NBC’s ‘Parks and Recreation’ Put on Hiatus

By October 21, 2013
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Parks and Recreation - Cast & Title

Now before anyone gets too worked up, let it be known that “Parks and Recreation” is not in danger of getting canceled and this “hiatus” is not indefinite with no schedule for return. It just so happens that NBC has a weird schedule plan for the rest of 2013, and that plan happens to screw over the fantastic comedy series a little bit.

Last week, when NBC announced the network had canceled freshman series “Welcome to the Family” and “Ironside,” they shuffled the schedule a little bit. But what wasn’t immediately noticed was that “Parks and Recreation” will be put on hiatus effective immediately, with a variety of programming taking its place for a few weeks.

Now this isn’t a normal break that shows take every now and then around holidays and whatnot. Vulture says beginning this week, “Parks and Recreation” will be replaced by a repeat of “The Voice,” and then the following week will have a “Saturday Night Live” Halloween-themed clip show, followed by a live episode of “The Voice” (which has been scheduled for awhile) on November 7th. Aside from the live show, that’s hardly adequate replacement programming. But there’s more.

Parks and Recreation - Ron Swanson - Tiki Mask

“Parks & Recreation” will return on November 14th and November 21st with back-to-back episodes, meaning we won’t see what was supposed to be this week’s Halloween and election storyline until well into the Thanksgiving month. But then the show disappears until 2014 with bullsh*t like football, the live broadcast adaptation of “The Sound of Music” starring Carrie Underwood, and “The Sing-Off” taking the show’s timeslot. The only good thing taking the show’s spot is the return of “Community” on January 2nd (under series creator Dan Harmon once again), and the following week, “Parks and Recreation” will be back on January 9th at 8:30/7:30c.

So what’s the deal here? Well, NBC seems keen on getting an audience to pay more attention to their new comedy series “Sean Saves the World” starring Sean Hayes. The multi-camera sitcom with a laughtrack isn’t worth your time, and the “Parks & Recreation” audience doesn’t really seem to care about it all that much either. In the end, NBC seems to have realized that while the Amy Poehler-led comedy series isn’t failing, it’s definitely not gaining much of a new audience. So NBC hopes that shows like “The Voice” and other specialty programming will get a different kind of audience to tune in to “Sean” and save it from the chopping block.

It makes sense from the network perspective, but it truly sucks for fans of “Parks & Recreation.” The series is easily NBC’s strongest Thursday night show now that “The Office” is gone, and we wish there was a way to get a bigger audience to pay attention. Anyway, when “Parks & Recreation” doesn’t show up this week and disappears until November, now you know what’s going on.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.