With news of Jenny McCarthy-hosted reality shows and remake after remake after adaptation after reboot, NBC certainly has placed a very nice “kick me” sign on its own back. That said, it’s a little too fashionable and easy to just say “NBC sucks,” which is why we have chosen to say, “Here’s why NBC sucks.” It’s a much more thoughtful approach to the whole affair.

Lucky for me, the writer, NBC has given us a very long list of reasons why it sucks over the past six months, so the only hard part was culling them down. They’ve done a very few things right over the past couple months, too, but we’ll save that for another article that I’ll never write.

So here’s why NBC has been sucking.

Shelving Community

Quickly: I am not a Community fan. I think the show is incredibly thoughtful and clever, but it spends so much time being those things that I don’t care at all what happens to the characters. However, I think suspending the one NBC show with a rabid, passionate fan base at a time when the network has almost nothing going for it is a mistake.

The show got terrible ratings, but at least people would talk about it. It gave NBC a presence on the Internet. You think the people that are watching Fear Factor are talking about that show on the Internet? Those people can’t even afford computers.

The show is one of the few good things that anyone says about NBC, so the network should take the hit, knowing that they’re making at least some fans and many critics happy.

The Playboy Club

This show was just ill-advised and lazy. It was too risqué for middle America (which is dumb, but true), and too pedestrian for the Mad Men crowd, so the show was openly mocked and ignored by both sides, getting the axe after two episodes, despite being NBC’s most-hyped new show.

Whatever the opposite of “taking a calculated risk” is, that’s what The Playboy Club was.

“Giving a thoughtless certainty?”

Tits or GTFO.

Hannibal and The Firm

I’m lumping these two together because they’re so dumb they don’t deserve their own entries. Two serialized shows based on fifteen year-old properties that no one has really thought about is not a good way to reestablish relevance in this uber-competitive TV landscape. Hannibal was just announced, but given NBC’s track record, and the recent track record of network TV in adapting adult-oriented dramas, I’m cool with making its collapse a foregone conclusion.

I’m sure the streets of Los Angeles are brimming with clever pilots that may not appeal to everyone, but will appeal to someone and are worth taking a risk on. These weren’t two of them.

The Return of Fear Factor

I feel a bit like a broken record here, but this is another example of NBC throwing their hands up in the air when faced with creating some original entertainment. Fear Factor was stupid and borderline insulting the first time around. It was sadly, the highest-rated show in America for some time, but the novelty wore off, and people forgot about it. Enough time hasn’t passed for the novelty to grow back, so we’re left with shelved episodes of women drinking donkey jizz.

I love that shelving that episode was a last-minute decision. Did someone wake up the morning it was supposed to air and say, “Pull the plug, guys. Kill it. I woke up this morning and decided the donkey cum-guzzling might not be in good taste. It didn’t occur to me until I had my coffee.”

The Munsters Reboot

In case you’re noticing a pattern here, NBC has taken to airing the painfully familiar, while shelving anything that might be considered a risk. Of course, they’re actually taking a giant risk that these remade shows will suck horribly, but NBC execs didn’t get to where they are today (last place) by listening to the likes of me.

The Munsters reboot, entitled Mockingbird Lane after their street address, is produced by Bryan Fuller of Pushing Daisies and will be directed by Bryan Singer. It’s supposedly a dark one-hour drama with “spectacular visuals.” Hmm. Can’t you use spectacular visuals in a newer, more original show?

That question was meant to be rhetorical, but I heard a faint “No!” coming from the vicinity of Burbank.

Staggering Their Thursday Night Comedies

Why did 30 Rock start in January? Why did Parks and Recreation start its third season last February? Where’s Community? Why are they doing this?

Those are four questions to which I don’t have the answer. While people might rank these three comedies differently (The Office won’t be considered for being long-past-its-prime), they do have largely the same audiences, so I guess NBC has thought that stringing the shows out over the course of a year, rather than stacking them during the fall season will get people tuning in throughout the year. What it does (for me) is interest me just enough to track down episodes on Hulu every so often, rather than tune in for one big, sexy block of Must-See TV.

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