By Philiana Ng
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - U.S. network NBC has renewed three of its Thursday night comedies for next season.
"The Office," "Parks and Recreation" and "Community" will all be returning for the 2011-12 television season.
"I am so pleased to renew these three outstanding comedies which are all at the top of their game creatively," said Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment.
Veteran comedy "The Office" is delivering a 4.0 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and averaging 7.7 million viewers for its current seventh season.
Steve Carell's farewell episode is scheduled to air at the end of April, with Will Ferrell coming on for a multi-episode guest arc.
In the ratings, Amy Poehler's "Parks and Rec," currently in its third season, is averaging a 2.8 in the key demo and 5.5 million viewers. With its move to the 9:30 p.m. time slot, the series is up 17 percent in the 18-49 demo (2.8 vs. 2.4) and up 9 percent in total viewers (5.5 million vs. 5.1 million).
Rumors spread that series regular Rob Lowe could be a replacement for Charlie Sheen on CBS' "Two and a Half Men," but executive producer Michael Schur denied any truth to the speculation.
Critical favorite "Community," which has anchored the competitive 8 p.m. time slot on Thursdays for NBC and is led by "The Soup" host Joel McHale, has averaged a 2.1 in the 18-49 demo and 4.7 million viewers so far in its sophomore season. "Lost" star Josh Holloway is set to star in the two-part season finale, a follow-up of sorts to last season's "Modern Warfare" episode.
With NBC's core comedy lineup back for another round -- it was previously announced "30 Rock" will also return next season, making it the show's sixth -- that leaves struggling freshmen comedies "Outsourced" and "Perfect Couples" awaiting pickups.
(Editing by Zorianna Kit)