NBC executives are either schizophrenic or there are two very different teams deciding what does and does not make it to air. For example, they recently turned rookie series Go On and The New Normal, both very funny and unique sitcoms, into full season buys, while simultaneously airing Animal Practice and Guys With Kids, both uninspired "I want to be on television" sitcoms. Clearly these decisions cannot be made by the same group of people, unless we have returned to the 80s where TV execs are all doing cocaine.
When these two worlds collide, terribly odd things happen. That is what happened this week when NBC announced they had canceled one of their upcoming mid-season replacements, Next Caller. The series was ordered as a 6-episode buy, which is perfect for filler when the eventually cancel Jimmy Fallon's latest disaster (Guys With Kids). The problem: the series stars Dane Cook, which should have been a red flag right from the beginning. I assume someone was trying to regain the honor of making Seinfeld into a hit show without knowing that, while Jerry Seinfeld isn't funny, Larry David was.
Even without Cook, the premise should have been enough to know the series wouldn't stand a chance. Cook played a Howard Stern-type character who is forced to share his show with an NPR feminist host. This is shoe-horning conflict in, with the hope of people feeling awkward and sticking around. The difference between this and, say Seinfeld or The Office is that their conflict comes from unexpected and understood places. The same is true for Go On, where the comedy comes from the awkwardness of a guy being forced into group therapy after losing his wife. There is no way the average person could relate to having to share a radio show with a lunatic, though I can.
It would appear that I am their ideal target audience and even I can't see where the true comedy is. So, the incredibly inept team who brought us Animal Practice also tried to bring Dane Cook to television, and we were saved by the guys who added episodes for Go On. I think this is what the founding fathers meant by checks and balances.