full season pickup
Though 'Once' has only aired two episodes so far, it's already the highest-rated new drama of the season, managing an average 12.3 million viewers and a robust 4.0 rating in the coveted adults 18-49 demo. Allen's male-skewing comedy has seen some audience erosion since its premiere, but it's still performing well on Tuesday nights (12.7 million and a 3.7 demo), where ABC had previously struggled to make an impact.
Sophomore comedy 'Happy Endings' has seen series-high ratings in recent weeks, and finally seems to be catching on with viewers in its post-'Modern Family' slot, which has earned it a full 22 episodes. (Ah-mah-zing!)
Bad news for 'Pan Am' and 'Man Up' though ...
Early buzz on Modern Family particularly brought people to sample the wares, and luckily that show delivered. The Middle has been impressive as well, and would probably fare even better if it switched places with Cougar Town. Courteney Cox's latest vehicle is much better than I expected, but not up to the creative caliber of its lead-ins.
As for Hank? Well, it is the only multi-camera comedy on the night, so it stands out a bit in that respect. Oh, and its derivative and lacking in any originality or, and this one can be a bit of a problem, comedy. So there's that to deal with as well.
So, knowing all that, we have to acknowledge when a network does something right. NBC is bending over backwards to see to it that Chuck becomes a ratings hit, to go along with its already established and growing fan base. Creator Josh Schwartz expressed his thanks to NBC for the post- Super Bowl Chuck episode. The Super Bowl is Sunday, February 1.
"They were doing this big promotion inside of the Super Bowl and handing out 150 million 3-D glasses, so we are the beneficiaries of that. ...Chuck seemed like the best fit for that type of thing."
The term is called a "back-nine" order, which means that the adventures of a geek-turned-reluctant super spy, will be on NBC for all of 2008-09. The vagaries of the demographics and Nielsens notwithstanding, NBC is betting on Chuck.
The comedy-adventure is entering its sophomore season, returning on Monday, September 29, at 8 E.T. Apparently, the powers-that-be at NBC -- Ben Silverman -- have liked the shows that are currently in the can.
Assuming they're right, Chuck will pick up right where it left off last year with sharp characters, funny stories and the right blend of action and laughs. It's not an easy mix, although when it works -- like Chuck and Burn Notice -- it makes for terrific TV.
Much like the confidence it showed in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip by giving it a full season order, NBC has done the same with the Tuesday night high school football drama Friday Night Lights.
NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said they were "proud to reward an authentic, poignant series like Friday Night Lights." My guess? They take the show off of Tuesday nights, much like they plan to take Studio 60 off of Monday nights. It will be interesting to see NBC's new lineup, which will be revealed some time this week.
It's actually great to see a network realize that these are both quality shows that deserve to be on the air and just need some time to grow. Is Jordan McDeere in charge over at NBC?
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