Thursday night lights: Will NBC be 'Must See' again? Nah, but it'll be funny!

9220__tina_l_1Yes, NBC is having a bad fall — the kind that requires hip replacement. Yes, the sets of Twenty Good Years are, at this very moment, being chopped up for firewood, as hungry, hobo-like executives slaughter the actual NBC peacock and roast it over the flames. Yes, Studio 60 is self-congratulatory coastal chauvinism at its worst. But there’s good news — potentially good news, anyway. The promising, if still uneven 30 Rock (starring Tina Fey, pictured) has been given a stay of execution. Better yet, it’s been grouped with the net’s strongest comedies into a fearsome laugh armada (a term I prefer to the Soviet-sounding "comedy block"): My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock and Scrubs (in a triumphant, told-you-so return) will join forces on a night NBC used to call… Must-See Thursday.

At NBC, "Thursday" must have an Agincourt-like ring to it. It’s the sacred spot where a great Nielsen battle was fought and won, where names like Seinfeld, Aniston, even Schwimmer commanded the respect of a grateful nation. Can NBC recapture that Must-See Glory with a passel of brainy post-sitcom sitcoms? I don’t give a crap — only my TiVo does. (As long as it gets to sleep in the next morning.) I’m just glad to see a network embracing smart, ambitious comedy, if only for one night a week. Let their powers combine! (But please, let them not form a blue-skinned Ted Turner-designed superhero with a flattop, unless it’s sweeps.)

addCredit(“30 Rock: Eric Liebowitz”)

Now all Thursday needs is a drama nightcap at 10 — maybe something alittle fresher than ER. If Studio 60 were a) good and b) performing upto snuff, I’d suggest slotting it at 10 and completing both the comedyarc and the "brainy block" aspects of the programming schedule. Alas,it’s not to be.

And what about all those other nights of the week? No worries. I’ve got it covered.


Comments (57 total) Add your comment
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  • Dave

    30 Rock is hysterical. I watched it for the first time last night, and Alec Baldwin had me laughing the entire time he was on. Seriously, if he doesn’t get an Emmy nomination out of this, there is no justice in TV land (wait, when shows like Arrested Development get cancelled, has there ever been?). Anyway, those four comedies are, by far, the best on network TV, and NBC definitely is making Thursday Must-See again. Unfortunately, they’re also on at the same time as Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy, so, alas, my DVR will be on hyperdrive Thursday nights. Couldn’t NBC have done this on, I dunno, Tuesdays or something?

  • Miles

    I’m just here because I love Scott Brown for standing up and saying STUDIO 60 is bad, while every other critic in the u.s. makes love to the screen when this Aaron Sorkin crap fest comes on.
    Studio 60, worst show of the year, hey, It’s the worst show I have seen in my short tv watching existence.
    Has it been canned yet? cause I have a bottle of cheap champagne at the ready when the announcement comes!

  • Jess B.

    Thank you, NBC! I love 30 Rock, but thanks to a crappy time slot and an equally crappy partner, I thought it might be doomed. But by grouping it with the only other good sitcoms on network TV, NBC has given it a real chance to find its footing. If only they had gone with this strategy from the beginning! If you ask me, this is definitely must-see TV — the only network sitcoms in ages that aren’t formulaic and sucky! (Except for Arrested Development, which I miss way too much)

  • brandonk

    Aw, “20 Good Years” got canceled? It was pretty funny, but I guess I won’t miss it too much. I do really like “30 Rock”, though. That, “Earl,” and “The Office”? Sounds like a good night!

  • Stacey

    Considering ER is doing its best in years. No way will NBC replace it, or move it a new night. It helps them have a bit of dignity on Thursday’s. I want NBC to succeed. But going against Grey’s Anatomy and CSI is not the answer. When after those two shows, there is very little ratings left!

  • brandonk

    Yay! According to that link, “Medium” will be back soon!

  • dan cullinane

    friday night lights…
    thats it, i got nothing else…i’ve exhausted myself…(raises hand limply…croaks…”please don’t cancel friday night lights…”)

  • Josh

    If so many EW staffers find so many faults with “Studio 60″, why did they make it one of the 5 TV Shows to Watch in the latest issue over “30 Rock”? I mean “Ugly Betty”, “Heroes” and “The Nine” were great picks, but “30 Rock” should have been in there over both “Studio 60″ and “Jericho”
    And now I must say goodbye to “CSI” and/or “Supernatural”, blah

  • Josh

    For the record, “20 Good Years” hasn’t officially been cancelled yet, but it might as well have be.

  • Elton

    While I’m glad 30 Rock is being given a chance, (it’s the only new show I’m watching) how much of a chance is it going to have against CSI & Grey’s Anatomy? That’s 40 million viewers who WON’T be tuning in for the Girlie Show. I say keep it where it is, or maybe make it Must-See-Tuesday?

  • dave

    i’m sorry. i love studio 60. i will be upset if it goes.

  • Cliff

    This is great news. 30 Rock is as clever as Studio 60 is pretentious. Even better, NBC is finally recognizing that Scrubs is as original and funny as the Office and Earl.

  • Rahul

    I think this is a great idea; a good counter-programming move, especially for those of us who aren’t fans of procedurals or soaps.

  • ceejay

    30 Rock is smart, it’s clever, it’s funny….. loved last night’s episode and I sincerely hope that the new programming changes improve viewership. Absolutely love the show and all its characters.

  • Gretchen Weiners

    I heart Scrubs. And even though I broke up with ER prior to the season starting, I must agree with Stacey and say that ER has been pretty damn good so far. Oh yeah and I love Studio 60 – suck on that Brown.

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