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I decided this season that I wasn't going to drive myself crazy trying to watch The X-Factor and The Voice and try to keep up with my favorite scripted series at the same time. It's too hard to keep up with everything and frankly, I'm kind of burned out on singing competitions. So, it's back to just one singing competition a year for me. See you in January, American Idol. (Ok, I'm not really counting The Sing-Off, which airs in December, is a much shorter format and doesn't infringe on my other TV series.) Having passed on The Voice this season, it seems like a case of Murphy's Law that the series would manage to interfere with my regular TV viewing anyway, as the NBC singing competition and a Saturday Night Live Halloween special are bumping Parks and Recreation off the schedule for the next three weeks.
This isn't entirely a surprise, as we learned last week that NBC was pulling Welcome to the Family from the schedule, effective immediately, and the schedule mentioned that an encore episode of The Voice would air on October 24. As The Voice is an hour-long show, it stood to reason that some other show on NBC's roster would be sidelined along with WttF on Thursday to open up a full hour for The Voice. Today, TVLine clarifies on that schedule by reporting that The Voice's Battle Rounds will be spilling over into Thursday nights starting this week, airing at 8:00 p.m.. Then, next Thursday (October 31), SNL Halloween will air in that hour. The week after that, it's The Voice again. And then things go back to normal. Kind of.
As NBC's schedule notes, Parks and Recreation will be playing catch-up in November, airing back-to-back episodes on November 14 and 21.
So this explains the schedule. But for those of us who've been trying to get settled into NBC's updated comedy block, it's disruptive and kind of frustrating. On one hand, Parks and Recreation is the lone veteran series in NBC's Thursday night comedy block. If any show can stand to take a scheduling hit like this, it's that one, as fans will be there in a few weeks to watch the series when it returns. The same might not be said for newbies Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show. But on the other hand, it makes me wonder if Welcome to the Family got axed a bit earlier than it needed to so NBC could make room for The Voice. Ok, I get it, The Voice is raking in between 10 and almost 15 million viewers per episode this season. We should probably count our blessings that NBC hasn't found a way to air it every night, with numbers like those. Meanwhile, Welcome to the Family's meager 2.99 million viewers for its premiere dipped down to 2.42 million for its third and final episode last week. So, there's logic in the decision from a ratings standpoint. It's just disappointing, and now we can add missing Parks and Rec for a few weeks to that.