NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt talked about the future of two of the network’s most-beloved but Nielsen-challenged shows at the Television Critics Association’s Press Tour this weekend, being quoted as saying, “I’m hopeful for Parks & Rec - and Community - but anything can happen between now and May.” It’s good that Greenblatt says he’s hopeful for the show’s futures but bad that he backpedals out of that statement immediately. We’ll see what happens between now and May, when NBC will have to make the decision about picking up the two comedies for another season.
With NBC only ordering a 13-episode half-season of Community this year, pushing the show back until February, firing Dan Harmon, and losing Chevy Chase, the show’s truncated fourth season has looked like it’ll be a swan song if ratings don’t improve or, at the very least, hold steady. When asked if it’s possible for Community to receive a fifth season order in the face of all the show’s headline-grabbing inner turmoil, Rob Greenblatt told the press, “Absolutely. We’re always hopeful for a show to continue. And we co-own it. I’d love nothing more than to see it continue.” Greenblatt also addressed the minor changes to the show in Season 4 and Chevy Chase’s departure, explaining “Actors come and go on a lot of shows and this is a big ensemble. I don’t think that’s going to be a big negative about the future of the show… You’re going to see relatively the same show you’ve seen before and I hope that’s a good thing. Maybe there’s a little more heart built into it, but we didn’t fundamentally change it.” If we’re lucky, Greenblatt will stay “hopeful” for Community and Parks and Rec when decision time comes this spring.