petitions and PSAs. Community was an Internet darling. Despite outcry, and 95,000 Internet signatures, NBC reassured everyone that the show was not cancelled, just 'benched'.
Here we are, it's March 15th and tonight at 8pm (EST) Community is BACK! To quote Abed, "Cool. Cool. Cool". We haven't seen the gang since the Christmas/Glee Parody episode. Yep, it's been THAT long. Now that Jeff and the Greendale gang are back on, what can we do to assure that it stays there. Since it's premiere in 2009, Community has held the Thursday night 8pm time slot. The 8pm Thursday Night slot has housed such hits as The Cosby Show, Mad About You, and Friends. NBC hasn't had a 'hit' show there since the Friends spin-off, Joey. My Name Is Earl lasted 5 season, but was never a top 50 show.
Let's take a look at its competition. On FOX we have American Idol...wait....Community is going up against American FUCKING Idol?!?!?! Wow. American Idol drew 17 million viewers last week. 30 Rock, a successful NBC show and taking the 8pm slot, drew...3 million. Well, Idol is a cultural phenomenon. Let's look at another network. CBS has...Big Bang Theory?? Seriously, people?!?! Bang had 15 million viewers last week. Sigh. Community averages 3-4 million viewers. When Arrested Development was cancelled it had a rating of 3.4 million. Firefly? 4.7 million.
It seems as thought shows like Development and Community may be too clever for their own good. Too full of pop culture references and inside jokes for the common viewer. I have a feeling that the average Community watcher probably relies on TiVo/DVR viewing or catches it on HULU. Those habits are a little tricky when it comes to factoring in the ratings. We may be doomed. 'We' being the Pop-Culture, quick witted, quirky comedy-loving crowd. We are doomed to only enjoy 3-5 seasons (if we're lucky) of a television show, only to have it cancelled despite our fanaticism and love for it. We can only hope for a Netflix bail out or perhaps a movie, OR both.
Simply, we must watch. I recommend that we all begin to have Community parties. Send out the Facebook invites, create themed drinks and/or meals/snacks. Tweet your favorite quotes and happenings during episodes. You can post YouTube videos of your favorite clips on your timeline or a 'friends'. Get others in your social circle into it. The Internet may have saved Community for now, but it must be used to sustain it. Syndication may boost viewership, but it won't put the show over the top.
The beautiful irony is that to save our beloved Community we will have to become just that, a community.