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VH1 In ‘Happy Endings’ Off-Network Deal

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 9:56am PST
Nellie Andreeva

happyendingsHappy 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.

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No ‘Happy Endings’: Series Over After Three Seasons

By | Friday June 28, 2013 @ 3:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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.

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Latest On The Future Of ‘Happy Endings’, ‘Paging Dr. Freed’ And ‘Psych’ At USA

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 7:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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.

Related: ‘Happy Endings’ Cancelled At ABC, Will USA Step In?

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.) Read More »

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ABC’s Paul Lee On ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Body Of Proof’s Cancellations

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 11:12am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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.”

Related: ABC 2013-14 Schedule

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‘Happy Endings’ Cancelled At ABC, Will USA Step In?

By | Friday May 10, 2013 @ 5:41pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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 … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Happy Endings’ Finale Up, ‘Undercover Boss’ & ‘Shark Tank’ Down, ABC Wins Night In Demo

By | Saturday May 4, 2013 @ 9:41am PDT

No definite word yet where it could end up next year but last night was, without putting too fine a point on it, a happy ending for the third season of ABC’s Happy Endings. The 8 PM (0.8/3) airing of the Windy City-based thirtysomethings comedy rocketed it up 33% from last week’s series low. The actual season finale at 8:30 PM (0.7/3) rose 17% from its April 26 show, which had been even with the prior original two weeks before. So now the question for ABC’s ratings challenged but youngest skewing show is will the network bring Happy Endings back, will it die or is it heading over to USA Network? Otherwise, the rest of ABC’s night was a bit of a mix. While the highest rated show of the night, Shark Tank (1.7/5) fell 15% from last week. However, at 10 PM, the “True Confessions” episode of 20/20 (1.6/5) repeated one of the Happy Endings shows’ results and shot up 33% from its April 26 show. That also ties the news magazine series best performance in the 25-54 demo since November 30 last year. ABC won the night among adults 18-49 but CBS took the top spot in terms of total viewers.

Related: Primetime Pilot Panic: Broadcast Networks Are Very Happy With Their Comedy Pilots; How Much Should Bubble Shows Worry?

Over on CBS, everyone except Blue Bloods (1.3/4) took a hit. … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Happy Endings’ Hits Series Low, ‘Shark Tank’ & ‘Fashion Star’ Down, ‘Vegas’ Up, CBS Wins Night

By | Saturday April 27, 2013 @ 10:08am PDT

While more of the NFL Draft ran in primetime on ESPN and the NFL Network on Friday, the second night of May sweeps saw things improve across all the networks from the lows of Thursday. Of course, because of the extensive primetime coverage of the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing on April 19, almost all comparisons are to broadcasts of two weeks ago or more. On CBS, Friday brought a full night of rises, some small and one large. Kicking off CBS’s night, Undercover Boss (1.6/6) was up 7% from its last original on April 12. Up from its low of two weeks ago, Vegas (1.0/3) rose 25% from its last original. With 10.36 million viewers watching, Blue Bloods (1.4/4) was the most watched show of Friday night over Undercover Boss by more than 1.6 million. The cop family drama saw a upward turn of 8% from its April 12 show. With 8.82 million watching, CBS was tops in viewers as well as number one among Adults 18-49.
Read More »

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USA Network Eyes ‘Happy Endings’ Pickup If Cult Comedy Isn’t Renewed By ABC

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 2:19pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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.

Related: ABC’s Bid To Save ‘Happy Endings’: Video Read More »

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Leila Strachan Inks Overall Deal With ABC Studios

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 12:00pm PDT

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.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ Down, ‘Touch’ Hits Series Low, ‘Fashion Star’ Up, ‘Happy Endings’ Falls, CBS Wins Night With NCAA

By | Saturday March 30, 2013 @ 10:00am PDT

After weeks of repeats this month, Shark Tank (1.7/5) returned to Friday night with some new bite. The 9 PM entrepreneurial reality completion show saw an update from a couple who received a deal with all the Shark judges earlier this season and an eager teen seeking investment in her skincare line. The new bite didn’t chew off anything new however ratingswise. Perhaps it was the basketball on CBS, Daylight Savings or just being off for a few weeks but Shark Tank also saw a drop of 15% from its last original on March 8, 2013. After the live NCAA tournament on CBS, whose fast nationals are approximate, Shark Tank got the biggest return from Adults 18-49 on Friday and was the most watched series on TV last night with 5.98 million tuning in. Happy Endings began its new slot on Fridays with back-to-back episodes last night. At the same time as it has started a campaign to have fans save the comedy, ABC’s plan is to have Happy Endings sit at the end of the week for the remainder of its season. The 8 PM (0.9/3) and the 8:30 PM (0.7/3) were down 25% and 46% from its last two originals on January 29. ABC ended the night with a new 20/20 (1.4/2), which was down two tenths from last week’s broadcast.

Read More »

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ABC’s Bid To Save ‘Happy Endings’: Video

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 5:18pm PDT

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:

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ABC Pulls Tuesday Comedy Block Ahead Of Schedule, ‘Happy Endings’ Moves To Friday

By | Wednesday February 13, 2013 @ 8:08pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

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. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘New Girl’ & ‘Mindy Project’ Up, ‘Go On’ & ‘New Normal’ Hit Series Lows, ‘The Taste’ Falls

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 9:19am PST

It was a night of a lot of not-so-new chess pieces put in place on television Tuesday. With ABC and Fox having pulled shows from their schedule last week, last night saw their replacements debut. In its first week as a one-hour, The Taste (1.6/4) had a hard second week. The cooking competition show fell 24% from its two-hour premiere January 22. With Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23 pulled from the schedule last week, ABC began the first week of its double shot of Happy Endings on Tuesday. The 9 PM (1.2/3) regular time slot broadcast dipped 8% from Happy Endings’ last original show on January 15. The replacement 9:30 PM (1.3/3) airing of Happy Endings was up from Apt. 23’s 1.1/3 of two weeks ago. Now that Private Practice is no more, ABC ended the night with a special primetime repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.2/3) from January 24 when the show was “hijacked” by Matt Damon. The indefinite pulling of Ben And Kate from Fox’s Tuesday comedy block last week meant that last night began with the first of several back-to-back episodes of Raising Hope. The 8 PM (1.7/5) was even with last week’s show but the 8:30 PM (1.5/4) replacement airing rose 25% from last week’s Ben And Kate in the same time slot. That wasn’t the only rise Fox saw on Tuesday. New Girl (2.5/7) was up 14% from last week and The Mindy Project (1.7/4) saw a rise of 13% from January 22. Read More »

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ABC Pulls Remaining Episodes Of ’666 Park Ave’, Will Air ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Apt. 23′ In Sunday 10 PM Slot In January

By | Friday December 21, 2012 @ 1:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

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.

Related: ABC’s Midseason: ‘Family Tools’ & ‘How To Live’ On Wednesday, ‘Red Widow’ On Sunday, ‘Zero Hour’ On Thursday

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Ratings Rat Race: NBC Tops Tuesday

Nellie Andreeva

With pre-emptions for coverage of the Sandy storm aftermath and continuing widespread power outages, fast national ratings for last night are only approximate. NBC posted a clear-cut victory in adults 18-49, winning every hour of primetime with The Voice (4.6/12, up 7% from last week) and an NBC News storm special (2.9/8).

Alarming news for ABC, none of whose shows cracked the 2 demo rating in the fast national. The news was worst for the fledgling 9-10 PM comedy block, whose members Happy Endings (1.4/4) and Don’t Trust The B—- (1.2/3) both tumbled, down 22% and 29% from their openers last week. Dancing With The Stars results (1.9/5) was down 5%, and a news special (1.3/3) closed out the night. ABC sure hopes for an upward adjustment, though no adjustment can erase the big drop-off for the comedies. Read More »

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RATINGS RATE RACE: ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Don’t Trust The B’ Open Soft, ‘Emily Owens’ Drops In Week 2, ‘Vegas’ Hits Low

By | Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 10:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was the first edition of the “comedy sigalert” three-way Tuesday face-off last night as ABC launched its new comedy block of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23 to face NBC’s Go On and The New Normal and Fox’s New Girl and The Mindy Project (Mindy was pre-empted last night for a relocated The X Factor).

Fox’s New Girl (2.7/7) came out the dustup unscathed, on par with its last original two weeks ago. It also topped its now two comedy competitors in the 9 PM slot: NBC’s Go On (2.5/7, down 11% from its fast national two weeks ago, 4% from the final) and Happy Endings (1.9/5), finishing right behind CBS’ NCIS: LA (2.8 from 9-9:30 PM) in the half-hour.

It was a slow start for Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— (1.7/4), which have been left to fend for themselves this fall after alternating for a run behind hit Modern Family last season. Not surprisingly, both comedies were down sharply from their most recent season/series debuts behind Modern Family last season: -39% for Happy Endings and -41% from Don’t Trust The B—-, which hit a series low. On the bright side, Happy Endings was up 12% from its April season finale. Of the other comedies last night, Fox’s Raising Hope (1.7/5) was even with last week; Ben And Kate (1.4/4) showed some spark, up 17% from last week, while NBC’s The New Normal (1.8/4) was down 10% from two weeks ago. (The presidential debate pre-empted the networks’ 9-11 PM programming last Tuesday). Read More »

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ABC’s ‘Mistresses’ Summer-Bound, ‘Hulk’ Still Alive, Why ‘Happy Endings’ Is Moving

By | Tuesday May 15, 2012 @ 10:45am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Happy Endings ScheduleOriginally 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.

Related: 2012-13 ABC Schedule: Comedy Block On Friday, ‘Revenge’ Gets ‘Housewives’ Slot

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.

Related: Single-Camera Comedy Mayhem: ABC, NBC & Fox To Clash In Tuesday 9-10 Hour In Fall Read More »

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Single-Camera Comedy Mayhem: ABC, NBC & Fox To Clash In Tuesday 9-10 Hour In Fall

By | Tuesday May 15, 2012 @ 8:51am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Happy Endings ABC ScheduleDamon 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 New Girl FoxHappy 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.

Related: 2012-13 ABC Schedule: Comedy Block On Friday, ‘Revenge’ Gets ‘Housewives’ Slot Read More »

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ABC’s ‘Happy Endings’ Gets 3rd Season

By | Friday May 11, 2012 @ 12:29pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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.

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