We reported earlier in the evening that Anne Heche’s Save Me and Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal were joining Matthew Perry’s Go On in NBC’s fall schedule. Even later last night, NBC picked two more single-camera sitcom pilots, 1600 Penn and Animal Practice. 1600 Penn is a White House-set family sitcom, co-created and starring Josh Gad. Animal Practice is a comedy set in the office of a curmudgeonly veterinarian (Justin Kirk). Also announced was that Greg Daniels’s Friday Night Dinner, Sarah Silverman, Hilary Winston, and Roseanne’s Downwardly Mobile no longer have a shot to be picked up.
Will these new comedies affect our old favorites? Yes, pretty significantly. To make room, NBC is going to likely give a lot of the returning shows shortened, 13-14 episode, orders. 30 Rock is likely to come back for short final season, as already had been rumored. Community and Parks & Recreation’s renewal is likely, especially for Parks, but expect it to be for only half the year. Whitney and Up All Night, however, aren’t looking as good, especially Whitney, so we probably won’t see either next year.
What does this mean? It’s hard to say what these new comedies are going to be like but they surely seem like a different sort of NBC comedy. The comedy nerd pedigrees aren’t there and they could’ve been with Friday Night Dinner and Sarah Silverman on the table. NBC has made it clear before, but now it’s crystal, they want out of the critically-approved, poorly-rated sitcom business.