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News Briefs: NBC Might Shorten Its Returning Comedies

SO CRAZY IT JUST MIGHT WORK NEWS

... 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]


BUSINESS TIME

... 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]


CASTING NEWS

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

Comments (44)
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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......
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TLC needs to go play in traffic during rush hour.
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With all the reruns networks run now it already feels like all shows are on a 13 episode run.
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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.
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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.
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Parks and Recreation is likely to return: yaay



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

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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.
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If. They. Dare. Give. Community. A. Half. Season. There. WILL. Be. Paintballs. Shot.
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And pillow wars WILL be started! Fluffiness will rain down on our foes like a raging hellfire.



sixFULLseasonsandamovie!
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I vote new hashtag! Time to raid twitter!
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THIS. All of it.
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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.
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"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.
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I must have been mistaken then; it must be the guys who hide behind the chairs. I can't wait to see the girls' faces when that chair spins around and they come face to face with their dream date, The Situation. HAHA
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People still watch NBC comedies?
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There are people like YOU?
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Well, there is this one that is streets ahead of the competition.
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There better be full season of Parks, NBC can do whatever it wants with its other shows but 13 episodes of Ron Swanson is not enough and hopefully Community gets renewed, but that should be a full season too.
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I don't know. I like the 13 episode idea. Hard to find 13 episode shows that aren't well made. Parks and Rec is great. I also think it would make an excellent candidate for a 13-episode series.



I'd prefer less well-made shows to be longer though. The ones I watch to fill time and a get an occasional chuckle from.



I know that's some counter intuitive twisted logic, but that's how I feel about it.
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Spock would be appalled.
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TOS Spock or TNG Spock?
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TOS, of course.
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I. love. Rihanna. Just so ya know. When is that going to be?
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This will really be the litmus test for the new Comcast ownership. Community has a HUGE internet following, so cancelling it will piss a ton of people off. Similarly, Parks and Rec is also very popular, so it would be wise to bring it back. Ratings-wise, The Office actually was the highest rated, so that needs to be renewed, but the others are quite popular as well. How Comcast handles this round of TV renewals/cancellations will really say much about their ability to make wise decisions.
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I don't mind NBC shows having 13 episode seasons, as long as it also applies to their competition shows. I'm looking at you The Voice. And if they can make Community 52 episodes per season per year, I'll be happy.
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fewer isn't the problem, if nobody watches stuff when it's longer, they're not going to watch when it's shorter. that's why ratings are inaccurate. but i'm not getting into that. I wouldn't mind having shorter seasons for some things, but I want a full season of Parks and Community and even Best Friends Forever. the rest can stay 13 episodes
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In drama I understand 13 episodes (in fact, the best seasons I've seen were made with 13 episodes) but comedy is different. Everybody loves to have a lot of laughs in a year. 13 is not enough I think.
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If I can get more Community, I won't mind if I'd have to settle for fewer episodes per season, though I'd obviously prefer a full season.
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*current Criminal Minds star Paget Brewster
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for a couple more episodes anyway. It's been widely reported she is leaving the show after this season
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I was looking down the whole comment list waiting for someone to mention this.
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same here
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People come up with the worst TV show ideas nowadays
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People are probably coming up with fantastic TV ideas... but networks only pick up the worst ones. The totally Britta it.
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But Britta is not the worst.... She's the best.
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Maybe they should just do two short seasons like USA does for their comedies =)
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It was a good idea Tim. As we have seen with the success of the USA network shows. 13 episode arcs work. However what I hope that NBC understands is that it can't be 13 eps per year. Because that is well dumb (which is why they will probably do that) But 13 episodes then a few weeks of something else and then back to another 13 episodes. If they choose to do this then they could have more shows. An increased potential for finding hits. And also a way to keep things fresh and develop a need to watch the show. This is a smarter way to go about it.
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The danger of a short season is that a person really likes show A, which runs its course of 13 episodes and then disappears for 9 months... and in the meantime, the view who liked show A has wandered off because it isn't on anymore.
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Agreed, which is why they need to adhere to USA, Sci Fi and Comedy Central's method of doing them. You do 13 eps and then take 6 weeks off. Then do them again. So on and so forth. If they did it per whole year then yes, people would lose interest and then NBC would lose them as viewers.

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No! I need more than 13 episodes of Community a year.
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We're still in danger of getting 0. Per Year. Forever.
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If that happens I'll start wearing a felt beard and call myself Evil FringeFanatic, because we'll obviously be in the darkest timeline.
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What color will your icon be then?
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Haha! I guess its hard to get much darker than my Red Fringe Division icon.
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