One of NBC's key objectives this year was to restore some trust with the creative community -- particularly following "The Jay Leno Show" debacle, which angered some writers and producers by taking scripted fare out of the key 10 p.m. slot.
Peacock has come a long way this year, picking up a whopping 12 new scripted skeins -- and launching six new dramas in fall alone. But it nonetheless is causing a stir this Sunday in comedy circles, having opted to keep critical fave "Parks and Recreation" off the fall schedule.
"Parks and Rec" isn't a big ratings grabber, but it is indeed starting to make a lot of noise for NBC -- and appears to be on the cusp of exploding into a new phenom akin to "The Office" (which also launched with a slow build).
The show just introduced Rob Lowe and Adam Scott into the mix, and supporting star Aziz Ansari -- who's about to host the MTV Movie Awards -- appears ready to leap into the comedy big leagues, much as Steve Carrell did in the summer before "The Office's" second season.
What's more, the "Parks and Rec" team, under exec producers Mike Schur and Greg Daniels, have canceled their summer hiatus plans and are already at work cranking out season 3 scripts. That's because star Amy Poehler is set to give birth in August, and the show -- and NBC -- wanted to make sure they had episodes in the can before then.
Now, unfortunately, the "Parks and Rec" episodes now being written might not be seen for many, many months. And the early momentum from the addition of Lowe and Scott might be lost, insiders close to the show fear.
"'Parks and Recreation' is one of the best reviewed shows on all of TV," one source close to the show says. "It's nuts."
On the bright side, NBC just sealed a megadeal with Schur -- and that deal was incumbent on the exec producer sticking with "Parks and Rec," so it won't be going anywhere. (Let's just hope people remember it by the time it returns.) The lengthy hiatus gives Poehler time to take a breather after giving birth. And it will allow Ron Swanson more time to craft new canoes in his wood shop.
But still -- the comedy one-two punch of "Community" and "Parks and Rec" repped one of the few hours of the TV sked that we truly anticipated all week long. Thursdays moved quicker because we couldn't wait to get home and watch these two shows, back-to-back. It's going to be a rough fall without Leslie, Ron, Tom, Ann, Andy, April and, yes, even Gerry, to come home to.
UPDATE: Schur has responded to the news via Twitter.
Yes, it's true: #ParksandRec has been pushed to midseason next year. Hopefully back ASAP. Our S2 finale is Thursday - watch and enjoy!
(Also, we've completed 3 eps for season 3 and will have 6 total before production hiatus; can't wait for everyone to see them.)
To answer frequent Q: this is NOT because of Amy's pregnancy. She's working super hard (@ 7 months!) to make sure the show's ready for fall.