May 20th, 2010
08:22 AM ET

CBS vs. NBC: Clash of the comedy titans on Thursdays

CBS surprised pretty much everybody today by moving comedy powerhouse "The Big Bang Theory" to Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET. Judging by "Theory" star Kunal Nayyar's Twitter feed, some fans were not too happy about the development. NBC, however, is probably the least happy of anyone about this.

NBC has been slowly building up their 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday night hour leading in to "The Office" and "30 Rock." In fact, they just moved "30 Rock" to 8:30 p.m. following "Community," a show with strong support from critics and fans online (another critical fave, "Parks and Recreation," had its third season postponed to early 2011). "30 Rock" will now go up against the new comedy "$#*! My Dad Says," starring William Shatner.

When asked about this move, CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl told The Hollywood Reporter, "We're not in the charity business. performance of [NBC's] comedies is not something that deterred us. People like those shows, but they're not setting the world on fire ratings wise."

In response, "Community" creator Dan Harmon tweeted, "Well, if CBS thinks I'm a big enough threat to send a terminator, the least I can do is prove them right."

He also joked to "Big Bang" producer Bill Prady, "Welcome to 8. Not a lot here but vampires and bones. I'll give you half of any viewers I find. Okay, more than half."

Meanwhile, Prady is seemingly (or perhaps jokingly) taking all of this in stride, tweeting, "Not checking showbiz news. Want to be surprised by by fall sched in September."

One can't help but be reminded of "The Simpsons" taking on "The Cosby Show" on Thursday nights nearly 20 years ago. Back then, of course, NBC was doing a lot better in the ratings and Fox had the new hot show. This time, you've got a battle between nerds Sheldon and Abed, followed by Liz Lemon versus Captain Kirk (Liz, of course, is a "Star Wars" fan).

Who will emerge victorious? "Big Bang" is extremely popular but it's hard to say how much of that has to do with its post-"Two and a Half Men" timeslot. NBC is known as the home of Thursday comedy but it's hard to say if "30 Rock" can maintain its viewership at 8:30.

Share your thoughts on this fall's fight for laughs below.

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    I always liked CBS more than NBC because they definitely have the better series. Thanks for sharing this hilarious site btw @diana!

    July 12, 2010 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. dianagarcia

    That’s great, I am definitely going to purchase this, it’s just what I need.
    I have been using a separate program altogether for these kind of effects – Vectoraster,
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    July 7, 2010 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Naked truth

    hmmm I had my Monday night lineup of Mother, Engagement, 3 men, and Big Bang. I have my Thursday night lineup of Community, Parks, Office, and 30 Rock. I hate to have to choose...

    May 20, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alex

    I wouldn't write off Community as dead yet.

    Dan Harmon has a whole summer to come up with ideas for season 2, and NBC has a whole summer of "summer programming" to build Community a strong following in reruns. I think TBBT is a decent show, but I don't think it holds up to repeat viewings as well as an average episode of Community.

    It may turn out that CBS splitting up Chuck Lorre's slice of the Monday night line-up, one show about sibling rivalry, and the other about dysfunctionally intellectual hijinx, may be a lot like NBC splitting up Niles and Frasier.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HC

    Am more shocked to the fact that NBC insists on opening the most lucrative night of the week with Community which is such a poor performer, at least ratings wise. Both Community and 30 Rock will suffer going up against the bang from CBS.

    May 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ErinP

    Seriously? Who thinks Big Bang benefits from a Two and a Half Men lead-in??? I haven't watched that show in years, but Big Bang Theory is appointment TV for me. The two shows don't seem to share much of an audience base. 2 1/2 always seemed more aimed at middle aged women, while Big Bang is the 20-30 somethings crowd.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Boof

    I'll still be watching Bones.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Clay

    dopes. Community is my favorite new show this year. BBT has been great since season 2 (and pretty good during season 1)... DVR will catch them both. WIth Bones and Fringe on Thursdays as well, at least one show will not be viewed Live+7, one will be grabbed on bit torrent.

    Screw 'em for creating such a traffic jam on Thursdays and leaving the rest of the week a desolate wasteland.

    May 20, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. larry a hernandez

    Community and Big Bang rule! Do not make us pick sides!
    I am glad 'parks' has been pushed back, not very funny or
    clever. By the way, 30 Rock has not had many memorable
    episodes since Season 1 and almost none this past Season,
    this used to be my favorite show but 'Community' is better and is
    my new favorite comedy on NBC.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kenneth

    Sorry, but Big Bang's going to crush Community. Hell, I'd love it if Big Bang were on both days!

    May 20, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chris

    Who cares really? I'll just change the settings on the DVR and watch what I want, when I want...

    The whole "Time Slot" concept is dated and irrelevant in the digital age.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rebecca

    I can't believe the move! Thursday nights is already RIDICULOUSLY packed...why would you risk losing half your audience? I can't handle watching 5 shows all on at 8pm.

    I love TBBT, and after HIMYM, its the only reason I bother watching the two shows airing in between....

    May 20, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. troll killah

    its a tough choice between big bang theory and community, but ild have to give it to big bang.

    May 20, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. TravisC

    I watch all of these shows on my DVR anyways, as long as there are not more than 2 on at the same time I should be able to catch them all.

    May 20, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. JimH

    Big Bang rocks, Two and half men is tired and on the way down. Love NBC's the office but it is time to pull the plug (especially if SC leaves). I will just watch Big bang first then switch to NBC to catch 30 rock

    May 20, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |

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