Remember last Friday, when NBC announced a rejiggered primetime schedule for Wednesdays and Thursdays through the rest of the year? A bunch of holiday-themed SNL specials are in; Welcome to the Family and Ironside are out.
It wasn’t until today that analysts realized that shuffled schedule hid one more nugget of information: As Vulture has noted, the Peacock has effectively put Parks and Recreation on hiatus until 2014.
Only four more episodes of Parks will air in 2013, two on Nov. 14 and two on Nov. 21. (One of the Nov. 14 episodes is Halloween-themed; maybe Greg Pikitis is behind this mischief?) The rest of Parks’ normal Thursday 8 p.m. timeslots will be filled by episodes of The Voice, football games, and a variety of specials, including SNL’s Halloween clip show, back-from-the-dead a cappella competition The Sing-Off, and NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music, starring Carrie Underwood. Parks is currently slated to return Jan. 9.
Why shuttle Parks away? It seems that NBC’s goal is to boost the ratings for Sean Hayes’ much-hyped, little-watched Sean Saves the World; specials may be able to do what Parks – a comedy with loyal core viewers but little power as an anchor – couldn’t. And though this move may worry Parks fans, not every TV insider sees it as a bad thing:
So buck up, Knopists; this just means Parks and Community can spend extra time together when Dan Harmon’s meta-comedy returns in early 2014. It’ll be almost like the good old days of NBC’s Quirky Thursday! Right?