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BubbleWatch: NBC's 'Parks & Recreation' and 'My Name Is Earl'
SHOW: "Parks & Recreation"/"My Name Is Earl"
IN ITS FAVOR: "My Name Is Earl" has the experience and the Emmy wins, even if they're well in the past. "Parks & Recreation" has the strong pedigree and the exceptional cast, especially Amy Poehler, who NBC would like to stay in business with. "Parks & Recreation" was also rushed into production this spring and NBC will probably think the show needs a chance to find its voice, which is probably true.
AGAINST IT: "My Name Is Earl" is old and sluggish and the ratings have been unimpressive, particularly in the 18-49 demographic. That hasn't helped "Parks & Recreation," which got off to a soft start and hasn't delivered "Office" or even "30 Rock"-level ratings. Both shows are drawing only slightly better than an ABC comedy might and that's not a compliment.
OUR GUESS: NBC gives comedies the chance to grow. Heck, even "Kath & Kim" aired its entire first season. "Parks & Recreation" will be back. While "My Name Is Earl" is old and diminished, NBC would still be well-served to have midseason comedy replacements handy and with "Earl," at least you know what to expect.
THE VERDICT: NBC has renewed "Parks and Recreation" for another season. The future of "My Name Is Earl" is in limbo until May 19.