There's been some less-than-encouraging news this week for Parks and Recreation, NBC's upcoming comedy starring Amy Poehler. A focus group study found some pretty serious problems with an early cut of the show, which premieres April 9, including: The pacing's too slow, it's too much like The Office, and there's a lack of "datable" men.
First of all, Aziz Ansari is totally datable. But moving on: NBC's Ben Silverman isn't concerned about these results, saying such focus group findings aren't unusual for new shows. "If you had seen the initial research on all of ours and our competitors' successful shows, it tends to be like that," Silverman told Entertainment Weekly. And getting good focus group results definitely doesn't guarantee success, because Journeyman tested great back in '07 and where is it now? Not on TV, that's for sure.
I hope NBC gives Parks and Recreation some time to find its footing. After all, those early episodes of The Office were pretty slow and a little too close to the British show that inspired it, but it didn't take long to come into its own. Having read the pilot script, I do think some of the criticisms are valid (the show could stand to get away from "the pit" — the empty lot that Poehler's character and Rashida Jones's character want to turn into a park — and tell other stories about bumbling local government officials). But all pilots have their issues. This one has such high expectations that lowering them a little couldn't really hurt. And besides, would another Office-esque show really be the worst thing NBC could put on the air?
Photo courtesy of NBC