NBC announces season finale dates, hour-long episodes of comedies, plan to just give up

NBC announces season finale dates, hour-long episodes of comedies, plan to just give up

It’s been a tough season for NBC, particularly since the NFL closed up shop and the network's most-viewed show abruptly became Harry’s Law. Virtually nothing on the network gets much viewership at all, and almost all of its remaining “hits” (and we use the term loosely) are past the five-season mark, meaning they’re closer to cancellation than they are to their start. We'd forgive the network if they just wanted to settle in for a long nap and wake in September, hoping it was all over.

But NBC has a lot of good shows, from family drama Parenthood to small town comedy Parks And Recreation to genre-bending blast Community, and it’s celebrating the end of the season in style, almost like it was a real network! The network has lined up hour-long episodes for all four of its big comedies, and while many of its shows are exiting before May sweeps (curiously), the network also looks to have the crucial ratings period filled with TV goodness.

Among the highlights announced in a press release today:

  • 30 Rock will celebrate its 100th episode—marking the line at which most sitcoms can start phoning it in and enjoy hefty syndication checks—with an hour-long episode on April 21.
  • Community, The Office, and Parks And Recreation will all feature hour-long finales, the first airing May 12 and the latter two airing May 19.
  • NBC apparently believes The Event will make it to the end of the season, even with abysmal ratings, and, hey, it just might, since the first-season finale, the one destined to have some guy on the Internet always entering threads about shows canceled too-soon to say “WHAT ABOUT THE EVENT?!” like the show was good or something, is scheduled to air May 23.
  • Parenthood, NBC’s best drama (initially just by default but increasingly under its own merits), troublingly has its finale scheduled for April 19, outside of sweeps and the traditional season finale season.
  • NBC closes out the season with the finale of the latest edition of The Biggest Loser on May 24, before rolling over to play dead on the last night of the sweeps period May 25.

The complete list of programs and dates follows (all times are Eastern):

Mon., April 4

Harry’s Law (10-11 p.m.)

Fri., April 8

Who Do You Think You Are? (8-9 p.m.)

Tues., April 19

Parenthood (10-11 p.m.)

Sun., May 1

America’s Next Great Restaurant (8-9 p.m.)

Thurs., May 5

Perfect Couples (8:30-9 p.m.) 

30 Rock (10-10:30 p.m.)

Thurs., May 12

Community (hour-long finale from 8-9 p.m.)

Outsourced (10:30-11 p.m.)

Mon., May 16

Chuck (8-9 p.m.)

Wed., May 18

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (10-11 p.m.) 

Thurs., May 19

The Office (one-hour finale from 9-10 p.m.)

Parks and Recreation (hour-long finale from 10-11 p.m.)

Sat., May 21-Sun., May 22

Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m.)

Sun., May 22

The Celebrity Apprentice (9-11 p.m.)

Mon., May 23

The Event (9-10 p.m.)

Tues., May 24

The Biggest Loser (9-11 p.m.)