“Best Friends Forever” has been shelved by NBC after just four episodes, sparking an online outrage similar to when the network pulled “Community” midseason last winter.
“BFF” was created by its stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham who, as the title implies, play two best friends living in New York City. Jessica has just been dumped via FedEx, so she moves in with Lennon and Lennon’s live-in boyfriend. There’s also an extremely sassy child named Queenetta around to shoot off zingers.
NBC ordered a six-episode first season of the show, which debuted with decent numbers in early April. But the show had lost over one million viewers when episode four aired last week, according to TVLine.com.
On Friday, Parham delivered the bad news via Twitter: “BFF Fans: Wanted to let you know that our show is being taken off the air until the summer. Hoping to post ep 5 & 6 online asap.”
Now a petition has been started to save the show, garnering over 2,180 signatures at the time this post was published. But is it enough to save “BFF?”
“Many of us are experiencing ‘reality TV fatigue’ and looking for alternatives to hour-long programs,” the petition, started by fan Tess Morgan, states. “‘BFF’ is what we’re looking for. It's literally laugh out loud funny, ultimately quotable, with a lot of heart, and relatable characters that honestly seem like they've been Best Friends Forever.”
Fellow fan Molly Shebenck even made a video. Caution: There are some NSFW words and a scene in the video.
Part of the problem seems to be NBC’s lack of promotion and decent scheduling for the show. “BFF” aired Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., going up against Fox’s “American Idol” and CBS’s “Survivor.”
The Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan wrote of “BFF,” as well as the liked yet languishing “Bent,” “I know we've been saying ‘What gives?’ about NBC for a decade or so, but this week, I just don't understand why the Peacock network is treating reasonably decent new comedies like so many scheduling pinatas.”
Now fans have been forced to take promotion into their own hands. A petition seems like a decent way to raise awareness about “BFF”, but it’s questionable if it will be effective at giving the show a second chance.
A petition to bring back “Community,” which was taken off NBC’s Thursday night lineup midway through its third season, seemingly succeeded, although the show has not been renewed for a fourth season. It’s worth noting that “Community” has a much larger, established fanbase than “BFF,” demonstrated by the petition’s 90,000 plus signatures.
In any case, the people involved with the show seem to be grateful for the support. Parham tweeted, “Thank you guys for the amazing love and support! Your tweets are making us laugh & cry!” The show’s producer Fred Savage (yes, that Fred Savage) also tweeted out a link to the petition: “Dare to dream, people!”
As for an answer to the question posed in the headline — can the petition save the show? — only time will tell. We’ve reached out to NBC to ask about the show’s future and will update if we hear back.