Esquire have Opinions + Thursday + Friday's Ratings.


Parks and Recreation 
should be
 unceremoniously canceled by NBC at the end of this season, after the network has led on Amy Poehler and showrunner Michael Schur all year, reassuring them with soothing voices during late-night phone calls that the show is safe and their relationship is valued. (Oh good. More fuel for the NBC hatred.)

Please don't misunderstand me: If Parks and Recreation ran so long that the plot lines centered on Leslie and Ben's child running for class president and Chris Traeger managing the campaign from his wheelchair, I would be thrilled. It's just that I know it's not going to happen. And if the show is given notice of its demise, it will rot itself with sweetness, just like the final season of The Office.

Okay, no one is maintaining that The Office has been great since Steve Carell left, but its final season has perverted its baseline premise, that Dunder Mifflin is a soul-sucking place in which to work and its employees are subjects of pity and derision to each other. This season's Dunder Mifflin is cooperative and filled with camaraderie. Even Dwight Shrute is acting sensibly. (Season-two Dwight would have discouraged Angela from hiring a hit man to kill Oscar, but only because he thought he would do a better job.) Everyone is moving forward with their lives, doing each other kindnesses, and learning lessons, in direct violation of the Seinfeld rule. (Larry David has broken it, too, sort of: When he thought Curb Your Enthusiasm might end in season five, he sent his character up to heaven. He's so annoying that the angels sent him back to his mortal coil, but still.)

Not every show can be Seinfeld. Sometimes characters grow, and the show grows with them. But a sitcom's bread and butter is stasis: It's the kind of show that inherently cannot change. And I worry that a show like Parks and Rec, a show that I love so much precisely because it occasionally dips into corn syrup-y sweetness, will sideline the comedy and bring heart too far to the fore. So don't tell Parks and Rec that it has one more season, NBC. Let Tom max out his credit card buying the entire Sky Mall catalogue. Let Donna start dating Chris and live-tweeting the relationship. Let the characters remain flawed and funny, the way we love them. Pull the plug on them.

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

 "The Big Bang Theory" (17.4 million viewers, 10.6/17 households)/"Two and a Half Men" (14.2 million, 8.7/14)
FOX: "The X Factor" results (7.7 million, 4.6/7)
ABC: "Last Resort" (5.5 million, 3.5/6)
NBC: "30 Rock" (3.3 million, 2.3/4)/"Up All Night" (2.9 million, 2.0/3)
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries" (2.4 million, 1.6/2)

18-49 leader: "The Big Bang Theory" (5.3)

9 p.m.

 "Person of Interest" (15 million, 9.2/14)
ABC: "Grey's Anatomy" (8.9 million, 5.9/9)
FOX: "Glee" (5.45 million, 3.3/5)
NBC: "The Office" (4.2 million, 2.7/4)/"Parks and Recreation" (3.3 million, 2.2/3)
The CW: "Beauty and the Beast" (1.4 million, 1.0/1)

18-49 leader: "Person of Interest" (3.2)

10 p.m.

 "Elementary" (10.9 million, 7.0/12)
ABC: "Scandal" (7.4 million, 5.0/8)
NBC: "Rock Center with Brian Williams" (3.6 million, 2.5/4)

18-49 leader: "Scandal" (2.5)

Friday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

CBS: "Undercover Boss" (7.9 million viewers, 6.2/9 households)
ABC: "Last Man Standing" (6.5 million, 4.1/7)/"Malibu Country" (6.1 million, 3.9/7) 
NBC: "Saturday Night Live Christmas" rerun (4.4 million, 2.7/5)
FOX: "Kitchen Nightmares (3.1 million, 2.0/3)
The CW: "Nikita" (1.1million, 0.9/2)

18-49 leader: "Undercover Boss" (1.6)

9 p.m.

CBS: "CSI: NY" (9.9 million, 6.5/11)
ABC: "Shark Tank" rerun (5.5 million, 3.4/6)
FOX: "Fringe" (2.7 million, 1.7/3)
NBC: "Saturday Night Live Christmas" rerun (4.3 million, 2.7/4)
The CW: "Arrow" rerun (865,000, 0.6/1)

18-49 leader: "Saturday Night Live Christmas" rerun (1.7)

10 p.m.

CBS: "Blue Bloods" (11.1 million, 7.1/12)
ABC: "20/20" (4.6 million, 3.0/5)
NBC: "Dateline: NBC" (5.6 million, 3.7/6)

18-49 leader: "Dateline" (1.7)

I wouldn't mind if this was the final season of Parks and Recreation. LBR, it probably is with the engagement and Lot 48 coming back. But I would miss it.

Esquire article. 
Thursday ratings.
Friday ratings.