News Briefs: NBC Might Shorten Its Returning Comedies

By Tim Surette

May 09, 2012


... Just yesterday I made the crazy proposal that NBC actually limit a lot of its comedies to 13-episode seasons, because I'm a lunatic who just makes things up and pretends they make sense. But guess what!? The network actually might do it! According to as-yet-unsubstantiated rumors, NBC is solving its dilemma of "what comedies should we renew?" by renewing lots of them for shortened 13-episode seasons. It's kind of a have-the-cake-and-eat-it-too situation that would allow NBC to air "farewell seasons" for 30 Rock and The Office while simultaneously launching new comedies to replace them. The report also says that Whitney is probably done, Community's future is still up in the air, and Parks and Recreation is likely to return. [Deadline Hollywood]


... Jerry Seinfeld can basically walk into any network, say, "I have an idea for a show," and get it picked up before the gofer brings him coffee. His latest idea is called Comics and Cars, and it's a show about rich comics and their expensive cars. Specifically, it would involve car-lover Jerry and some of his famous friends riding around in exotic cars and making jokes. There are no networks involved with the project yet, but it's looking like it will end up on a cable channel. Seinfeld last tried TV with The Marriage Ref, a clip show of people pretending to laugh mixed with a relationship advice show. [The Daily]

... TLC is getting a lot out of people who don't get any. The cable channel has ordered two more episodes of the special Virgin Diaries, which feature adult virgins on their quest for love. The new installments will follow a Mormon guy who lives in his parents' basement and brings his mom with him to meet girls, and a lesbian Star Wars fan. [TV Guide]

... Moving on from virgins to man whores, Showtime has apparently ordered a third season of Gigolos. The reality* show follows male gigolos around Vegas as they behave like complete idiots. (* = completely fake and made-up) [TV Guide]

... A & E has ordered the reality series Southie Rules, a look at a working-class family in South Boston. [Variety]


... Former Criminal Minds star Paget Brewster will voice a character on Fox's Working Class Hero, an animated program about a superhero dad (Patton Oswalt) who is overshadowed by the other superheroes in his town. Brewster will play the wife, a regular-powered medic. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Matthew Lillard will guest-star in an upcoming Season 5 episode of Leverage. He'll play sneaky businessman who gets what's coming to him. You'll remember Lillard as the guy who played Shaggy in Scooby-Doo or as the guy you haven't heard anything about in a while. [TV Line]

... Rihanna will perform during the American Idol season finale in case you've been brainwashed to like popular music and care about this sort of thing. I only listen to folk-pop from rural China. [Fox via press release]

... Remember that Fox dating show I told you about called The Choice that's a rip-off of The Voice but instead of being about singing, it's about people dating? The "celebrity" men who will participate as the eligible bachelors have been revealed, and excuse me while I go inject some collagen into my cheeks! Singer Joe Jonas, actor Dean Cain, model Tyson Beckford, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, Rob Kardashian, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, Pauly D, and others will be picking which ladies they want to take out on the town for an intimate evening of romance and millions of people watching them. [EW]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

  • Comments (44)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • Spoontown May 10, 2012

    How there is even a question about Parks coming back is shocking, Community is good but too hyped, whereas P & R is just damn funny every week. 13 eps is still a long series, come live over here that's 2 of our seasons, 22-24 eps is too many even P & R has off episodes. 13 eps might just mean 13 great episodes, the whole quality over quantity thing doesn't seem to have got over the Atlantic......

  • lalaforever1989 May 10, 2012

    TLC needs to go play in traffic during rush hour.

  • GHOST_DOG_DMC May 10, 2012

    With all the reruns networks run now it already feels like all shows are on a 13 episode run.

  • RipIgloo May 09, 2012

    I like the idea of having 13 ep seasons of shows to help launch more shows. I mean this way they can have double or maybe triple the amount o canceled shows that don't make it past 1 season.

  • Writerpatrick May 09, 2012

    Many networks, NBC especially, tend to be trending towards a 13 episode season for many shows. Although it's not all that different than what was done before where they would order 13 episodes then extend to a full season. But at least there seems to be some effort to commit to actually running the full 13.

    If NBC is getting into 13 episode runs for it's comedies, then I would expect they'd give Community a 13 episode final season because they need whatever fans they can get and use it to launch a new sitcom.

    NBC also has discovered that if you're going to cancel a series it's best to do it with a 13 episode final season. That way rather than getting blamed for cancelling a season they seem generous in giving the show a final season.

  • thorthorsen May 09, 2012

    Parks and Recreation is likely to return: yaay

    Community's future is still up in the air: FFS!

  • Geek_Queen May 09, 2012

    Matthew Lillard did a great job in an episode of Law & Order: SVU (along side Carol Burnett). And it was nice to hear him reprise his role of Shaggy for the most recent Scooby cartoon, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. It'll be fun to see him on Leverage.

  • CiaraGlynn May 09, 2012

    If. They. Dare. Give. Community. A. Half. Season. There. WILL. Be. Paintballs. Shot.

  • FringeFanatic May 09, 2012

    And pillow wars WILL be started! Fluffiness will rain down on our foes like a raging hellfire.


  • ciaBrysh May 10, 2012

    I vote new hashtag! Time to raid twitter!

  • CiaraGlynn May 09, 2012

    THIS. All of it.

  • Gold_Ruby May 09, 2012

    I'm glad Whitney is dying, I could not understand how it was considered a hit when it first premiered. I'm not sure how to feel about the shortened seasons: yay! at both Parks and Rec and Community's return, but boo! on the less of the Pawnee and Greendale crew.

  • BarryDalton May 09, 2012

    "Seinfeld last tried TV with The Marriage Ref, a clip show of people pretending to laugh mixed with a relationship advice show."

    Good line.

    I still love Seinfeld (the show), but Seinfeld (the comic) isn't funny anymore.

  • See More Comments (14)