Ever since the end of The Office, NBC has been struggling to rebuild its formerly unstoppable comedy empire by throwing new shows at the wall and seeing what sticks. Unfortunately, very few things have, resulting in a consistent wave of cancelled comedies each season. Of course, something can’t become the new Office or Friends—or even the new Community—without having some room to breathe, so NBC has announced that it’s adopting a new strategy for putting its comedy brand back together: It’s going to stop canceling everything.
That comes from NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke (via The Hollywood Reporter), who told attendees at a recent event that her network had “a couple of years of over-correction,” resulting in stuff like The Michael J. Fox Show getting the axe before it really had a chance to find its footing. Salke says “the comedy brand got a little murky” in recent years, skewing too far out of the established mold of “smart, specific, a little sophisticated, and not too sweet.” Now, the network will twist that to “smart, sophisticated, but not alienating,” and it also “won’t cancel shows quickly.”
That’s good news for stuff that just got picked up, like The Good Place (which stars Kristen Bell as a woman who gets sent to heaven though she doesn’t quite deserve to be there) and Powerless (which is set in an insurance office in the DC Comics universe), and it’s also a positive sign for returning surprise hits like Superstore. Unfortunately, it’s still way too late for something like Community, which might’ve been too “alienating” anyway.