Trending: Character actors of the world unite!


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The Independent Culture

In the mid-Nineties, US network NBC had one of the all-time great television line-ups, with Friends, Seinfeld and ER. Not just great shows, but record-breakingly popular ones, too.

In recent years, it's boasted an equally brilliant one featuring The Office, Community, the Amy Poehler-starring Parks and Recreation and Tina Fey's lauded 30 Rock. The only difference between now and then (besides the lack of a studio audience) is the viewers. In that there aren't many of them.

The fact that these latter three shows have survived for multiple series despite being barely watched (though loved by those who do) is something of a miracle in the cut-throat world of US television. So the news that Parks and Recreation hasn't yet been renewed and that Community and 30 Rock's new series have been cut to 13-episode runs – usually the network-television equivalent of Lord Voldemort's Dark Mark – doesn't look good.

So before NBC goes cancelling three of the best shows on television, here's a cost-saving proposal inspired by the bank-busting success of Avengers Assemble: simply take the best character from each show – the adorably naive Kenneth "the Page" Parcell from 30 Rock, Community's ultra-meta-pop-culture maven Abed and comic Aziz Ansari's sarcastic, underachieving local-government official, Tom Haverford – get 'em all together and get three shows for the price of one.

Or – even cheaper! – just give a show to the polymathic Donald Glover, who stars in Community, is a writer for 30 Rock, has his own music career (as Childish Gambino) and has, er, probably watched Parks and Recreation.