Afternoon Baseball

Common-sense ruminations on baseball and culture.

EDIT: This IS brand-new news. According to The Two Cents, the Season 4 pickup is 25 episodes, with five one-hour spots for (to quote Bob Barker) an actual total of : 30 episodes. Also, "30 Rock" will be at 8:30 as the lead-in, or place where all the viewers switch. I love the show, by the way, but making it the lead-in when "The Office" is battling "Grey's" and "CSI" is NBC putting too much faith in Dunder-Mifflin's star power.

Not brand new news, but the impressive part of the Season 4 pickup is that there's 24 episodes. Most shows are going to 22 max, if they even get that, though there are exceptions ("The O.C." was 26 hour-long eps in 2003; "That 70s Show" routinely went 24-26).

So with four hour-long doses of Dunder-Mifflin, that's really like having 28 episodes. This year, with the supersizing (an extra 1/3 show) of six episodes, plus the two one-hour stints ("Benihana Christmas" and the finale), Season 3 has extended itself to 27 episodes from what would have been 23 (or 24 if you count "Benihana" as a two-parter).
To put that 28-episode order for 2007-08 in perspective, think of how much the show grew in its first 28 episodes, i.e. its first two seasons. We'll get that chance again in one calendar year.

As for total episodes compared with this year, though, it won't be much different. The benefit is that we'll all know in advance that there's four specials and 24 in total. Now, all they have to do is maintain ratings with the deadweights that "Scrubs" has become and "30 Rock" was this year. Not to mention that "My Name Is Earl" isn't reminding advertisers of "Friends."


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