CBS today announced that it has given back-nine orders for its three remaining comedy series: The Millers, The Crazy Ones and Mom.
The seemingly inevitable full-season pickups were made shortly after Thursday night’s fast national ratings were released.
“We’re proud of CBS’ leadership position in comedy and excited to build on it with the back-nine pickups of these three new comedies,” said CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler, by way of announcing the orders. “These series are creatively distinct, continue to improve each week and are led by strong showrunners, writing and production staffs, and feature amazingly talented casts.”
Starring Will Arnett, Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges, The Millers is the most-watched, highest-rated freshman comedy series. In the course of its first three episodes, the Greg Garcia (Raising Hope) sitcom is averaging 12.3 million viewers and a 3.2 in the adults 25-54 demo.
Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mad Men’s James Wolk star in the ad agency comedy The Crazy Ones, which was created by David E. Kelley. Through four episodes, The Crazy Ones is averaging 11.6 million viewers and a 2.9 in the demo.
The Millers enjoys the benefit of leading out of The Big Bang Theory, the No. 1 scripted series on broadcast TV.
Chuck Lorre’s latest CBS sitcom, Mom, stars Anna Faris and Allison Janney. The show is averaging 7.32 million viewers and a 2.2 rating in its Monday 9:30 p.m. time slot. Mom goes head-to-head with the last half hours of The Voice, Dancing With the Stars and Sleepy Hollow.
The success of CBS’ new crop of comedies flies in the face of the prevailing trend. Season to date, only three new comedies are drawing a 2.0 rating or higher: ABC’s Super Fun Night (2.6), The Goldbergs (2.2) and Back in the Game (2.0). (The Goldbergs’ average is a bit misleading; after bowing Sept. 24 to 8.94 million viewers and a 3.1 in the dollar demo, the show’s most recent installment dropped to 5.05 million viewers and a 1.6 rating.)
NBC’s trio of new Thursday night comedies are the lowest-rated of the bunch, as The Michael J. Fox Show is drawing a disappointing 1.7 in the demo, while Sean Saves the World (1.2) and Welcome to the Family (0.9) look like goners.
Fox may have a keeper in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which would probably do better than a 1.8 if it weren’t leading out of Dads (1.6). Meanwhile, ABC’s weakest newcomer is Trophy Wife, which averages a 1.6 rating in the Tuesday 9:30 p.m. slot.
CBS hasn’t been wholly immune to the comedy curse—after falling to a 1.8 rating in its second airdate (Oct. 7), We Are Men was given the quick hook.
Of course, lousy comedy development is nothing new. Of the 13 new sitcoms introduced over the course of the 2012-13 broadcast season, only two (Fox’s The Mindy Project and ABC’s The Neighbors) were renewed. Mindy is currently drawing a 1.5 on Tuesday night, while The Neighbors is eking out a 1.0 in its Friday night time slot.
While the networks have been quick to tout their respective live-plus-three-day and live-seven-day deliveries, the C3 currency doesn’t seem to be giving the new comedies much of a lift. While the Sept. 24 installment of Brooklyn Nine-Nine improved two-tenths of a point to a 2.0 upon application of C3 data, Dads only grew a tenth to a 1.6. That same week, The Michael J. Fox Show and The Crazy Ones both improved two-tenths of a point.
The rest of the new comedies were flat after the C3 numbers were processed. The premiere of Mom was steady with a 2.5 rating, as were The Goldbergs (3.1), Trophy Wife (2.3) and Back in the Game (2.2).