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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Two And A Half Men’ Finale Falls, Last ‘Surviving Jack’ Up, ‘American Comedy Awards’ Debuts Weak, ‘Big Bang Theory’ & ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Down

surviving jack finale 2With the NFL Draft providing significant competition, for the Big 4 on Thursday it was a primetime with a couple of endings — one permanent. After just more than a month on the air, Fox put Surviving Jack (1.2/3) out of its ratings misery yesterday as one of a group of comedy cancellations. and its short run wrapped with a 20% jump up from last week’s rating in adults 18-49.  Maybe news of the cancellation got Jack some juice as did the 7% rise American Idol (1.6/5) saw last night with its live half-hour result show as the lead-in. Fox’s night started off with Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen (1.5/5), which dipped 6% from its May 1 show.

Related: ESPN’s NFL Draft Scores Record Ratings

two-and-a-half-menTwo And A Half Men (2.1/6) finished its 11th season last night with a wedding and the usual sitcom shenanigans that accompany such a TV event. The Chuck Lorre series was even with its May 1 show but took a steep divorce of 40% from last year’s season ender on May 9, 2013. Maybe that was a result of the NFL Draft, but CBS had downs and dips almost all night starting with The Big Bang Theory (3.7/13). Despite being the highest-rated and most-watched show of the night (14.17 million), the other Lorre series fell 18% to hit a season low in preliminary numbers. Two And A Half Men’s lead-out The Millers (2.0/6) was even with its May 1 show and hence tied a series low. Freshman Bad Teacher (1.3/4) slipped 7% from last week while Elementary (1.5/4) stumbled 6% to tie a series low. Like last Thursday, CBS won the night among adults 18-49 (2.0/6 rating) and total viewers (8.78 million.) That’s a slight 9% drop from May 1. Read More »

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Fox Cancels ‘Dads’, ‘Surviving Jack’ & ‘Enlisted’, Passes On Comedy Pilots ‘Fatrick’, ‘No Place Like Home’, ‘Dead Boss’

By | Wednesday May 7, 2014 @ 4:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Dads Cancelled FoxFox cleaned the comedy deck today, pulling the plug on freshman series Dads, Enlisted and Surviving Jack and passing on half-hour pilots Fatrick, Dead Boss and No Place Like Home. The two Fox comedy pilots that had been considered strongest, Sober Companion and Cabot College, remain in contention as Fox is said to be mulling a change in its comedy strategy for next season, likely abandoning the two-hour comedy block, which had been struggling mightily. On the hourlong side, there will be no second season for Rake though it has not been officially cancelled.

Related: Fox Ups Order For Multi-Camera Comedy ‘Mulaney’ To 16 Episodes, May Be Done With Comedy Pickups

The cancellation enlistedcroppedof Dads, Enlisted and Surviving Jack leaves Brooklyn Nine-Nine as the only freshman Fox comedy to make it to a second season. There had been talk as recently as several days ago about Dads possibly getting a reprieve. While not well received by critics, to put it mildly, the multi-camera series performed as well or even better than the renewed Fox comedies — Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl and The Mindy Project – and  it comes from sister studio 20th TV and one of Fox’s top producers, Seth MacFarlane.

Related: 2014 Fox Pilots
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Surviving Jack’ Soft In Debut, ‘Vampire Diaries’ Hits Low, ‘Scandal’ & ‘Parenthood’ Rise

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 10:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

survivingjackIf launching drama series in midseason is hard, launching comedy series in midseason is daunting. Fox’s Surviving Jack was the latest example, debuting to a 1.3 in 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers at 9:30 PM last night despite mostly positive reviews based on the standout performance of star Chris Meloni. Surviving Jack followed American Idol (1.9), which, in its switch to half-hour result shows, tied last week’s series low. For comparison, at 8 PM, with no lead-in and scathing reviews, Fox’s fall comedy Dads premiered to a 2.1 fast national demo rating in September. American Idol and The X Factor have never been compatible lead-ins for comedies. The previous comedy series to launch behind Idol was the 2011 Breaking In, which opened with a 3.5 demo rating but on a 7.3 Idol 18-49 lead-in (Yes, Idol was pulling in that kind of numbers only three years ago) for a 48% retention. Surviving Jack‘s was 68%. At 8 PM, Hell’s Kitchen (1.8) was up a tenth from last week’s fast national. Read More »

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Justin Halpern & Patrick Schumacker Ink Deal With Warner Bros. TV

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 6:16pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

halpernschumackerJustin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, creators of Warner Bros TV‘s upcoming Fox comedy series Surviving Jack, have signed a two-year overall deal with the studio, which begins June 1. Surviving Jack, which the duo executive produce with Bill Callahan, who is serving as co-showrunner alongside them, Bill Lawrence and Jeff Ingold, was based on Halpern’s bestselling book I Suck At Girls. Halpern and Schumacker, repped by ICM Partners,  previously co-created CBS’ S#*! My Dad Said for WBTV and CBS with Max Mutchnick and David Cohen. It was based on another Halpern bestseller, Shit My Dad Says.

Related: TCA: Justin Halpern Says Dad Better Suited For ‘Surviving Jack’ Than ‘$h*! My Dad Says’

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TCA: Justin Halpern Says Dad Better Suited For ‘Surviving Jack’ Than ‘$h*! My Dad Says’

By | Monday January 13, 2014 @ 5:36pm PST

TCA Fox’s new Surviving Jack, about a dad and his relationship with his son in the ’90s, is based on Justin Halpern’s autobiographical book, I Suck At Girls. Halperin also created CBS’ comedy $h*! My Dad Says — also about his relationship with his father — based on his book that was, in turn, based on his Twitter feed. TV critics attending a Q&A about Jack at TCA this afternoon Surviving-Jack noted the similarity between the two comedies and asked what went wrong with the CBS one. “It was really bad,” Halpern said. “You’re aware you created that show,” joked Bill Lawrence, who exec produces Jack with Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Jeff Ingold. “Yes, and I put the blame squarely on Patrick,” Halpern joked. The CBS sitcom, he said, was “very much the wrong tone.”  The dad character, he said, did not live well in a multi-cam sitcom world where it’s all about setup and punch lines. On a single cam, “the comedy comes more organically,” he said.

Related: TCA: Cast Losing Sleep Over Fox’s ‘The Following’

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TCA: Fox Sets Premiere Dates For ‘24’ Event Series, ‘Surviving Jack’, ‘Gang Related’, ‘Cosmos’

By | Monday January 13, 2014 @ 8:30am PST

TCADeadline__140109155905Fox, appearing this morning at the TCA Winter Press Tour 2014,  announced premiere dates for event series 24: Live Another Day,  and new series Surviving JackGang Relatedand Seth MacFarlane’s science passion-project Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. 24 is getting its old Monday 9 PM slot, Surviving Jack will follow American Idol‘s result show, fox-tv-logo__130727010919-275x119__131022173606-200x86and Gang Related is getting an early summer run as planned.

The clock resets when 24: Live Another Day premieres with a special two-hour television event on Monday, May 5 at 8 PM, followed by its time period premiere the following week in 24‘s signature Monday 9 PM slot. Set and shot in London, the suspenseful event series again will follow the exploits of agent Jack Bauer (Sutherland) as he attempts to thwart a terrorist attack. Retaining the real-time format with split screens and interweaving storylines, the series also stars Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver, and William Devane reprising their original roles. Newcomers include Yvonne Strahovski, Giles Matthey, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Michael Wincott, and Judy Davis. The event series reunites the Emmy-winning team of executive producer Howard Gordon; star and executive producer Sutherland; co-creator Robert Cochran; executive producers Evan Katz, Manny Coto, David Fury and Brian Grazer; and executive producer and director Jon Cassar.

Related: Yvonne Strahovski Joins ’24: Live Another Day’ Read More »

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Fox’s ‘Surviving Jack’ Gets Post ‘American Idol’ Slot, Order Trimmed To 8 Episodes, ‘Dads’ Expected To Get Back Order

By | Friday October 25, 2013 @ 11:22am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Fox is firming up its midseason comedy scheduling plans. I’ve learned that the network is going to launch Surviving Jack after American Idol on Thursday. The comedy’s order has been trimmed from 13 to 8 episodes, but unlike the recent order reduction for Fox’s other midseason live-action comedy, Us & Them, this decision was dictated by scheduling reasons — Fox will have eight weeks worth of available 8:30 PM slots on Thursday when the American Idol results show gets pared down for the first time to 30 minutes. With Us & Them unlikely to factor into Fox’s midseason plans, the decision to put Surviving Jack on Thursday indicates that the network is likely planning to keep its Tuesday comedy block intact for the remainder of the season. New Girl and The Mindy Project have 22-episode orders, and newbie Brooklyn Nine-Nine was given a full-season pickup last week. That means that the remaining comedy, freshman Dads, will probably get a Back 9 order too, and I hear that is in the works.

Related: Fox Announces Premiere Dates For ‘The Following’, ‘Rake’ & ‘American Idol’

Surviving Jack, executive produced by Bill Lawrence, is a Chris Meloni showcase and a coming-of-age comedy that I hear Fox brass hope could capitalize on American Idol’s broad audience. Fox has launched comedies behind a 90-minute American Read More »

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Rachael Harris To Star Opposite Chris Meloni In Fox Series ‘Surviving Jack’

By | Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 11:36am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Rachael Harris is is set as the female lead opposite Chris Meloni in Fox’s midseason comedy series Surviving Jack. The single-camera project, from Warner Bros. TV and Bill Lawrence‘ Doozer, is based on Justin Halpern’s book I Suck At Girls. It centers on a father, Jack Dunlevy (Meloni), and his teen son Frankie (Connor Buckley). Harris plays the Alpha-Mom, Joanne Dunlevy, who has decided to go back to law school, somewhat reluctantly leaving the care of her kids to her brash husband. The role was recast after being played by Alex Kapp Horner in the pilot. (you can watch the series’ trailer below) Harris recently starred opposite David Spade in the ABC comedy pilot Bad Management, which was in serious contention for a series pickup. She also recurs on USA drama Suits and did an arc on Fox comedy New Girl. Read More »

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Alex Kapp Horner Exits New Fox Comedy Series ‘Surviving Jack’

By | Sunday May 12, 2013 @ 6:14pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Another newly picked up comedy series is recasting its female lead. Alex Kapp Horner is leaving the Bill Lawrence-produced half-hour Fox comedy Surviving Jack. Based on Justin Halpern’s book I Suck At Girls, the single-camera comedy tells the story of a boy becoming a man, and a man becoming a father, in a time before coming of age was something you could Google. It centers on a father, Jack Dunlevy (Chris Meloni), and his teen son Frankie (Connor Buckley). Horner played Jack’s wife in the pilot. Other new comedy series that are recasting their female leads include NBC‘s The Family Guide (Parker Posey) and Sean Saves The World (Lindsay Sloane).

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