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Pawnee Government Shutdown: NBC’s Parks And Recreation On Hiatus Immediately

Submitted by on October 22, 2013 – 9:26 amOne Comment

It looks like Pawnee, Indiana is closed for business. NBC quietly announced last Friday night that cult hit comedy series Parks and Recreation will go on hiatus immediately, with only two episodes scheduled to air for the rest of the year. While there are many simple scheduling reasons to explain the move, fans are nervous as “hiatuses” can be a sign of lacking confidence in a struggling series.

The announcement was lumped in with several others, including the cancellations of Ironside and Welcome to the Family. Parks and Rec will be replaced for the next three weeks by a repeat of The Voice (let that sink in), then an SNL clip show, then a much-hyped live episode of The Voice. Parks and Rec‘s Halloweeen episode will not air until November.

According to Vulture, this is all to get more people to watch Sean Hayes: “The network desperately wants to get more viewers to sample 9 p.m. comedy Sean Saves the World. It’s betting that all of the special programming it’s planned for the 8 p.m. hour will do better than Parks, thus boosting Sean.”

But that leads to the unsettling conclusion that NBC executives have no doubt noticed Parks and Rec‘s still lackluster ratings. Despite critical acclaim from its second season onward, the show has never commanded huge audiences. It was rumored to face cancellation before both its fifth and current (sixth) seasons. The fifth was at one point believed to be the last season, until the show was picked up again.

Vulture also notes that the show will soon broadcast its 100th episode, which will make it more likely to be picked up for syndication, the rights to which are owned by NBC.

Similarly, critically-acclaimed, commercially-struggling NBC comedy Community went through a hiatus, which was feared to lead to a cancellation. But the show came back and finished out its season, before regaining its original showrunner Dan Harmon for its upcoming outing.

What do you think- should Parks and Rec fans be worried?

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