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August 29, 2014

TV Land Renews 'Retired at 35,' Extends 'Hot in Cleveland,' Picks Up Two New Sitcoms

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 21st 2011 5:00PM
'Retired at 35'The other day we revisited the concept of Channel Drift, where cable channels drift away from their original concepts, even while keeping their old names. We didn't mention TV Land, but they're not far away from being considered for that category. They're going from a network that showed classic sitcoms to one that's showing new sitcoms that look and seem classic.

The network has announced that they're picking up a second season of the sitcom 'Retired at 35,' and they've ordered a first season for two new sitcoms: Fran Drescher's 'Happily Divorced' and 'The Exes,' which will star Wayne Knight, David Alan Basche, Donald Faison and Kristen Johnston. They also announced that they've increased their third season order for the hit 'Hot in Cleveland' from 22 to 24 episodes.

The descriptions of the new shows are as high-concept as 'Hot' and 'Retired.' In 'Divorced,' Drescher plays a woman who has to deal with dating again after her long-time husband (John Michael Higgins) says he's gay. It's not-so-loosely based on Drescher's former marriage to Peter Marc Jacobson, who is co-producing the show.

'The Exes' is about three recently divorced men (Faison, Knight and Basche) who live in an apartment across the hall from their divorce attorney (Johnston), who is also their landlord. It's written by Marc Reisman of 'Frasier' fame; he's also an executive producer.

'Happily Divorced' will be paired with new episodes of 'Hot in Cleveland' in June, and the other two shows will air in the winter.

In the press release announcing the moves, network president Larry W. Jones said, "'Hot in Cleveland' and 'Retired at 35' have proven to us that our audience is hungry for new sitcoms with relatable, experienced characters and smart, contemporary writing. We're looking forward to an amazing year working with all of this wonderful talent."

For now, the formula seems to be set: veteran stars, high concepts and episodes that don't require from its audience more than a readiness to laugh. So far, it's worked with 'Hot in Cleveland.' 'Retired at 35' has done OK for TV Land, but there was no reason for the network to move away from the show, given their desire to build a schedule.

Will people continue to embrace the network and not lament its slow movement away from classic reruns? Stranger things have happened; it wasn't very long ago that AMC was just showing old movies, right?

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