Community

'Community' to begin new season with back-to-back episodes

NBC has removed “Welcome to the Family” and “Ironside” from its schedule and set a Jan. 2 return date for “Community.”

The Peacock also said that “Chicago Fire” spinoff “Chicago P.D.” will premiere Jan. 8 in the former 10 p.m. Wednesday timeslot of its forerunner, which now airs on Tuesdays.

“Ironside,” starring Blair Underwood, will vacate that time period after its fourth episode airs Oct. 23, in favor of editions of “Dateline” and various specials (including “Saturday Night Live”-themed specials, as well as consecutive holiday outings for Kelly Clarkson and Michael Buble in December) through the end of 2013.

Meanwhile, “Welcome to the Family” is being axed immediately after three episodes. An encore episode of “The Voice” will air on Thursday for NBC next week, with an “SNL Halloween” special a week later. Then, a live episode of “The Voice” will air Nov. 7, before “Parks and Recreation” returns with back-to-back episodes on Nov. 14 and again on Nov. 21.

“Community” will begin its fifth season and first after a year’s hiatus for showrunner Dan Harmon with back-to-back episodes before settling into an 8 p.m. timeslot on Jan. 9, bumping “Parks and Recreation” to 8:30 p.m.

NBC’s Thursday programming has been struggling since the start of the fall season, and even though “Family” showed a slight gain in its most recent airing, the newcomer remained stuck with a sub-1.0 rating among adults 18-49. A night earlier, “Ironside” fared little better with a 1.1 rating.

Next week’s “Voice” airing might provide a small boost to remaining Thursday freshman “Sean Saves the World” and “The Michael J. Fox Show,” which drew demo ratings of 1.1 and 1.2 this week, respectively.

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