Remember when in 2009 CBS put in development a comedy series based on the blog Shit My Dad Says? The racy title raised a lot of eyebrows throughout the project’s development process. The network toned it down to $#*! My Dad Says when it picked up the comedy to series, but still drew the wrath of watchdog Parents Television Council, which urged a boycott of the show.
ABC‘s two bubble midseason drama series are heading in opposite directions. Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal, which just inched up in the ratings last night, is being renewed for a second season, while GCB is being canceled. ABC’s two other midseason dramas The River and Missing, had no chance of returning and are indeed officially dead. Ditto for the long-forgotten Pan Am.
Veteran Private Practice also is expected to get a renewal for what will likely be the series’ final season though that is not official yet. (UPDATE: Private Practice has been renewed.) I hear complicating the negotiations is the fact that Mark Gordon, who produces the series, is also behind the drama pilot Americana, which is at the center of heated talks after word got out that ABC was passing on it. Yesterday, NBC renewed the Dick Wolf-produced veteran crime drama Law & Order: SVU along with a series pickup of the producer’s pilot Chicago Fire.
It was hailed as a potential successor to Desperate Housewives and was launched behind the departing veteran dramedy. Now ABC’s midseason dramedy GCB will test drive Housewives‘ Sunday 9 PM time slot. On April 8, ABC will air two back-to-back originals of GCB, one at 9 PM and one at 10 PM, instead of the originally scheduled one in the show’s regular 10 PM slot. The tryout won’t be in a realistic environment as it will follow a Once Upon A Time rerun, but it will probably still inform ABC’s decision whether GCB would be a viable contender to replace Housewives next season. The network originally planned to have an original Housewives and GCB swap places for a night, but the idea didn’t come to pass because Housewives‘ recent episodes have dealt with a major plot development: the death of Mike Delfino (James Denton). The networks use the down spring time to experiment with scheduling moves. CBS is testing a two-hour comedy block on Thursday and The Mentalist on Friday.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
TCA remained a Bitch-Free Zone during the GCB session today. And it became something of a Christian-Free Zone as well. Following up on entertainment chief Paul Lee’s comment earlier in the day that “bitch” “was really not a word you want to use in the title” — ABC also is promoting the sitcom Don’t Trust The B— In Apartment 23 on its midseason schedule — yet another “bitch” question opened the panel for GCB, which premieres March 4 at 10 PM. The letters in this case stand for Good Christian Belles, but it originally was short for Good Christian Bitches, the title of the book on which the series is based. And as GCB writer/executive producer Robert Harling said, he was never comfortable with the “Belles” part of the title given that his series is set in Texas. “That’s more Georgia or South Carolina, you know, the Deep South,” he said. The show title was changed to GCB after Harling saw the logo everywhere he turned while shooting the show in Dallas. “We all thought it was kind of cool in the era of LOL and FYI … GCB was this term that the women around us all seemed to refer to themselves as. … It just kind of stuck.”