I’ve finally figured out what NBC is doing. With ratings down and Jay Leno eating up a large chunk of their primetime block, they’ve finally embraced their spot in last place and are implementing the One-Night-Is-Enough Policy. That is, NBC will keep its one good night of programming — Thursdays — with comedies The Office, Parks and Recreation, Community, and 30 Rock, and the rest of their schedule can go to hell. To prove they mean business, NBC has canceled its cop drama Southland — here’s the kicker — two weeks before its season premiere.
Forget the fact that Southland is the best-written and most realistic cop drama since NYPD Blue, because NBC’s reason for canceling the show will really grind your gears. Instead of Southland, NBC will be filling its Friday timeslot with episodes of Dateline, which it feels will bring in stronger and more consistent ratings. There’s a small glimmer of hope, though, in that it’s possible Southland will be picked up by a cable network. I’m hoping that will work out. It would be nice to see a network actually let people watch the show before yanking it off the air.