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Networks NBC and The CW have finally announced the shows up for renewals, and thanks to hardworking, supportive fans, ‘Community’ (2009) and ‘Nikita’ (2010) are getting new seasons. These two shows are unique among all the other shows receiving more episodes because both have been struggling with ratings and viewership, but have very devoted fanbases who fought to get them renewed.
‘Community’ is a comedy about a ragtag bunch of students at Greendale Community College who have formed a loving but dysfunctional family. The group consists of Jeff (Joel McHale), Annie (Alison Brie), Troy (Donald Glover), Abed (Danny Pudi), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Pierce (Chevy Chase). Other regular cast members are Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) and Ben Chang (Ken Jeong).
‘Community’ is highly rated among critics, but its less-than-stellar ratings caused it to be put on hiatus in the 2011-2012 mid-season schedule. Many fans feared it would be the death of the show because hiatus tends to cause a drop in viewers as people move on or assume the show would go off the air for good.
Thus, they pulled together and made online petitions, sent emails and rallied around the show to get more support so that it would be able to return and finish its third season. All of the cast members worked hard in interviews to get publicity for the show and prove to NBC that people wanted the show to return.
Joel McHale, who hosts ‘The Soup,’ did an outstanding job of plugging ‘Community’ in to help out his fans and his co-workers. They’ve also gotten a surprise amount of support from geek god Nathan Fillion, who loves the show and even visited the set a couple of times recently to meet the cast. Furthermore, the cast regularly attends San Diego Comic Con to answer questions and conduct interviews about how they feel things are going with the show.
However, while ‘Community’ has more support than ‘Nikita’, there is one roadblock standing in the way of their fourth season. Chevy Chase and show creator Dan Harmon have recently entered into a dispute with one another. This greatly worries fans because it could mean that Chase won’t return for season four and his absence from the group would throw off the dynamic that has been established in the past three seasons. Chase has not given his official word yet, but many are concerned about his future decision.
‘Nikita’ is an action-centric show that takes its concept from the Luc Besson 1990 film ‘La Femme Nikita.’ Nikita (Maggie Q) was once a highly trained assassin who worked for a shady American government agency called Division, run by Percy (Xander Berkeley). They killed her fiancée Daniel and she went rogue, vowing to take them down and free all the recruits they were training to become assassins as well.
To do this, Nikita sent in Alexandra Udinov (Lyndsy Fonseca) to infiltrate Division and prompt Nikita on their actions. Nikita’s mentor and trainer Michael (Shane West) has been ordered by Percy to take Nikita down, but he is unable to because the two are in love with each other.
‘Nikita’ has a faithful fanbase, but its ratings plummeted due to what some fans know as the “Friday Night Death Slot.” This is when a network puts a show on Friday nights, anywhere between 6pm and 9pm, and automatically dooms it to low views because most people go out on Friday nights. This problem is especially noted for what helped cause the death of the beloved Joss Whedon show ‘Firefly’ (2002), which also got stuck in this awful time slot.
‘Nikita’ fans have worked hard to get the word out for the show, mostly in online petitions and voting tirelessly in different Internet contests to get their show and its actors noticed by the general public. Like ‘Community,’ the cast of ‘Nikita’ also regularly attends San Diego Comic Con, but they have upped the ante by going to New York Comic Con as well. This allows them a wider spread of potential fans and exposure for the show, which hopefully will be moved to a different day and time slot for their third season.
‘Community’ and ‘Nikita’ definitely have a long, hard road ahead of them, but the fans have done an outstanding job of standing by them in their time of need. These renewals prove that it is possible to save a show through the hard work of the actors, the crew, the network executives and the fans. We look forward to seeing these two shows return for their upcoming seasons and wish them the best of luck in the future endeavors.