What's going on with NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show'?
News broke Thursday night that NBC has decided to take The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World off its Thursday-night schedule, effectively cancelling the freshman comedies. Sad for everyone involved, sure, but not at all surprising, given the dismal ratings the two shows had been getting the past few months. (We couldn't sit through more than a couple episodes of either show.)
But wait, not so fast, says an NBC rep. The Michael J. Fox Show, he said, "is not cancelled. We are looking for a place on the schedule after April 3."
NBC was so thrilled to have Alex P. Keaton back on the network that it gave The Michael J. Fox Show a 22-episode order up front. So all of those episodes will still get made, but when and where they might air remains to be seen. It sounds like NBC plans to resurface them (and possibly Sean Saves the World, which shut down production last month but still has a couple finished episodes that never aired) some time later this season. At this point, the chances of a second season for either show are very slim.
If there's an upside to all this, it's that NBC is replacing the shows on Thursday with Hollywood Game Night, the Jane Lynch-hosted celebrity game show currently on Mondays. We love that show, and would gladly watch it over either of the sitcoms it's replacing. (Sorry, Michael J. Fox! You're still a treasure.) Hollywood Game Night was going to lose its Monday timeslot later this month when The Voice returns Feb. 24, so at least it'll get a shot on another night.
What's most troubling about this news, at least for NBC and for fans of the bygone Must See TV era who want to see it succeed, is that it reinforces the fact that the network's Thursday night situation is in total shambles.
First of all, its remaining comedies, Community and Parks & Recreation, don't do very well in the ratings either, though they are at least (mostly) beloved by critics and have fervent core audiences. But both shows are getting old; another season of Community isn't guaranteed, and it wouldn't be surprising if Parks and Recreation's next season was its last. And given the recent news that CBS has acquired rights to air football on Thursday nights in the 2014 season - well, let's just say it's not going to be pretty for the Peacock.
Then again, maybe this guy can help. Though that's what lots of people thought about Michael J. Fox.