Every season, TV executives have a tough call to make; which shows to cancel and which pilots they should pick up, a decision that can come with a lot of backlash, if not favorable to the fans (ABC Family cancelling Bunheads).
This time around, NBC had a tough call to make with two new comedies, New Normal and Go On, shows that had a faithful fan following, just not enough to keep them going. It was a tough call for NBC, but in the end they knew what they had to do. "You have to make those really difficult calls about what you sort of can renew at what rating. And we had to make a very difficult call,” NBC’s chairman of entertainment, Bob Greenblatt said.
Now, I never watched Matthew Perry’s show, but as a Ryan Murphy fan New Normal was on in my house every Tuesday night. I thought it was witty, had good acting, but most importantly was real, so I was very disappointed when NBC had made the call to not keep it going.
Then Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said something that made everyone scratch their heads in confusion, “And with deteriorating ratings the tolerance for a show that’s struggling is just shorter than it’s ever been. So it’s frustrating for all of us that you can’t take the time to nurture a show and grow the audience as much as you might want to.”
Now for other companies, quickly canceling shows that aren’t doing so well without trying to help is the norm, but not for NBC whose company can boast show titles such as Seinfeld, 30 Rock, and Parenthood. What do all of those shows have in common? They didn’t do to well in the beginning, but after some tender loving care from the big wigs at the network, went on to be great. Seinfeld has been off the air for 15 years, but is still talked about and called a “classic,” 30 Rock just ended its seven year run, and after a shaky start Parenthood is going into its fifth season after a strong fourth. What’s so different about those shows that The New Normal and Go On didn’t have? Why weren’t those shows cancelled after their first or second shaky season, like these two?
NBC is a failing company, and doesn’t necessarily have the time or money to really nurture failing shows like CBS, but the comment didn’t make sense given the company’s history. Then again, when up there at TCA and answering questions, it can be easy to get nervous and not think before you speak.