If there's ever going to be a starker demonstration of just how little America cares about the kinds of shows that are popular on this here Internet than the fact that the debut of Rob Schneider's new "Rob Schneider marries into a Mexican family" sitcom, Rob, drew 13.48 million viewers and a 4.1 in the key demo and the sixth season premiere of Tina Fey's 30 Rock drew just 4.57 million viewers and a 1.8 (down 31 percent from season five's debut), we hope we never have to see it. Rob, which encountered almost universally bad reviews, was down a touch from its Big Bang Theory lead-in (which pulled 15.93 million viewers and a 5.2), but Big Bang is one of TV's most popular comedies. So.
It gets worse. Much worse! The least-viewed show of the night on the big four networks was Parks & Recreation, pulling in only 4.10 million viewers (though its 1.9 in the demo was a touch up from 30 Rock), while Up All Night, debuting after The Office in place of Whitney, did about as well as Whitney used to do (4.28 million viewers, 2.0), while Whitney and new partner Are You There, Chelsea did fairly well for themselves last Wednesday, at least given how competitive the timeslot is and how little NBC is able to promote shows in tough timeslots.
If there's a "silver lining" here, it's that 30 Rock's struggle indicates that, yeah, the 8 p.m. Thursday slot on NBC is always going to be a tough one for the network to program. That alleviates some of the stress on Community, which rarely performed much worse than 30 Rock did last night. Clearly, America just doesn't want the sophisticated barbs of Dan Harmon and/or Fey when they can gladly have the "big belly laughs" of wacky nerds and Rob Schneider appearing to anally rape a Mexican grandmother.
(Oh, if you were curious about Fox's new The Finder, that didn't do so hot either, pulling a 1.7 and 5.45 million viewers, behind both The Office and Up All Night in the demo and behind The Office in viewers, miring Fox in fourth place for the hour. Meanwhile, NBC's TV version of The Firm pulled a 1.0 in the demo, suggesting it might be gone as soon as next week.)