in the past, didn’t it, Austin?

    I think it would be a great idea if all the actors and writers would agree to return and revitalize these shows now.

    • Austin says:

      I’m just tired of liking a show only to have the network cancel it. I’m bummed about NBC canceling Revolution, so I beat them up in my blog. Writer’s revenge!

      • markbialczak says:

        Last year I had a conniption about The New Normal and Go On. This year, it’s Growing Up Fisher. Stinking NBC. They put on these sitcoms with quirky characters that I can relate to, with and interesting storylines and episode plots, and yank them before they can grow an audience. On ABC this year, it’s Trophy Wife. Bad day of announcements today, Austin.

      • Austin says:

        I liked all four of the shows you mentioned. In fact, I just watched this week’s ep of The Trophy Wife on the DVR today…I don’t think they give shows enough time to devlop a fan base.

      • markbialczak says:

        I agree. And then they start the cycle again. The Trophy Wife was particularly promising, and cross-generational. Funny, but smart with a heart.

      • Austin says:

        They need more patience! the news shows are going to need to build audiences, too, so why not just stick with what you’ve got?

      • markbialczak says:

        What a concept. Save money by sticking with sets that are built, casts under contract, writers and technicians already a team … The networks and their big, quick hook are just plain stupid.

      • Austin says:

        Give me a show now. I can save NBC! 🙂

      • markbialczak says:

        Yes, only three million people like this show! That’s not enough; maybe 3.02 will like this pilot we have here?

      • Austin says:

        Seinfeld is a classic example of patience being a virtue. The early ratings sucked, but NBC stuck with it, and look how that turned out. Similar thing happened with Cheers… They’re way too quick to plug the plug these days, and they wonder why they are losing their audience.

      • markbialczak says:

        I know. All they needed to do was decide that nobody wanted to watch a show titled The Seinfeld Chronicles but everybody wanted to watch a show titled Seinfeld. 🙂

        They think that the Twitterverse means word of mouth is immediate. Shows still need two seasons to pull in the crowd.

      • Austin says:

        Exactly. I hate when they pull epic shows like Revolution. Now I’m never going to know how they intended to wrap up the story. That just sucks!

      • markbialczak says:

        A few seasons back, I was so happy when TNT picked up Southland to continue the story.

        An chance that could happen with Revolution?

      • Austin says:

        I liked Southland and was glad it was rescued. I don’t know if Revolution’s producers are trying to shop it around. The boss of the company is a little busy directing a little indie movie called Stars Wars Episode 7,… 🙂

      • markbialczak says:

        OK. He must have a Revolutionary underling. Maybe the company can contract you on a consulting basis? That would be pretty cool. USA USA. Network, of course.

  2. They probably could go back to 1994’s lineup, re-air everything, in order, up until around 2000, and it would do well, while giving them time to find shows that don’t suck.

  3. Robert Healy says:

    But NBC couldn’t find Any Body to deliver the news to Mads Mikkelsen.

  4. My personal programming pet peeve, is when networks move a popular series to the suckiest time slot–Sunday evening at 9 PM Central time. This time slot is constantly delayed by sports programming, Thus, the series loses viewers, and is cancelled.

  5. I can’t agree more! There is nothing more frustratingly frustrating than big networks canceling shows that are actually good and keeping all of the ones that aren’t. They need to give them a chance to develop a fan base, not just write them off because of less-than perfect ratings. That being said, I wouldn’t be opposed for a Seinfeld/Friends/Scrubs/TGIF lineup comeback 🙂

    • Austin says:

      I almost included Scrubs in the post because that is an old favorite of mine. I just hope NBC saves the show we both enjoy…Parenthood.

      PS — Go Yankees! 🙂

  6. I’m so pissed that they cancelled Revolution! I love Miles Matheson and thought Charley was pretty badass, too! It drives me crazy that it’s always the shows I’m passionate about that seem to get cut. I know hubby will be bummed about Intelligence, too. I thought that one had potential.

  7. I just don’t have room in my life for any new shows.

  8. Joseph Nebus says:

    Reblogged this on Joseph Nebus's Sense Of Humor and commented:
    Since my last bit of humor reblogging worked out well for all involved, why not go again? Austin Hodgens is an indefatigable writer with pretty near daily mock-news articles, many of them focused on the center of general weirdness which is living in Maine.
    This particular article isn’t, obviously; it’s a bit of more general absurdity directed at NBC, which kind of deserves whatever you might say about it. (Well, almost. I am at peace with NBC’s cancelling Community, much as I like the show, because I can’t very well say they didn’t give it plenty of chances to find an audience. I would have liked their final episode to feel less like an unfinished draft for the final episode, but I don’t think that’s NBC’s fault either.) Anyway, do please enjoy the article, and his other writings, if you do.

  9. Pamela Edwards says:

    The ratings system is antiquated.It is supposed to be updated . I say hurry along because many good shows do get the axe . I noticed several of the networks on our satellite already show older canceled shows such as ” Love Boat “, “Six Million Dollar Man ” , ” Fantasy Island ” to name a few . While it may be ok on occasion to stroll down memory lane and view some of the older shows , i would much rather see some of the new really good shows that get the axe far too soon .

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