NBC Saves ‘Community,’ but Drops Two Other Series

May 12th, 2013

Against all expectations, NBC renewed its quirky comedy “Community” on Friday night, at the same time that it quietly pulled the plug on the eventually ill-named “Smash.”

The network also announced a few more new shows, bringing its total for the new television season to 13, one more than ABC has picked up — so far.

“Community” surely benefited from having NBC as one of its owners, but the comedy seemed to find some new legs late in its run this season. It has been written off after the departure of its creator Dan Harmon.

For “Smash,” it was simply a story of a promising idea that could not survive a disappointing execution. Though close to the heart of the head of NBC programming, Robert Greenblatt, the show tried to retrofit this season and sank quickly. NBC also dropped the comedy “The New Normal.”

But it kept up the announcements of new shows, adding another comedy and two more dramas. The comedy “Welcome to the Family” is a broad sitcom about a teenage couple who wind up pregnant and are forced to mix their Anglo and Hispanic families.

NBC is known to be high on the drama “The Blacklist,” which has an odd premise: one of the most wanted men in America is arrested and promises to help law enforcement but only by working with one obscure F.B.I. agent. James Spader stars.

The other drama, “The Night Shift,” is a homage of sorts to “E.R.,” telling stories about the graveyard shift at a hospital.

NBC will also offer a limited series “Dracula,” with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the king vampire. And though announced long ago, NBC’s highest profile new comedy will have Michael J. Fox playing a version of himself, a dad with Parkinson’s in “The Michael J. Fox Show.”

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