ABC has become the new NBC. A year ago, the peacock network infamously jerked around the cult favorite TV show Community by putting it on indefinite hiatus, then bringing it back and renewing it for a fourth season, only to fire its creator and creative mastermind Dan Harmon and push back its premiere from an already-late October date to February. The network’s behavior displayed an open disregard for fan opinion and the show itself and with brand new show-runners on board, it apparently just hasn’t been the same, though personally, I think the show dropped off well before Harmon left and NBC started messing with its schedule.
How does this relate to ABC? Well, let’s start with a show called Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23. Starring Krysten Ritter as a con-artist and party girl in New York City who strikes up a unique friendship with her new roommate, it was supposedly a pretty damn good show, albeit with a small fanbase, and had started to hit its stride when ABC abruptly, though not unexpectedly, pulled it from their schedule with eight episodes left in the season, announcing that it was officially canceled not long afterwards. To be fair, the show had pretty ugly ratings, but what do you expect to happen when you not only air episodes out of order, but multiple seasons simultaneously? The cancellation of Apt. 23 naturally prompted fears regarding the fate of its constant Tuesday night companion, the slightly-higher-rated and excellent Happy Endings. Like Apt. 23, the kinda-sorta Friends-esque comedy aired episodes out-of-order (including having a “lost” episode) and has experienced a roller-coaster ride when it comes to scheduling, frequently getting preempted or yanked for little apparent reason, adding an additional timeslot in the same week, airing multiple episodes a day and getting cut out of the March schedule to make room for Dancing with the Stars. Eventually, the show mysteriously vanished from TV after its back-to-back January 29th episodes before the network finally told everyone that it had been moved to Friday nights (a.k.a. where TV shows go to die) in favor of reality shows Celebrity Wife Swap and The Taste and wouldn’t be returning until March 29th.
I understand that TV is a business, and the networks can only be expected to do so much when a show does pulls in crappy ratings; one silver lining of NBC being so incompetent they can’t even beat Univision anymore is that shows like Community, Parks and Rec. and even 30 Rock, when it was still around, have likely only survived for as long as they have because there isn’t anything better to put in their place, and at least they have hardcore, devoted fans. I get the sense, though, that ABC might not be quite as patient or have such low standards. The fact that the network has started a “save the show” campaign (either a comforting or cynical move, depending on how you look at it) and that it’s only one season away from syndication gives me some hope that Happy Endings might get one last renewal, but if more people don’t start tuning in, which seems unlikely to happen given the timeslot, it’s headed straight toward cancellation.
If you’re one of the many, many people who hasn’t seen Happy Endings, you should know that it’s an ah-mah-zing show. Revolving around a group of friends in the nicer side of urban Chicago, it brings consistent laughs and features one of the best (and most unheralded) casts in any comedy – or any kind of show, for that matter – working on TV today. Even better, it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon, and its return at 8:00 PM EST tonight provides a perfect opening for newcomers. So, without further ado, here are ten reasons why you should tune in (I apologize in advance for the wall of text):