NBC Pulls Sunnyside From Schedule, Making It Fall TV’s First Casualty

Will & Grace will replace it on Thursdays beginning next week

Last week, Sunnyside’s third episode averaged just 1.2 million viewers, and a 0.3 rating in the 18-49 demo.
John P. Fleenor/NBC

Sunnyside has become the first casualty of the new TV season.

NBC is pulling the show from the schedule following Thursday’s episode, which will be its fourth. Sunnyside stars Kal Penn (who also executive produces) as a disgraced New York City councilman who tries to redeem himself by helping a diverse group of people become American citizens.

In its place, NBC will bring back Will & Grace for its 11th and final season. That series will debut Thursday, Oct. 24 at 9:30 pm ET.

Through the first three weeks of the season, Sunnyside was the lowest-rated series of the big four broadcasters in both the 18-49 demo and total viewers. Last week, Sunnyside’s third episode averaged just 1.2 million viewers with a 0.3 rating in the demo.

While Sunnyside will no longer air on the network, NBC will stream the show’s remaining seven episodes weekly on NBC.com, the NBC app and its digital platforms. Even as it has pulled the plug on the series, NBC extended the original Sunnyside order for 10 episodes by one. NBC says it still has hopes for the show on digital, noting that the show’s debut episode, which had a 0.4 demo rating in live-plus-same-day, grew to a 1.0 rating with digital and delayed viewing.

Will & Grace should give the time slot an immediate ratings boost. Last season, the series averaged a 1.5 demo rating in live-plus-7.

Before the season, NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy told Adweek that the Thursday night comedy lineup was his network’s biggest swing this fall: “There is a very big strategic outcome wrapped up in the decisions around the comedies [Perfect Harmony and Sunnyside], which is [that] we are going big as a company into the legacy of the NBC comedy brand. We are going to be continuing to build Thursday night as a destination for the smartest comedies on television.”

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