NBC Exec Dismisses 'Parks and Recreation' FGD Rants
NBC Exec Dismisses 'Parks and Recreation' FGD Rants
Glenn Diaz
Glenn Diaz
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
The new Amy Poehler comedy hasn't even premiered, but already the show has gained attention after a leaked focus group report enumerated its many loopholes and bad points and essentially said it's bound to flop.  NBC's Parks and Recreation stars the Saturday Night Live alum and follows fellow NBC comedy The Office's mockumentary format.  For his part, NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman is not bothered because focus groups are generally haters anyway.

According to the FGD report, preview audiences thought Parks and Recreation was a “carbon copy” of The Office (after all, the show is from The Office's Greg Daniels and Michael Schur).  As for Silverman, these kinds of negative responses are not unusual for a new series.

"If you had seen the initial research on all of ours and our competitors' successful shows, it tends to be like that," he said.

And true enough, a cursory look on the report would reveal that the comments are schizophrenic and oftentimes contradictory.  For instance, one observation would remark that Parks and Recreation is no good because it's too much like The Office, while there are those who note that they were expecting the same tone as The Office.

“Expectations for this show are very high, especially among The Office viewers.  Many had seen the promos and were expecting an "Office-type mockumentary" with the same tone,” it said, “but they felt the pilot was too close and similar to The Office.”

Many critics are quick to note, however, that even The Office didn't pick up pace until its sophomore season, as well as 30 Rock, which stars Poehler's SNL co-star Tina Fey.  Even successful long-running comedies, such as Cheers and Seinfeld, struggled in their first year.

Parks and Recreation follows city bureaucrat Leslie as she tries to turn an abandoned pit into a park.  It premieres on April 9 at 8:30pm on NBC.

- Glenn Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Entertainment Weekly, Deadline Hollywood Daily, Defamer
(Image courtesy of NBC)