NBC is their name, and renewing brilliant genre-based shows is their game. The peacock network has thankfully renewed The Good Place for a fourth season, despite less than stellar ratings. The number of episodes that have been ordered is not clear at this time, but it's still cause to celebrate in the only acceptable way possible: BORTLES!
The ratings average for the show has held at a 1.6 in adults from ages 18-49, with 4.6 million viewers overall — this according to “live plus seven day” figures from Nielsen Media Research, provided by NBC. The streaming factor must be taken into account as well (new episodes show up next day on Hulu, while full seasons show up on Netflix), and when "35 days of time-shifting and projected digital viewership is added, the show’s 18-49 rating grows to a 3.65."
While the live-viewing numbers aren't stellar, the critical reaction definitely is. It was called "the best sitcom on TV" by The New York Times, TVLine has hailed it as the "No. 1 comedy of television," and Vanity Fair referred to it as "the brightest beacon of light" currently on air. It was awarded with the TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy earlier this year and is currently nominated for a Humanitas Prize Award in the category of 30-minute comedy.
The show deals with the afterlife in a number of different ways — we meet immortal beings, horrible demons, and some humans who are trapped in the middle. There also may be a few fully sentient computers in the mix, as well as a heady flow of ethical discussion with each episode. It's also hysterically funny: How they make it so funny when it's firmly rooted in philosophy and ethics is anyone's guess.
The "ethics comedy" angle is what might contribute to an interesting viewership statistic — the show delivers the "most highly educated audience" of the big four networks, with an index that stands at "a 155 among adults 18-49 with four or more years of college," according to NBC.
In a statement, Tracey Pakosta and Lisa Katz, co-presidents of scripted programming for NBC Entertainment, gave props to Schur, the cast, and crew for creating "a thoughtful, mind-bending and hysterical series unlike anything else on television. We can’t wait to see what unexpected stories the new season will bring.”
Neither can we, quite frankly. We practically begged Janet to bring us a fourth season of this show, and Janet has come through like Janet always does. One more time, because, why not: BORTLES!
The Good Place airs on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Season 3 will continue on Dec. 6. (NBC and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal.)