“Community” saw a ratings increase for the Season 4 premiere. Seriously.

Sometimes, the ratings surprise us. That makes sense, considering that virtually none of us (including me) understand exactly how these silly things work. But there are reasons why “Community” should have had its ratings rise for the premiere. Here are four such reasons.

It’s not that much of an increase.

Although any increase in audience numbers is a good thing, the jump seen for the Season 4 premiere wasn’t all that big. The total number of viewers increased by only 6 percent over the Season 3 premiere in 2011.

On the other hand, the competition wasn’t as strong then either. “The Big Bang Theory” had yet to reach its recent, epic numbers at that point, and “American Idol” wasn’t even on the air. So maybe “Community”s 4 million viewers are a good sign.

The audience is actually pretty big.

At this point, everyone knows that the Nielsen ratings don’t track every viewer. Shows like “Community” – huge on the Internet and beloved of tech-savvy viewers — always under-perform.

If you go by Twitter, for example, “Community” was one of the biggest events of the night with 20 trending topics in the US and over 1 million impressions. Unfortunately, the networks don’t go by Twitter so much.

Advertising does wonders.

Unlike in previous seasons when you would be lucky to see one “Community” ad every month or two, NBC has actually stepped up for Season 4. They brought back the show, after all, and advertising is one of the only ways to get a new audience.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It’s been what? 9 months? That’s a lot of time with no “Community.” It’s safe to say that a lot of us missed the show.

“Community” airs Thursdays at 8pm on NBC.

Posted by:Laurel Brown