It's almost not even FUN to laugh at NBC's woes anymore. I mean, this is downright depressing. If NBC were your cat, you wouldn't even waste more time by taking it to a vet to have it euthanized, you'd just put its head in the doorway and slam the door three or four times. Throw in the towel! Call in the ref! Stop the fight!
NBC made a slew of scheduling changes today, indicating that it finally realizes this season is a total disaster and the sooner it can rebuild, the better. The biggest of those changes is moving Smash, once the network's most promising new drama, to... SATURDAYS. Beginning April 6, Smash will take the weekend shift at 9pm. NBC says all episodes of the drama, which is currently in its second season, will air. Last night's episode continued the series' dismal performance, drawing 2.89 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in the adult demo. The ratings for Season 2 have been the butt of many jokes in the business, and the likelihood of Smash getting a third season is about the same as that of me hitting a high note.
Go On, which started the season as one of the network's pleasant surprises, will get a two-week tryout on Thursdays after The Office on April 4 and April 11. This makes some sense, as Go On has always been a likely candidate to take over one of the Thursday-night spots being vacated by the The Office and 30 Rock. Good luck, Go On.
The biggest winner in all this shuffling is the show that deserves it least, the Eva Longoria-produced dating reality show Ready for Love. The upcoming series, which follows three hot studs as professional matchmakers help them choose a lady from a pool of three dozen women, will debut on Tuesday, April 9, and get the plush post-The Voice slot that did wonders for Revolution and Go On. But this show will tank, and it will tank hard. And because it was supposed to air on Sundays, it won't have The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones to blame anymore. It's simply a really bad idea.
Other changes and announcements:
– Celebrity Apprentice will expand to two hours starting April 14.
– The New Normal's one-hour season finale will air April 2.
– Whitney's one-hour season finale will air March 27.
As disastrous as all this sounds, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT NBC NEEDS TO DO. Give up on this season. It has been a historically bad 2013 for the network, and the returns of The Voice and Revolution on March 25 aren't going to save it. Scorch the earth. Don't just pull out the table cloth, flip the whole damned table. Start new, start fresh. Completely change your strategy, NBC. Take some advice from The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman, who says this is an opportunity to shake up network television. The sad thing is that NBC's development slate looks pretty terrible, as usual, so NBC is at least a season-and-a-half away from putting some sort of rally together. The best the network can hope for is to hold onto any momentum it has with The Voice and Revolution and work off those to shows for next season. Until then, NBC brass should come up with a strategy and then do the exact opposite.