It has been a three-way race for renewal among three bubble ABC comedies: sophomore The Neighbors and freshmen Trophy Wife and Mixology, There seems to be some movement within the pack, with the youngest, midseason entry Mixology, gaining momentum. I hear the network and the studio already have put in place a leadership plan for next season, with creators Jon Lucas and Scott Moore set to take over the reins as showrunners from Ira Ungerleider, who will be leaving after running the series for its original 13-episode order. What’s more, in a sign of confidence to Lucas & Moore and their show, I hear ABC Studios is in negotiations with the duo for an overall deal. At the same time last year, ABC Studios inked an overall deal with Dan Fogelman, with his freshman comedy The Neighbors going on to clinch the only comedy renewal for ABC Studios a few weeks later. Mixology – set in a bar over the course of one night — quickly built a core fan base and has supporters at ABC, including network topper Paul Lee. Its ratings have been lackluster at best, but so have been the numbers for Trophy Wife and The Neighbors. Relaunching a heavily serialized comedy in the fall four months after a brief midseason run would be a challenge, though I hear the story might be reset for Season 2.
For one of the traditionally quietest nights on TV, there was a lot going on Friday in primetime. For one, the Ramsayfication of Fox continued anew with the return of Kitchen Nightmares last night and that seems to have been a good place to be. Back for its sixth season, Gordon’s weekly attempt to save a failing establishment kicked off with a 2-hour debut that saw Ramsay return to Scottsdale, Arizona and Amy’s Baking Company, which he stalked out of last year, and then head to Denver to help a struggling pizza joint. In its first spring premiere, the 8 PM (1.2/5) KN was up 33% from the 0.9/3 rating among adults 18-49 that its 1-hour October 26, 2012 Season 5 debut drew in the same slot. The 9 PM (1.1/4) airing last night saw a 22% rise over the last season opener. Time slot to slot, the restaurant makeover series was even last night with its last season finale on May 10, 2013. Read More »
The fall season has not quite officially started, but ABC rolled out its Friday lineup in force last night. It was a wild night but let’s start off with the less-than-bad news: Shark Tank(1.7/6) returned for its fifth season and pretty much held its ground. The entrepreneurial reality series saw a 6% dip from its September 14, 2012 Season 4 premiere. It also saw a 5% rise in viewership from last year’s opener to become the show’s most watched season debut yet. Building 42% on its 8:30 PM The Neighbors lead-in, Shark Tank was the highest rated and, with 6.68 million tuning in, most watched show of the night. However, despite significant growth over the past couple of seasons and formidable repeat results, the series’ Season 5 debut was down 11% from the finale of its previous cycle on May 17. It was also down from its Season 4 average of 1.9/6 in adults 18-49. Last night Shark Tank did beat its Season 4 viewership average of 6.54 million watching.
Last Man Standing(1.5/6) was first out of the gate from ABC at 8 PM with its Season 3 debut. Despite an appearance by some of the cast of A&E’s ratings blockbuster Duck Dynasty, the Tim Allen-led comedy fell 25% from its Season 2 debut on November 2, 2012. Compared to its March 22 season finale, which pulled in a 1.6/6 with 7.83 million watching, last night’s Last Man Standing dipped 6% among adults 18-49. Also, while a drop debut-to-debut, last night’s premiere was in line with Last Man’s season average last year. Moving from Tuesdays to Fridays last season, Last Man averaged a 1.5/5 and 6.88 million viewers. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Writer-producer Dan Fogelman, creator/executive producer of ABC’s The Neighbors, has closed an overall deal with ABC Studios, the studio behind the comedy series. Under the pact, Fogelman will continue to work on The Neighbors, which returns for a second season on September 20, while also developing new projects for the studio. Fogelman, who exec produces The Neighbors with Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan, is very important to ABC/ABC Studios’ parent the Disney Co. on the feature animation side. He is behind the blockbuster Pixar franchise Cars and also wrote hits Bolt and Tangled. Additionally, he penned Warner Bros’ Fred Claus and Crazy Stupid Love, and Paramount’s The Guilt Trip. Fogelman, repped by WME, Management 360 and Felker, Toczek, just wrapped the Al Pacino/Annette Bening starrer Imagine, which he wrote and directed, and he also wrote the upcoming Jon Turteltaub-directed Last Vegas starring Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro.
UPDATE SATURDAY 7:40 PM: It’s official, the deal has closed and The Neighbors has been renewed for next season.
PREVIOUS FRIDAY PM: Two members of ABC‘s freshman class, drama Nashville and comedy The Neighbors, will make it to a second season. The deal is not quite done for the Dan Fogelman comedy The Neighbors but is expected to close. Sophomores fared better, with four, red-hot Scandal, Open Upon A Time, Revenge and Last Man Standing all getting third season renewals. They’re joined by veterans Modern Family, The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy and Castle. ABC is expected to renew unscripted staples Shark Tank, Dancing With The Stars and The Bachelor on Monday.
The return of The Voicetook up two nights of primetime this week for NBC, now it’sAmerican Idol’s (3.1/9) turn for Fox. To celebrate judge Mariah Carey’s birthday and with Smokey Robinson as mentor, Wednesday’s two-hour live performance show paid homage to the music of Detroit Motor City. But the show was down 14% from last week’s final numbers and down 11% from its March 20 fast nationals — hitting an all-time Wednesday low. Both numbers are relevant because Idol has a tendency to adjust more than most in final numbers. Idol was watched by 12.03 million viewers last night. Oh, in case you forgot: The Voice and Idol will go head-to-head at least once this season on May 8 when the NBC show has scheduled a one-hour episode. Fox still won Wednesday in total viewers and the adults 18-49 demo. Read More »
On the second night of its three-night live round American Idol (3.7/10) saw a surprising flameout by contestant Charlie Askew over criticism from the judges. Besides the profound dismay from judge Nicki Minaj over Askew’s performance, the two-hour show also saw Idol continue its weekly Wednesday ratings slide. While a final numbers adjustment is likely, last night’s Idol slipped 3% in fast nationals from its February 28 show to hit a new in-season Wednesday result. That’s the fourth week in a row for the show to hit such a low and the worst Wednesday performances since Idol’s first season in summer 2002. Also down in total viewership with 12.7 million from last week’s 13.1 million, last night’s Idol was up 9% in fast nationals from Tuesday’s broadcast. With Idol as the most watched show of the night, Fox won Wednesday in total viewers and among Adults 18-49.
Survivor: Caramoan(2.5/7) saw the Fans team lose yet again to the Favorites. The second most watched show of the night with 9.36 million viewers and the second program of the night among the 18-49, the fourth week of the competition show’s 26th season dipped 4% from last week’s show. CBS ran repeats of Criminal Minds … Read More »
Following its three-script order earlier this month, ABC’s freshman comedy The Neighbors has received a back-nine order for a full-season 22-episode run. The alien comedy, from Cars writer Dan Fogelman, had a ratings uptick this past Wednesday in the 8:30 PM slot. Fogelman is executive producing with Aaron Kaplan.
Also getting a back-nine is sophomore ABC drama Scandal starring Kerry Washington. Shonda Rhimes’ drama entered the fall with a 13-episode order as it launched in midseason. It had been expected to continue and sealed its pickup with a solid ratings showing last Thursday. Both The Neighbors and Scandal were up a tenth from their previous airings last week to a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49. Both hail from ABC Studios. It was a bittersweet week for Rhimes, whose other series with a 13-episode order, Private Practice, did not get a back order. She also has Scandal‘s lead-in, Grey’s Anatomy. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Encouraging news for freshman ABC comedy The Neighbors. While ABC is yet to pull the trigger on any back orders for freshman series, the network has given a three-script order to new comedy The Neighbors. After a solid premiere behind Modern Family, The Neighbors logged a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating (Live+Same Day) last week, tied with ABC’s new drama Last Resort and above the rating for the third new ABC series that has premiered so far, drama 666 Park Ave (1.7). The Neighbors‘ retention of The Middle’s lead-in last week was 86%. Created by Disney Animation writer Dan Fogelman (Cars, Cars 2, Tangled), the alien comedy, which launched to mix reviews, stars Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito. ABC’s new fall series, soap Nashville, launches on Wednesday, followed by the Nov. 2 debut of new comedy Malibu Country.
Accurate ratings for the night’s top attraction, the first Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, won’t be available until later in the day. If the non-time zone adjusted fast nationals are any indication, the broadcast networks ran neck-in-neck in their coverage of the debate, with NBC in the lead.
Leading into the debate, NBC, ABC and CBS aired their regular lineups from 8-9 PM. There was some encouraging news for NBC’s freshman comedies Animal Practice (1.5/5) and especially Guys With Kids (1.8/5), which were up 7% and 13%, respectively, from their underwhelming time slot debuts last week for a rare Week 2 ratings bump. They were still topped in the hour by ABC’s comedies The Middle(2.2/7) and The Neighbors (2.0/6) but those shows were down 24% and 38%, respectively, from their openers last week. A dropoff for The Neighbors was expected as the rookie moved to its regular 8:30 PM slot after launching behind hit Modern Family last week. It also ranks as the most watched new comedy for a second consecutive week (6.6 million) and held onto an OK 91% of its Middle lead-in. Still, its predecessor in the slot, Suburgatory, was building on its Middle lead-in last fall. On Fox, The X Factor‘s first boot camp telecast (3.4/10) was up a tenth from the show’s fast national last Wednesday. Survivor: Philippines (2.9/9) was down a tenth … Read More »
Fox and its The X Factor (3.3/9 in adults 18-49, down 6% from last week’s fast nationals) won the first Wednesday of the season, which featured a slew of returning series opening lower than last fall, a respectable premiere for ABC’s The Neighbors and disappointing launch of NBC’s new Wednesday comedy block.
ABC’s Wednesday comedy lineup returned with an hourlong season premiere of The Middle (2.8/9), down 10% from last season’s hourlong opener, followed by the season premiere of Modern Family (5.5/15). The comedy, coming off another dominating performance at the Emmys on Sunday, was down 8% from last year’s debut. At 9:30 PM, the series premiere of new alien comedy The Neighbors (3.3/9) was actually up a tenth from the season premiere in the time slot of Happy Endings last fall with a so-so 60% retention of its Modern Family lead-in, up from 57% for Happy Ending‘s premiere last September. It was a good sampling opportunity for Neighbors, which is moving to its permanent 8:30 PM slot next week. ABC aired a Revenge recap at 10 PM.
NBC’s Wednesday comedy block of newbies Animal Practice (1.4/4) and Guys With Kids (1.6/5) got off to a slow start, with both series down sharply from their previews. The number is especially disappointing for Animal Practice given the show’s high-profile exposure — the entire pilot aired during the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. (Those Who fans angered by NBC’s decision to put on Animal Practice before the band’s closing ceremony performance must feel vindicated.) Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
What’s in a name? It turns out plenty, at least in the case of the new Wednesday night ABC comedy The Neighbors. Based on creator-exec producer Dan Fogelman’s dysfunctional New Jersey family, it stars Jami Gertz and has among its cast members a young actress named Clara Mamet. If the surname looks familiar, it should. Mamet is the daughter of famed playwright David Mamet and the sister of Zosia Mamet, a regular on the HBO comedy Girls. In the case of Zosia, there has been much grousing in the press over perceived nepotistic casting. But with regard to Clara, Fogelman maintained during a TCA panel this morning that no nepotism was involved — to an almost embarrassing degree. “We had no idea who Clara was when she came in and read for us”, he admitted. “We immediately put her on tape and sent it in to the network as our choice for that part. I didn’t find out until like a month later who she was…To be honest I just didn’t put it together, and in retrospect I should have”. Added Gertz: “She got it the old fashioned way. She auditioned for the part”. When asked if she thought it unfair for her sister to be dissed over getting cast on Girls, Mamet said, “I think my sister’s incredibly talented, I don’t think anyone should judge her based on her family. She got that job because she’s a great actress”. Fogelman followed by quipping, “I did cast Lenny because of who his father was” — speaking of costar Lenny Venito. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I hear that ABC is planning a tweak in its Wednesday fall schedule. New comedy The Neighbors, originally slated for the post-Modern Family 9:30 PM slot, will move to 8:30 PM, while Suburgatory, which was to stay put at 8:30 PM, will move to 9:30 PM. A switch to the 8 PM family hour would make sense for The Neighbors as it hails from Dan Fogelman, writer of such Disney animated hits as Cars and Tangled, and is more kids-friendly than the average network fare. It is about a regular family that moves into a gated community where everyone else is an alien. Additionally, after a promising freshman showing at 8:30 PM, a run behind Modern Family could lift Suburgatory to the next level. Here is a trailer for The Neighbors.
ABC’s The Neighbors - Comedy
Produced by ABC Studios. From writer/executive producer Dan Fogelman and executive producers Aaron Kaplan, Jeff Morton and Chris Koch. Directed by Chris Koch (pilot):
ABC’s 666 Park Avenue – Drama
Produced by Bonanza Productions in association with Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros Television. From writer/executive producer David Wilcox and executive producers Matthew Miller, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo. Directed by Alex Graves (pilot):