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Yeah, based on the above snippet from tomorrow night's episode of Community, things may get weird when the study group members turn into puppets. NBC hasn't been shy about advertising the anticipated episode, "Intro to Felt Surrogacy," beginning with the puppet rap in last week's tag and following it up with some teasers that show us guest stars Sara Bareilles and Jason Alexander. The latest videos not only give us another peek at the episode and the characters as puppets, but they're also strongly encouraging us to watch live.
The above clip shows puppet-Britta nuzzling puppet-Annie, and the rest of the group outdoors at night. What jumped out at me right away (beyond how bizarre that scene is) was that NBC very assertively tells us to watch the episode live. That message comes through even clearer in this other clip, which promises secrets revealed...
"If it isn't live, it doesn't count." That appears to be NBC's most direct approach possible to telling fans they need to tune in at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday night to watch the episode live, rather than DVRing it. We know networks take into account DVR numbers with the Live Plus same day ratings (and Plus Three and Plus Seven), but it's the live ratings that they're really looking at, and that's where Community tends to suffer.
Given NBC's more aggressive promotions for this particular episode, I'm guessing they'll be paying close attention to the numbers for this one. Or they're simply hoping by telling people that it "doesn't count" if they don't watch live, more people will watch live. Either way, if you're a fan, show your support by watching Community live! The episode will have the study group embarking on a wild balloon ride. And they'll be doing it as puppets!