Melissa & Joey‘s winter debut hit a nearly one and a half year high of 1.3 million viewers in its 8 PM slot Wednesday night, ABC Family said. The comedy also was up by 35% in total viewers compared to its May 29 premiere. And it was cable’s No. 1 telecast in the time period among women 18-34, women 18-49 and females 12-34. Baby Daddy, ABC Family’s No. 1 comedy of all time also didn’t disappoint in its 8:30 PM slot. It ranked as the series’ No. 1 telecast since August 29, 2012 in women 18-34 (362,000/1.1) and women 18-29 (526,000). It also beat its May 29, 2013 debut by double digits across target categories, up by 28% in total viewers (1.1 million), by 46% in adults 18-34 (458,000), by 37% in adults 18-49 (725,000) and by 27% in viewers 12-34 (546,000).
Half-hour comedies Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy are both set to return on January 15, ABC Family announced today. Melissa & Joey is up first at 8 PM, followed by Baby Daddy at 8:30 PM. Melissa & Joey stars Melissa Joan Hart, Joey Lawrence, Taylor Spreitler and Nick Robinson, and is executive produced by Bob Young & David Kendall, Paula Hart, Melissa Joan Hart and Lawrence. Baby Daddy, created and exec produced by Dan Berendsen, stars Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Derek Theler, Tahj Mowry with Melissa Peterman and Chelsea Kane. The returning series join previously announced all-new episodes of Pretty Little Liars and Ravenswood on January 7 and Switched At Birth and The Fosters on January 13.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: ABC Family is banking on Melissa & Joey. Ahead of the series’ Season 3 premiere tomorrow, I’ve learned that the network has given the comedy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence a back order for 20 more episodes. Additionally, ABC Family has ordered a 20-episode fourth season, making Melissa & Joey the network’s first comedy to reach 100 episodes. The additional Season 3 episodes will air in 2014. “One hundred episodes is a great accomplishment for any series and we are thrilled to give Melissa And Joey the opportunity to achieve this milestone, as they’ve delivered hundreds and hundreds of laughs over the seasons,” said Kate Juergens, EVP Programming and Development and Chief Creative Officer, ABC Family.
ABC Family Renews ‘Baby Daddy’, ‘Melissa & Joey’ & ‘Switched At Birth’, Gives Back Order To ‘Bunheads’
After a very strong launch, ABC Family’s new comedy Baby Daddy will bypass the standard back order for a full-fledged second season pickup. Fellow freshman, ballet drama Bunheads, is getting a back-order pickup while the network also is renewing comedy Melissa & Joey for a third season and Switched At Birth for a second. “The new series have resonated with our viewers, and the combination of drama, comedy and reality brings great depth to our lineup, said ABC Family president Michael Riley. The dramas will premiere in Winter, with the comedies returning in Spring 2013. ABC Family also just announced a reunion special for its new reality series Beverly Hills Nannies to air on September 4. Baby Daddy, created by Dan Berendsen, launched as ABC Family’s #1 comedy series ever and is pacing as the #1 new cable comedy this summer in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34. It also boosted its lead-in, Melissa & Joey, to its best season to date. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Bunheads is cable TV’s #2 series on Mondays at 9 o’clock in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34. Here is more on the newly picked up series:
Talent manager Kieran Maguire filed suit Wednesday against Melissa Joan Hart, asserting colorfully that she “has no heart” for taking advantage of his services and then ditching him “once her popularity was brought back from obscurity.” Maquire says he and Hart entered into a verbal standard agreement for his management services in 2006 — after her series Sabrina The Teenage Witch ended a few years prior. The breach of contract suit filed in L.A. Superior Court points out that Hart agreed to pay and continued to pay Maguire 10% of her earnings for subsequent years during which Maguire says he worked closely with her talent agents, publicists, business managers, attorneys and others in guiding her career.
ABC Family has renewed its original comedy Melissa & Joey for a second season, the network announced today. The series starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence is wrapping its first season to air throughout the summer and fall and will return for its second season in 2012. The sitcom launched in summer 2010 and has scored well for the network in key demos, including adults 18-34 and women 18-49. It airs in a Wednesday comedy block alongside State of Georgia.
Having just picked up four new scripted series, ABC Family is heading into the summer with its largest-ever slate of originals. With seven scripted series on tap — four new (dramas Switched at Birth, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, The Lying Game and comedy The Great State of Georgia) and three returning (dramas The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Pretty Little Liars and comedy Melissa & Joey) — ABC Family is opening up a third night of original programming this summer on Wednesday. Having for the first time a pair of half-hour comedies, Melissa & Joey and The Great State of Georgia, ABC Family will launch a comedy block on Wednesday with the two sitcoms on June 29.
Secret Life, which returns on March 28 with 24 new episodes, will serve as a launching pad for newbies Switched at Birth (premieres June 6) and The Lying Game (debuts Aug. 15). Chloe King will follow Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday starting June 14.
ABC’s new chief Paul Lee charmed a room full of industry types at the Hollywood Radio and TV Society’s network chiefs luncheon today, which was otherwise pretty uneventful. Three months into the job, he looked confident and relaxed, stretching his legs for most of the time, interjecting with witty zingers and cracking jokes throughout the panel discussion moderated by HRTS and Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs. ”We used to strike when they moved the tea break at the BBC,” Brit Lee quipped when the subject of a potential new WGA strike came up. In terms of ABC programming, Lee didn’t deny the rumor that he might be looking to revive TGIF on ABC. (He recently did a trial run with a younger-skewing family comedy at ABC Family, Melissa & Joey). “I certainly think that Friday night is a huge opportunity,” Lee said. He also alluded that ABC may test some of its marketing campaigns on Facebook before forking out millions to roll them out.
Also pretty entertaining was Fox’s Kevin Reilly, who was asked about the challenges of doing a series for broadcast vs. cable where FCC regulations don’t apply. “It is frustrating sometimes,” he said. “On cable, we would’ve been able to have the guys on Lone Star take off their clothes, the show would’ve pulled 1.3 million viewers and we would’ve declared it a hit because that’s what Mad …