The end of the workweek was a night of new beginnings and a final farewell on primetime last night. The beginning was the return of Unforgettable (1.0/4) for the last six episodes of its second season on CBS. The Sony TV-produced procedural starring Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh is in some ways, the show that will never die – having cancelled once and then brought back to life again in summer 2012 with a new pick up. Last night, however, Unforgettable took a hit in its latest return. Already renewed for a third season set to start in June, the show fell 23% last night from its Sunday July 28 Season 2 debut of last year. While even with its last show on September 8 last year, last night’s Unforgettable actually saw a small 4% total viewership rise from its Season 2 debut to an audience of 7.50 million. Back with their first originals since March 14, Hawaii Five-0 (1.3/5) and Blue Bloods (1.5/5) were down and up 7% respectively, with the latter the most watched show of the night with 11.40 million viewers.
EXCLUSIVE: It’s the end of the road for Fox‘s quirky family comedy Raising Hope, with the upcoming fourth-season finale serving as series finale. The blue-collar sitcom will bow out with an hourlong farewell on Friday, April 4, featuring back-to-back episodes from 9-10 PM.
Created by Greg Garcia, Raising Hope was the first comedy series in a while to stick at Fox. It proved a good utility player, doing well behind New Girl but also as a 8 PM anchor of the Tuesday comedy block last season. “Getting to know and love the Chance family on Raising Hope has been a sweet, hilarious ride,” said Fox chairman Kevin Reilly and COO Joe Earley. “Thanks to the incredibly talented cast — along with Greg, Mike and the entire crew — for making us laugh for four fantastic seasons.”
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Raising Hope had the odds stacked against it going into Season 4. Creator Greg Garcia left the series as part of his move from 20th TV, which produces Raising Hope, to CBS TV Studios. He was succeeded on showrunner duties by Mike Mariano. Then the show was sent to Fridays where it has languished, most recently pulling in a 0.5 18-49 rating this past Friday.
At TCA last week, Fox chairman Kevin Reilly admitted he was disappointed by the early ratings performance of new comedy Enlisted but vowed to stick with the show for its 13-episode order and give it a shot. Now the network is giving the military comedy a better chance with a stronger lead-in by moving it to 9 PM where it will follow veteran Bones. Beginning this Friday, Enlisted and Raising Hope will swap slots, with Enlisted at 9 PM and Raising Hope at 9:30 PM. Bones has been consistently delivering a solid 1.5 or higher among adults 18-49 in the Friday 8 PM slot, half of which has been squandered by Raising Hope, which most recently managed a 0.8 at 9 PM, leading to Enlisted (0.7). For Raising Hope, the time-period downgrade is an ominous sign that the family comedy may end its run after four seasons.
Ahead of its Season 4 November 15 debut on Fox, comedy series Raising Hope has been sold in over 180 markets, increasing its clearances to 80% of the country, Twentieth Television announced today. Set to debut in syndication next year, Raising Hope is sold in top 10 markets including New York. Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, San Francisco and Atlanta. The series has already been sold in cable off-network syndication to FXX and CMT. Additional clearances include stations from broadcast groups Sinclair, Lin Broadcasting, and Larry H. Miller Communications. Previously announced sales include CBS Station Group’s WLNY (New York), KCAL (Los Angeles), KTXA (Dallas), WSBK (Boston), KBCW (San Francisco), KSTW (Seattle), WTOG (Tampa), KMAX (Sacramento); Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU (Chicago).
Heading into its fourth season on Fox, 20th TV‘s comedy Raising Hope has been sold in more than 140 markets, representing 55% of the country, in barter deals between Twentieth TV and the stations. Set to debut in syndication in 2014, Raising Hope is sold in top 10 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, San Francisco and Atlanta, with the CBS O&Os as its core station group. The comedy from Greg Garcia will also debut in cable syndication next year, airing on CMT, WGN America and FXX. Stations Raising Hope has been sold to include CBS Station Group’s WLNY (New York), KCAL (Los Angeles), KTXA (Dallas), WSBK (Boston), KBCW (San Francisco), KSTW (Seattle), WTOG (Tampa), KMAX (Sacramento) and Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU (Chicago).
EXCLUSIVE: Molly Shannon, who just received an Emmy nomination for her recurring role on HBO’s Enlightened, has been tapped for an arc on another HBO half-hour series, the upcoming Getting On. Additionally, the Saturday Night Live alumna is set for a recurring role on the Fox family comedy Raising Hope. On Getting On, a U.S. version of the award-winning BBC Four medical comedy, Shannon will play Phyllis Sullivan, a sweet, slightly discombobulated soul — at the end of her rope — who is giving too much of herself up in caring for children, spouse, pets, and now, her ailing mother. On the upcoming fourth season of Raising Hope, Shannon will play Maxime, the new owner of Howdy’s. She’ll first appear in episode 4. Shannon, repped by UTA and Steven Levy, is currently starring opposite John C Reilly in the indie Life After Beth.
EXCLUSIVE: Today’s fourth season renewal for Fox’s comedy Raising Hope came after a succession plan for the family comedy had been put in place. Raising Hope creator/executive producer/showrunner Greg Garcia is leaving at the end of the season as stipulated by his overall deal at CBS TV Studios. One of his top lieutenants, Raising Hope executive producer Mike Mariano, has closed a deal to take over showrunner duties for Season 4. I hear the multi-year pact includes a development component. In addition to Raising Hope, where he has been since after the pilot, first as co-exec producer and then as exec producer, CAA-repped Mariano worked as a writer-producer on Garcia’s previous series, NBC’s My Name Is Earl. Meanwhile, Garcia is almost certain to get a new series on the air next season with two high-profile pilots at CBS.
Fox has handed early renewals to midseason drama The Following and Tuesday comedies New Girl, Raising Hope and The Mindy Project. They join recently renewed veteran Bones, with negotiations for a fifth season of Glee ongoing. Per star Kevin Bacon’s deal, The Following pickup is for a 15-episode second season, same as Season 1. It will likely return next midseason. The Following, from creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson and Warner Bros. TV, has emerged as a big DVR performer, rising to No. 2 broadcast drama and No. 3 drama overall this season in Live+7 ratings.
Fox hinted at the renewal of New Girl, Raising Hope and The Mindy Project last week when it slotted repeats of the three comedies on its summer schedule. New Girl, from creator Liz Meriwether, Chernin Entertainment and 20th TV, is Fox’s highest-rated comedy. It has been renewed for a third season. Raising Hope, from creator Greg Garcia and 20th TV, has been a great utility player, delivering solid ratings wherever dispatched by the network. Mindy Kaling’s freshman Mindy Project, from Universal TV and 3 Arts has been soft in the ratings but has done well with critics and is a favorite of Fox brass.
UPDATED: Here is what Greg Garcia said about the My Name Is Earl gag on Raising Hope. “To be fair, I didn’t write the joke. But the writer who did knew I would leave it in. Anyway, it’s all water under the bridge. Just a funny way to end a scene.” There will be a lot more Earl references in the February 26 episode of Hope, which stages a reunion of the stars of the NBC comedy — Jason Lee, Jaime Pressly, Ethan Suplee, Eddie Steeples, Nadine Velazquez and Abdoulaye N’Gom. “There’s a lot of Earl jokes throughout,” Garcia said. “I enjoyed it very much. Not sure if anyone else will.”
PREVIOUS: Wondering whether Greg Garcia has gotten over NBC’s unceremonious cancellation of his comedy My Name Is Earl almost four years ago? Here is a clip from this week’s episode of Garcia’s latest series, Fox’s Raising Hope, in which Burt (Garret Dillahunt) kicks the NBC President (Graham Clarke) in the nuts over the My Name Is Earl cancellation. Earl, which was put on the air by Fox chairman Kevin Reilly while he was at NBC, was cancelled by his successor, Ben Silverman, in May 2009 after four seasons. Silverman himself was let go from NBC two months later.
On the heels of freshman The Mindy Project getting a pickup for two more episodes, bringing its first season order to 24 episodes, Fox has done the same with its two returning live-action comedies: New Girl and Raising Hope. With struggling newcomer Ben And Kate‘s order at 19 episodes vs. 24 for the rest of Fox’s Tuesday comedies, it is clear Fox plans to sub Ben And Kate with The Goodwin Games in midseason.
It may be the DVR effect, impact of cable or the Internet, but it is kind of depressing seeing a whopping seven programs on the Big 4 broadcast networks post a 1 rating among adults 18-49 on Night 10 of the new season when viewer excitement is supposed to be still high.
Fox’s all-comedy Tuesday block continues to struggle. The addition of Raising Hope as 8 PM anchor didn’t help as the comedy opened its third season with a 1.7/5 among adults 18-49. That was down 45% from the series’ second season premiere behind New Girl last fall. It was also down 19% from Raising Hope‘s debut in the Tuesday 8 PM slot last spring when Fox tried out a two-hour comedy block. New Fox comedies, Ben And Kate (1.6/5) and The Mindy Project (1.9/5) both crumbled in Week 2, down 24% and 21%, respectively, from their modest premieres. The big dropoff for critical darling The Mindy Project is especially concerning as the show followed New Girl. In one of the brighter spots on last night’s ratings report, New Girl (2.8/7) matched its season premiere rating from last week, avoiding the proverbial “second-week slump.” Ben And Kate‘s dropoff mirrored that of its lead-in (down 25% from last week when Fox aired a new New Girl at 8 PM.)
Twitter has become a huge part of TV networks’ strategy to get the word out on its shows, so it’s no surprise Fox and CBS are turning to the social networking site as part of its fall promo campaign. A survey by Bluefin Labs recently reported in the Wall Street Journal found that comments posted on Twitter and other social-media websites about television shows have exploded in the past year, to 75.5 million in July from 8.8 million a year earlier.
Following that trend, Fox announced today that fans can get a sneak preview of the Season 3 premiere of Raising Hope on the comedy’s Twitter page in advance of its on-air debut October 2 – the first time a full episode of a TV series has been available on the social networking site. It’s available now through next Thursday at 11:59 PM. And CBS follows next week, kicking off its #CBSTweetWeek @ the CBS Connect Lounge. The network says fans will have direct access to their favorite CBS Television Network stars with a week full of social media events September 24-28.
Shiri Appleby has been tapped for an arc on the second season of HBO’s Emmy-nominated comedy Girls. She will play Natalie, a new love interest for Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) lover Adam Driver (Adam Sackler), who broke up with Hannah in the first-season finale. Natalie is a beautiful and charming New Yorker who adores Adam despite his wild sexual tendencies. Roswell alumna Appleby, repped by Gersh and John Carrabino, recently starred on CW’s Life Unexpected.
Melanie Griffith has closed a deal to do an arc on another single-camera comedy, Fox’s Raising Hope, which is heading into Season 3. She will play the mother of Sabrina (Shannon Woodward). Griffith will be joined by her mother, The Birds star Tippi Hedren, who will play her mother and Sabrina’s grandmother on the show. “As a fan of Melanie Griffith, the actress, I was excited about the possibility of having her on the show, and now that I’ve had the chance to meet Melanie Griffith, the person, I can’t wait to get the chance to work with her,” said Raising Hope creator Greg Garcia. “And then Tippi Hedren agrees to play Melanie’s mother on the show? Are you kidding? Just two weeks ago, I showed my kids The Birds for the first time. This is a very exciting way for us to start off …