Three more of the NBC Thursday night comedies will be returning next season: “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Community,” joining the previously-renewed “30 Rock.” Still awaiting their fate are “Outsourced” and “Perfect Couples,” the final two pieces of the three-hour comedy block.
NBC used to tout Thursday night as “Must See TV’ and that truism extended to Emmy voters as well. In the first ten years of this century, the peacock net’s Thursday laffers won Best Comedy Series six times. “Will & Grace” opened the decade with a win in 2000, “Friends” broke through in 2002, “The Office” took home the trophy in 2006, and “30 Rock” prevailed thrice (2007, 2008, 2009).
In the decade prior, “Cheers” scored in 1991, “Seinfeld” won in 1993, and then “Frasier,” which bounced between Thursdays and Tuesdays, made Emmy history by winning five times in a row (1994-1998).
This year’s Best Comedy Series race is certain to include reigning champ “Modern Family” as well as Golden Globe two-time winner “Glee.” Among the NBC Thursday night show, “30 Rock” and “The Office” are obvious contenders given their past success, but what about “Community” and “Parks and Recreation”?
For its first season, fan-favorite “Community” was skunked by the television academy. It didn’t receive any recognition for its stars (including “The Soup’s” Joel McHale and comedy legend Chevy Chase), writers, directors, or even the technical crew.
Likewise, “Parks and Recreation” was similarly snubbed for its first season back in 2009, although that only ran for six episodes. For its full-length sophomore year, Amy Poehler was able to break into the Best Comedy Actress race, but she lost to Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”).
These also-rans should take heart from the example of “Will & Grace” which ended up running for eight years. It was snubbed for its freshman season save for a bid by veteran director James Burrows. The following year it rallied, racking up an impressive 11 nods, and won Best Comedy Series.