NBC orders full season of Guys With Kids, points toward a future of mostly shows like Guys With Kids
In keeping with NBC's newly adopted slogan "We Peacock (Up) Comedy," and its decision to move away from its critically acclaimed, yet only cultishly adored single-camera shows toward those with broader appeal, NBC has given a back order to Guys With Kids. The network bought four more episodes—for a total of 17 its first season—of the series that explores the universal humor of guys trying to raise kids (which is funny, as guys left without female supervision will accidentally kill their kids while playing Xbox), adding it to the list of fellow full-season freshmen comedies Go On and The New Normal, as well as the overall picture of what NBC's comedies will look like going forward.
Again, despite Guys' typically modest 1.3 rating among adults, this renewal was probably considered all but a done deal, given interviews like this one with NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. In it, she describes the network as "huge fans" of shows like Community and Parks And Recreation, again, but declares, again, that they "just want a different brand" now—a brand that means recognizing that fans of those kinds of single-camera, smarty-pants shows "are big parts of our business moving forward," but don't provide big enough ratings to justify building their lineup around them anymore.
Hence decisions like passing on The Office spinoff The Farm ("The Farm felt like a step towards an even narrower version of what those Thursday night comedies have been for us"), or retooling Up All Night as a more traditional multi-camera sitcom—a change that Salke thinks will "address some of the things that are missing to make the show feel relevant," with "relevant" presumably meaning "similar to CBS' thoroughly old-fashioned yet nevertheless most successful sitcoms."
Some similar fine-tuning of what words actually mean no doubt also applies to Salke's insistence that "we're trying to do big, breakout ideas that are incredibly unique," then excited previewing of NBC's recently acquired shows like the one based on About A Boy, two series (an adaptation of the UK's Gates and one starring The Office's Craig Robinson) about "navigating the politics" of a school, and another sitcom based on Cee Lo Green's home life. Essentially, the incredibly unique idea of Guys With Kids—and guys with kids—is looking more and more like NBC's future. Better get used to it.