At the end of the day, we understand what you do is a business – that television in itself is an industry run on revenue and advertising. But unlike any other business, you guys are selling something beyond just an every day consumer product/good. You are selling art. It’s actually something much more deeper than what we could just simply define as art. You see, unlike music or movies, television shows are a creative process that people get to witness as it’s being created. Which means the audience gets to grow with the characters, and get immersed in the world that is being told – as it’s being developed. We get to participate. Unlike any other medium, Television gives us a chance to fully connect with a story and the characters that inhabit it.
I know Community has not been canceled, and we’ve even been assured season three will air in full (at some point), but the writing is on the wall. Fans of television know the drill. We’ve seen far too many shows get jerked around with time schedule shifts and being banished to the depths of Friday hell, to know this is not good. While I know Community doesn’t have the best ratings (to be fair Nielsen is an outdated system that doesn’t really capture the data accurately) – what do you think will happen when you randomly bring the show back on in 5 months? That somehow the ratings will improve? I assume not. But if you think the ratings are bad now, watch what will happen when you confuse your audience with a new schedule, and a long gap between the nine episodes you will have already aired.
I would like to think that those of you at NBC are not just businessman, but also have the same passion for television that many of the people that tune in to your station have – and that you feel a responsibility to the audiences of the shows you’ve helped drawn in. This is not to say; I don’t understand how the system works. If Community was truly bleeding you money and putting you in the red, it’s an unfortunate reality that is not entirely the studio’s fault, but rather the circumstance in which people just didn’t take to the show. However, we all know that Community is not bleeding you money. From a business perspective it might not be the best profitable investment. But let me put it this way: if Community gets canceled, or is obliterated by episodes being aired by scattered scheduling, you will have lost millions of fans that won’t come back again to your channel.
If you guys truly feel the show is not a good long term investment, then let the show end with some dignity. Give us – the fans, and the creators of the show some respect, and let the show finish out with a regular season on a regular schedule. Yes, you might not be making a ton of profit, but canceling it will do much more damage to your brand in the long run if you leave millions of fans out in the cold.
This is cliché, but I don’t care: television is magical. It truly is. And there is nothing more terrible then cutting off people from a story that has not yet been finished. Or forcefully erasing the characters we’ve come to love, as if they meant nothing. Made even worse by the fact that we were around when the story was being written, and have become very much apart of the show. At the end of the day, we understand it’s a business. But there is also integrity as a company. You have a responsibility not just to your audience, but to the art you help put on your channel. NBC,however you choose to proceed with this, please don’t screw this up.