Glee will be back on January 24, 2013, Fox announced today. The musical comedy-drama’s return for more of its fourth season was just one of many Fox series the network set Winter 2013 premiere dates for. The Simpsons …
Mary Grill has landed the major new role on Fox’s freshman comedy series The Mindy Project. Grill, a Second City Chicago alum and founding member of the NY sketch group New Excitement, will play the recurring role of Maggie, a tomboyish college friend of Mindy’s (creator and star Mindy Kaling). The introduction of the character is part of a creative overhaul of the show midway through its freshman season, which includes the elimination of a character, played by regular Amanda Setton, and the downgrade of another one, played by Anna Camp, from regular to recurring. Additionally, Stephen Tobolowsky’s recurring character was written off. Grill, repped by Vincent Nastri of Bleecker Street Entertainment, recently appeared on Boardwalk Empire and has upcoming guest stints on Whitney and Don’t Trust the B—- In Apt.23.
Fox brass have said they would be patient with the network’s new Tuesday comedy block, and they are proving it today with back orders to modestly-rated freshman series The Mindy Project and Ben And Kate. Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project, which has higher ratings as it follows anchor New Girl, has been given a full-season order with a back-nine-episode pickup. In its second outing, the workplace comedy, which gets a sizable DVR bump, logged a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating in Live+same day.
Dana Fox’s Ben And Kate has received a six-episode back order. It most recently posted a 1.6 demo rating at 8:30 PM. Fox has new comedy The Goodwin Games on tap for midseason, which was part of the reason for Ben And Kate‘s six-episode order. The comedy recently underwent a showrunner change, with executive producers Garrett Donovan and Neil Goldman leaving. Gail Lerner has since come on board to land senior-level support several days a week. “Ben And Kate and The Mindy Project have everything we want to stand for in comedy: smart writing, hugely appealing casts and comedy that feels contemporary and real – which is why we’re confident they will continue to build on what is already an appointment comedy night for young, influential audiences on Tuesdays,” Fox chairman Kevin Reilly said.
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.)