Happy Endings lives on in post-cancellation, at least all of its 57 produced episodes. VH1 has acquired the three seasons of the cult comedy from producer Sony Pictures Television. This marks a rare off-network deal for VH1, which doesn’t have other acquired series on its air at the moment. Happy Endings will make its cable premiere on VH1 with a marathon of every episode beginning December 31 at 8 PM running through New Year’s Day before settling into its new home on Wednesday nights from 7-9 PM, beginning January 8. In addition to airing the show on VH1, the network has licensed rights to make the series available online via its TV Everywhere platforms and also on the new VH1 App. “Happy Endings is one of our favorite network series, and we consider ourselves lucky to be able to add it to the VH1 line-up,” said VH1′s EVP Ben Zurier. “The show’s authentic voice, memorable characters, and smart humor really stands out.” Created by David Caspe, Happy Endings aired on ABC for three seasons and came close to getting a fourth season on USA but a deal could not be reached.
ABC‘s comedy Happy Endings is not going to live up to its name but has cemented its cult status with an untimely death. I hear series’ leading studio Sony Pictures TV has ended its efforts to find a new home for the underrated series as it faces the expiration of the cast’s options on Monday. Sony did try hard, starting to explore a possible future for Happy Endings well in advance of ABC’s May decision not to order a fourth season. Cable network USA, which is re-entering the half-hour comedy space this fall with off-network acquisition Modern Family, originally expressed interest in early April. It entered talks with Sony immediately after ABC made the cancellation decision the Friday before upfronts but, three weeks later, the network opted not to proceed with the pickup to focus on its original comedy series. While USA was considered the only real play for Happy Endings, Sony TV didn’t give up and continued to search for ways to keep Happy Endings until it ran out of time with the cast options.
Comedy is expected to take center stage at USA Network‘s upfront presentation this afternoon as the cable network touts to advertisers the fall launch of its big off-network acquisition, Modern Family, and unveils its newly picked up original comedy series Sirens and Playing House. The cable network has been getting extra attention from comedy fans in the past week following ABC’s decision last Friday to cancel cult series Happy Endings. Talks between USA and leading Happy Endings producer Sony TV continue. At this point, I hear a pickup appears unlikely but the network is carefully exploring the opportunity to migrate a show with some success on broadcast TV and a dedicated fan base the way ABC’s Cougar Town moved to TBS.
Of its three comedy pilot/presentations it had in consideration, USA picked up two, Sirens and Playing House. The third, Paging Dr. Freed, which was the first one ordered almost two years ago, is still in contention. I hear USA brass liked the pilot for the family medical comedy but thought it felt more like a season finale and didn’t properly introduce the characters. I hear the network approached Paging Dr. Freed creator Michael Feldman and studio Fox 21 about redeveloping the project and writing a new pilot script. If USA likes the new script, I hear it is intent on picking up the project straight to series. The options on the Paging Dr. Freed producers have been extended while those on the cast have lapsed. I hear USA is keen on bringing Annie Potts back if she is available. (Her ABC pilot Murder In Manhattan did not get picked up but is being considered by cable networks.)
ABC president Paul Lee did the inevitable post-mortem today on the cancellation of two bubble shows, comedy Happy Endings and drama Body Of Proof. Both are still in play, with Happy Endings a possibility at USA and Body Of Proof being considered by TNT, USA and WGN America. But here is why they are no longer on ABC: “We found Happy Endings was too narrow but I loved the show, I think it was absolutely on brand”, Lee said. Asked why ABC cancelled Happy Endings but picked up two other single-camera ensemble comedies about a group of friends — Mixology and Super Fun Night – Lee said, “I feel Mixology and Super Fun Night are much broader.” As for Body Of Proof, “We had a very strong season in terms of development,” Lee said. “I would love to see Body Of Proof find a good home for itself, I love (star) Dana Delany.”
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As expected, ABC has cancelled Happy Endings after three seasons. But not all is lost for the cult comedy. Sony TV, the leading studio behind the underrated comedy series, had reached out to a couple of networks, including USA, about the possibility of continuing the comedy there if ABC did not renew it. USA, which has been looking to break into the half-hour original series space, had expressed interest and has had discussions about picking up Happy Endings in case of a cancellation. No real conversations had been held, with the series now officially available, such are expected to begin.
If the financials can be worked out, a Happy Endings pickup would be fortuitous for USA, which has been actively developing half-hour comedies and has ordered several pilots but has yet to greenlight a half-hour series. USA had been looking to have an original comedy on tap for the fall premiere of its marquee off-network series Modern Family. Happy Endings would be a suitable companion for Modern Family as it already spent two seasons on ABC paired with the Emmy-winning family comedy. Happy Endings did well behind Modern Family, but its fortunes changed this past fall when it was moved to Tuesday to form a comedy block with Don’t Trust The B—- At Apt. 23 in a crowded comedy hour. Despite strong cult following and critical praise, Happy Endings struggled mightily on Tuesday and in its last Friday slot. ABC brass had been strongly supporting the show …
EXCLUSIVE: Despite ratings hardship and real and clear danger of cancellation, Happy Endings may live up to its title even if ABC opts not to order a fourth season. I hear that Sony TV, the leading studio behind the underrated comedy series, has quietly reached out to a couple of networks, including USA Network and NBC, about the possibility of continuing the comedy there if ABC does not renew it. I hear USA, which has been looking to break into the half-hour original series space, has expressed interest and has had discussions about picking up Happy Endings in case of a cancellation by ABC.
If the financials can be worked out, a Happy Endings pickup would be fortuitous for USA, which has been actively developing half-hour comedies and has ordered several pilots but has yet to greenlight a half-hour series. USA had been looking to have an original comedy on tap for the fall premiere of its marquee off-network series Modern Family. Happy Endings would be a suitable companion for Modern Family as it already spent two seasons on ABC paired with the Emmy-winning family comedy. Happy Endings did well behind Modern Family, but its fortunes changed this past fall when it was moved to Tuesday to form a comedy block with Don’t Trust The B—- At Apt. 23 in a crowded comedy hour. Despite strong cult following and critical praise, Happy Endings struggled mightily on Tuesday and was recently relocated to Fridays. ABC brass had been strongly supporting the show from Day 1, but they will likely won’t be able to keep the series on broadcast TV at these ratings levels. In a last-ditch effort, the network recently launched a Save The Show-themed promo campaign for Happy Endings‘ move to Friday. The call to arms didn’t help, with the two back-to-back Friday originals drawing a 0.9/3 and a 0.7/3 in adults 18-49, down 25% and 46% from the show’s last Tuesday airings on January 29.
Leila Strachan, most recently a writer-producer on ABC’s comedy Happy Endings, has signed a two-year overall deal with ABC Television Studios. She will work on current series as well as develop new projects for the studio. The remaining original episodes of Sony TV’s Happy Endings were recently shifted to a Friday 8-9 PM time slot (its third move this season), and the network has launched a campaign asking fans to save the show. Strachan is repped by UTA.
Now that ABC has shifted Happy Endings to air the series’ remaining originals back-to-back at 8-9 PM Fridays starting March 29, the network has launched a campaign asking fans to save the show:
ABC‘s 9-10 PM comedy block, which was slated to air until the Dancing With The Stars result show returns March 29, is being dissolved effective immediately. After a month-and-a-half break, the only surviving member of the block, Happy Endings (its companion, Don’t Trust The B— was recently cancelled) will move to Fridays. Beginning February 26, reality series Taste, which airs at 8 PM, will slide to 9 PM, and a limited run of Celebrity Wife Swap will take over the 8 PM hour. (A Bachelor: Sean Tells All special airs at 9 PM next week.) Celebrity Wife Swap will be replaced with new diving reality series Splash on March 19. As for the remaining Happy Endings originals, ABC will air them back-to-back from 8-9 PM on Friday beginning March 29, after the Friday night comedy block of Last Man Standing and Malibu Country will have aired their season finales. This marks the third time slot for Happy Endings this midseason. In January, ABC slotted originals of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— in the Sunday 10 PM hour in addition to their Tuesday runs but pulled them after two airings.
ABC Pulls Remaining Episodes Of ’666 Park Ave’, Will Air ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Apt. 23′ In Sunday 10 PM Slot In January
With ABC‘s Tuesday comedy block gone in mid-March, the network has found a temporary home for some of the leftover episodes of the block’s two current series, Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23. For the first three weeks in January, ABC will air new episodes of the two comedies in the Sunday 10 PM hour while also running originals in the shows’ regular Tuesday 9-10 PM slots. As part of the move, ABC is pulling cancelled freshman drama 666 Park Ave, which was to continue in the Sunday 10 PM time slot until it finishes its 13-episode run. The remaining episodes of the series will now air in the summer. Happy Endings and Apt. 23 will air on Sunday on January 6, 13 and 20. ABC has a Hallmark movie scheduled for the following Sunday, January 27. The network is yet to book February 3, 10 and 17, so conceivably, if the comedies do well there (which is considered a very long shot), the network can keep Happy Endings there. With the January double-pumping, ABC will have four episodes left of the third-year comedy (and none of Apt. 23, which had a 19-episode order). The Academy Awards air on February 24, followed by the premiere of midseason drama Red Widow the following Sunday.
Originally ordered for next summer but also considered for the upcoming season, ABC‘s racy new soap Mistresses will launch next May for a summer run, ABC’s Paul Lee said during a press call this morning. It will likely premiere on Monday after The Bachelorette.
Also on the call, Lee addressed the decision to move Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— to Tuesdays against Fox’s New Girl after the two launched in the protected post-Modern Family slot. Lee said both shows have passionate audiences that would follow them to the new night. As for pitting them against other comedies, especially New Girl, Lee said, “I do think there is room on the networks for big ratings” for multiple series in the same slot. Opting not to put a comedy against New Girl last year but to do it this fall with Happy Endings is not a suggestion that ABC feels New Girl is getting weaker but confidence that Happy Endings “can open a comedy block at 9 PM on Tuesday,” Lee said.
Damon Wayans Jr is heading to the Tuesday 9 PM slot after all. The actor starred in the pilot for Fox’s New Girl but had to pull out because his series in first position, ABC’s Happy Endings, was surprisingly renewed for a second season last May. Now he will face New Girl as ABC is slotting Happy Endings in the Thursday 9 PM slot this fall. ABC opening a 9-10 PM comedy block on Tuesday is surprising given the fact that the network last May said it would expand its new Last Man Standing-anchored Tuesday 8-9 PM comedy block to 10 PM in January with the younger-skewing Cougar Town and Don’t Trust The B—- in the 9 PM hour. But the network abandoned the idea, with ABC topper Paul Lee citing the strength of New Girl for the decision. Now the network is pitting Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— against New Girl and Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project.
ABC’s Happy Endings got its happy ending. As expected, the network has given a full-season, 22-episode order to the Sony TV-produced sophomore comedy series, which was glaringly missing from last night’s list of seven “no-brainer” ABC scripted series renewals. After several extra hours of deal-making, the quirky comedy has now joined fellow returning comedies Modern Family, Suburgatory, The Middle and dramas Once Upon A Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge and Castle. Still pending are the renewals of freshmen comedy Last Men Standing and Don’t Trust The B—-, with GCB and Private Practice and Body Of Proof still on the bubble, with Body and Scandal looking good and Practice in tough negotiations for a 13-episode final season.