None of the three shows is exactly a breakout ratings smash this fall, but given NBC's position, none of the pickups was really a surprise. Still, NBC's press release announcing the full-season orders has to do a lot of ratings double-talk.
"Community," for example, is averaging a 2.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 5.7 million viewers, but those numbers are inflated by a big premiere and by the time "Community" did airing after "The Office." Spinning the 8 p.m. Thursday performance for "Community," NBC boasts that the show as "has improved the time period by 12 percent in adults 18-49 versus NBC's average in the time period earlier this season." That's another way of saying the comedy hasn't done as poorly as "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday."
More significantly, NBC boasts that "Community" is one of TV's most upscale shows, ranking third in "concentration of homes with $100,000-plus incomes in its adult 18-49 audience." Good luck figuring out what that means.
"We are very pleased with the critical and audience reaction to our wonderful new comedy 'Community,'" states Angela Bromstad, NBC's president for primetime entertainment. "The cast and producers are delivering a first-rate, quality show that is very promising as the newest of NBC's first-rate Thursday-night comedies."
Speaking of Thursday comedies, "Parks and Recreation" has found a vast reservoir of critical appreciation in its second season, but ratings haven't necessarily followed. That being said, Thursday's episode drew 4.9 million viewers, a season high.
"'Parks and Recreation' has proven to be a steady performer for us on Thursday nights and gets better with every show," Bromstad adds. "We look forward to continuing our creative collaboration with Amy Poehler, Greg Daniels, Michael Schur, and the rest of the great cast and production team."
As for "Mercy," while the series has only averaged a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demo, its 7.8 million viewer average is one of NBC's highest. In additional, "Mercy" has been regularly winning its soft Wednesday time period in total viewers.
"This drama has found a dedicated audience and continues to build in the ratings," Bromstad states. "We've seen future episodes and we're confident 'Mercy' can be a strong player for us."
As for "Trauma"? Well, we think NBC may be trying to tell the Monday night drama something.