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NBC Pick Ups Cause Schedule Mess

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NBC made some moves official late yesterday, giving full seasons to three new shows, and I'm not sure what the bigger story is: that three new shows won't get canceled or that keeping one of these shows around could spell doom for one of NBC's vets.

Sci-fi-action-thriller The Event, controversial comedy Outsourced, and new spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles all saw their original 13-episode orders extended out to 22 episodes, ensuring that they won't be canceled and should run through next spring. The three shows were all performing okay, but pretty good by NBC's standards.

NBC was also rumored to pick up veteran Chuck for a full season yesterday, but the spy-comedy was noticeably missing from NBC's announcement.

The pickup of Outsourced leads to the biggest question of all. NBC was holding Parks and Recreation for mid-season (many critics assumed that it would replace Outsourced when it failed), but with Outsourced clogging the hole, where does Parks go now? Will NBC keep Outsourced where it is?

There are now five shows competing for four slots on NBC's Thursday night comedy block, and if I'm Community, I'm also a bit worried. Community has been performing below expectations (even though it's the best of the comedies!) and is clearly a show on the bubble. If Outsourced snuck in and bumped Community out of the rotation, which it could, I would lead the charge down to NBC headquarters and hand out free pitchforks and torches to all those who would join me.

There are ways NBC could keep all five and avoid a stabbing with pointy objects by fans like me. Chase and Undercovers, two cancellation candidates, could be put down and sent to the big TV graveyard in the sky, and Community and another comedy could form a new block in their place. Moving Community away from The Big Bang Theory would help the show a lot, and Undercovers' juicy 8pm Wednesday night slot could be the place for it.

What's the bigger story here? That NBC picked up the three shows for full seasons or that Outsourced might push out one of the other comedies from the schedule?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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