Last week, NBC announced that they were shaking up their schedule, particularly on Thursday nights. The Emmy Award-nominated sitcom Scrubs is returning earlier than expected and the freshman comedy 30 Rock will be moving to Thursday nights. These two comedies, combined with My Name Is Earl and The Office, will create a block of sitcoms on Thursday nights that NBC hopes will return them to the glory days of their past Must-See TV (shows like The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Seinfeld, Cheers, etc.). This new schedule will take effect at the end of the current sweeps period on November 30th.
Kevin Reilly, President of NBC Entertainment announced, “We are excited about the prospect of two-hours of top-notch comedy on Thursday nights, which includes the return of Scrubs. We will stay on-brand with the best comedy block on television, which will position us for the future on the night.”
But what about the new sitcom Twenty Good Years?
Twenty Good Years debuted on October 11th, paired with Tina Fey’s 30 Rock. The show centered around two friends that decide they probably only have twenty good years left to live. They both decide to spend their last good years doing things they’ve never done before. Years featured sitcom veterans John Lithgow (Third Rock from the Sun), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) and guest Judith Light (Who’s the Boss). A great cast but unfortunately, the reviews and the show’s ratings were less than spectacular. The last episode was only watched by approximately 4.5 million.
Twenty Good Years was conspicuously missing from the revised NBC line-up and was scheduled to go on “indefinite hiatus” as of November 30th. Fans had every right to be suspicious that the show would never return. NBC has now announced that the show has indeed been cancelled, after just four episodes, and has been pulled from the schedule, effective immediately. The Biggest Loser will be expanded to fill the void left by Years on November 8th.
Production is expected to continue on Years’ original 13-episode commitment despite its absence from the schedule. Perhaps they will be issued on DVD or made available via NBC’s website (like the recently cancelled Kidnapped series). Time will tell.