NBC's 'Community' Midseason Hiatus: What the Critics Are Saying

Community Joel McHale and Cast - H 2011

Community Joel McHale and Cast - H 2011

TV buffs admit that the comedy will never be a money or ratings winner for the network, but some say that a break could actually be a good thing.

When NBC announced their midseason lineup, Community wasn’t on it.

While fans and even some of the stars of the community college comedy cried out, sources tell THR that the show will indeed return at a later time. However, what does this hiatus mean for the future of the show, which, while beloved by critics, has not seen huge ratings success during its three seasons on television.

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TV critics weighed in on the NBC midseason shake-up:

“If you’re smart enough to get Community, you’re smart enough to know better when it comes to the rules of television. So let’s cut the tears and outrage for a second. It’s coming back. It could even get renewed,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman.

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“The point is, NBC is in the unique position – last place – to do whatever the hell it wants. But it needs to be a lot more creative than trying what every other network executive has tried in the past. And, bottom line, Community is a loss-leader that will engender good will. Keep it around. Treat it with respect. Toss the super loyal fans a bone,” Goodman added.

“Here's the problem with Community: It's a guaranteed money-loser for NBC, no matter how many people on Twitter love it,” wrote Los Angeles Times’ Scott Collins on Twitter.

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“When factoring in the show’s steady but low ratings, and the already packed Thursday night line-up, perhaps a break for Community is the best case scenario for the series right now. Call this blind optimism if you will, but maybe in this case, no news really is good news,” wrote Cinemablend’s Kelly West.

Community is a mess ratings-wise, but it's one of NBC's few shows that still draws largely unabashed love from critics (and from its shrinking but passionate group of fans). Pulling it off the schedule temporarily given the ratings is understandable; pulling it off the schedule while leaving Whitney on is not,” wrote HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall.

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Community is a hilarious, wildly inventive sitcom, but it’s being puttering along with basic-cable-level ratings (low even by NBC’s lowered standards). On the one hand, TV is a business, at which Community has had over two years to sell its wares. On the other hand, as Troy would say, this is the opposite of Batman,” wrote Time’s  James Poniewozik.