Ah, NBC. You were once a dominant force to be reckoned with. As the premiere network for 20 years, you churned out excellent sitcom after excellent sitcom and basically wrote the rule that Thursday night is when you watch comedies on Must See TV. Unfortunately, the days of Cheers, Night Court, Seinfeld, Friends and Frasier are long gone.
The funny part is that NBC still has some of the best sitcoms on television. The bad news is that nobody watches them. While Community is half-buried with a mid-season debut later this year, the bigwigs at the Peacock Network probably assumed 30 Rock‘s swan song (despite what Alec Baldwin thinks) would count for some increased viewership. Boy, were they wrong.
The adventures of Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy and Tracy Jordon returned to their worst premiere ever, reaching just 3.4 million people, according to Vulture. However, there are two silver linings. First, like a second-term president, the show can do whatever it wants because it doesn’t have to fight for renewal. Second, 30 Rock is the sort of show that actually gets a bump in the ratings when DVR recordings are factored in. Still, it’s a little depressing to realize that so few people will see such a great show as it shuffles off the screen this year.