ABC Midseason Scheduling Moves Ship 'Happy Endings' to Fridays

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February 13th, 2013

via press release:

 

ABC ANNOUNCES MIDSEASON SCHEDULING MOVES


Celebrity Wife Swap” Returns with All-New Episodes Beginning

Tuesday, February 26 at 8:00 p.m., and “The Taste” Moves to 9:00 p.m. That Same Night

 “Happy Endings” Moves to Fridays at 8:00 p.m. Starting March 29

 

 ABC announces midseason scheduling moves, with “Celebrity Wife Swap,” the reality series that shines a light on how controversial celebrities really live their lives, returning on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26 from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET with all-new episodes, and competitive cooking show “The Taste” moving back an hour to 9:00-10:00 p.m., starting that same night. Beginning FRIDAY, MARCH 29, critically acclaimed comedy “Happy Endings” will move to Friday nights, airing back-to-back original episodes from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET.

Editors please note: The Friday night comedy block of “Last Man Standing” and “Malibu Country” will have aired their season finales prior to “Happy Endings” taking over that timeslot.

The February 26 season premiere of “Celebrity Wife Swap” features the unlikeliest of moms swapping lives -- “Splash” contestant and Playmate Kendra Wilkinson and reality super mom Kate Gosselin of “Kate Plus Eight” fame. “Celebrity Wife Swap” follows mothers in two celebrity families with very different values as they swap lifestyles, children and homes (but not bedrooms), for one week and embark on a journey like no other. They’re given the chance to see how another celebrity raises their children and deals with life in the spotlight, while allowing both couples the opportunity to re-discover why they love each other and why they decided to get together in the first place.

 
  • Rare

    Maybe a better comparison would be 30 Rock, which likely only survived past its terribly-rated early seasons because NBC moved it after The Office.

  • Ben

    Looks like Happy Endings won’t have such a happy ending being eaten by the Cancellation Bear.

  • Dan

    @Rare – But ultimately every post Modern Family series gets moved and fails on its own. Its like how no comedy can hold to the Bang Bang lead in (Two and a Half Men is an exception but that series launched Big Bang) Cougar Town, Happy Endings and Apartment 23 are all recent examples and Suburgatory may be the next show moved off the Wednesday island (Though I expect it to get syndication)

    @Marc – While I agree LMS and MC will look better by comparison to HE, I think HE bad performance wont be an indicator to ABC to renew the Friday comedies I think honestly they could go either way. ABC could cancel them both, renew both or renew just Last Man Standing. I don’t see a scenario where they renew just Malibu Country however.

    In terms of ABC’s comedies all I can say is that Modern Family, The Middle and Suburgatory will be on the schedule next fall. Thats something thats certain. As for The Neighbors, Happy Endings, Last Man Standing and Malibu Country, we’ll see.

  • Ultima

    @Rare
    They moved it, and it hurt both HE and the timeslot it was in.

    Yes, Happy Endings was hurt by the move. Presumably, ABC thought Happy Endings could stand on its own in its third season and was hoping to find a show that could hold more of Modern Family’s audience. They were wrong.

    However, the timeslot was not hurt. Originals in that timeslot are down 19% year-to-year, primarily due to Modern Family being down 17%.

    Arguably, Suburgatory should have stayed at 8:30pm as The Neighbors is dropping audience from The Middle, but that really has nothing to do with Happy Endings (as ABC was originally going to air The Neighbors at 9:30pm).

  • Patrick Gillease

    So much for ABC’s idea of bringing back TGIF comedies. I expect not only “Happy Endings,” but “Last Man Standing” and “Malibu Country ALL to be canceled. They’re just burning off episodes now. I hope this teaches ABC a long-overdue lesson! ENOUGH with comedy. You have too much as it is. Just leave Wednesdays alone for God’s sake! Bumping established shows and constantly trying so many new comedies on that night is just alienating (pardon the pun) viewers. “The Middle,” “The Neighbors,” “Modern Family,” and “Suburgatory” are doing fine. Stop messing with success! “Happy Endings” wouldn’t be in cancellationville if it had just been left on Wednesdays!! Ditto for “Cougar Town.” I’m glad the latter is doing well for TBS. I’m actually watching TBS now just because of “Cougar”!! “Happy Endings” following CT next year on TBS would be a welcome hour of viewing!

  • Joseph

    For ABC, moving “Happy Endings” to Fridays probably means a burn-off.

    In fact, I truly believe that next year at this time, CBS will be the only English-language broadcast network that will be broadcasting first-run scripted shows on Friday nights.

    Next season, ABC and NBC will both probably have a mix of reality and magazines on Fridays, while Fox and the CW will likely both have a reality show and a rerun on Friday nights.

  • T

    RIP The funniest show on TV

  • Ultima

    @Rare
    Maybe a better comparison would be 30 Rock, which likely only survived past its terribly-rated early seasons because NBC moved it after The Office.

    30 Rock had improved during its second season to earn a renewal for a third without The Office as a lead-in. While it’s impossible to know how season 3 and 4 would have gone without the big lead-in, it’s not like it had any competition from other NBC comedies. It still would have reached syndication, although it may not have lasted seven seasons.

    On the other hand, Happy Endings did have significant competition from other ABC comedies last year – had it not had Modern Family as a lead-in, it likely wouldn’t have made the schedule this season.

  • Ultima

    @Joseph
    In fact, I truly believe that next year at this time, CBS will be the only English-language broadcast network that will be broadcasting first-run scripted shows on Friday nights.

    That’s because you’re inept at predicting what’s going to happen.

  • Dan

    @TerryJacksonNYC – Initially Samantha Who was the highest rated comedy Fall 2007 after DWTS back when DWTS was getting Voice like numbers. ABC moved it and it got cancelled in its second season.

    @Rare – 30 Rock survived because NBC loved the show so much. It did have a ratings uptick here and there but mostly the series was low rated. Same with Parks & Rec and Community. Only survived because of a combination of NBC’s love for the shows, the fact that they were acclaimed, syndication, but ratings were garbage overall but good for NBC’s lowering standards.

  • Bern

    Now I have no hopes of Happy Endings getting renewed. Unless it improves from Tuesdays ratings. Hopefully this upcoming Fall ABC airs comedy shows on Fridays.
    8 – Last Man Standing
    8:30 – Malibu Country
    9 – Happy Endings
    9:30 – New Comedy (something similar to HE with notable actors)

  • Joe Robby

    Bah…not a good sign.

    I’ll still watch as this is my favorite sitcom on tv right now, and try to be optimistic. Maybe they’ll market it as a 20/30-something “pre-game” for Friday nights. Especially given Elisha Cuthbert’s Maxim cover.

    If it gets cancelled, I’ll still enjoy the laughs HE gave and will give me until the end.

    Either way, I’ll be a fan until the end…

  • forg

    How did ABC treat HE. It had bad ratings in season 1 yet it was renewed and moved to the cushy Modern Family slot and it lost its lead in yet again renewed. Network cancel flops and this is a flop.

    This. I love Happy Endings but weren’t people complaining when ABC renewed it and gave the cushy post MF slot? If ABC let HE stayed on that night people would still complain like how many people complained when Private Practice and Brothers and Sisters stayed on their post-Greys/DH slot for years and not using it to boost a new show?

    It just didn’t click and I can see why, the show is just appealing to such a narrow audience.

  • forg

    I don’t live in the US so I can’t say anything about on air promotion but at least online, ABC promoted the hell out the HE-A23 block when they were about to premiere as every TV-related I visit I saw those ads. I still think having the block was wrong from the get-go but they put an effort to this one unlike Scrubs-Better Of Ted pairing years ago

  • Chris

    LMS has been retooled, made cast changes and moved to a new night. Not just any new night but the supposed “Friday Night Death Slot”. Last Friday it almost got a 1.6 with 7 million viewers. I for one, wonder how Last Man Standing would do if it were put on Wednesday night whether it be after The Middle or Modern Family. I hope Happy Endings, hangs tough though. It be pretty cool to see it get like a consistent 1.3 or 1.4 on Fridays.

  • alvar

    @Rare

    I think that after a season in the post Modern Family slot, Happy Endings (or any other good comedy) should be able to stand on its own. I think cancellation is justified in this case. Suburgatory, which launched at 8.30pm, is not reliant on a Modern Family lead in. Although arguably it performed better at 8.30pm as it was more compatible with The Middle.

  • Warren

    I’ve never seen Happy Endings but I’ve heard people say it would have been a good match with Cougar Town when both were on ABC. I wonder if there’s a chance TBS could be interested in HE too if ABC cancel it?

  • pete5125

    On the Thur night NBC thing, Friends was a huge hit and costed a fortune, so did ER, Sienfild, Will&Grace, Frasier….

    So NBC wanting to launch shows and save money would always use a show 2 years or younger after Friends, and their 9PM show to make the night still be a success and to be financially sound.

    And they built a good amount of moderate to huge hits…

    3rd Rock, Just Shoot Me, Newsradio, Veronicas Closet, Caroline In The City, Suddenly Susan, Frasier, and many more in an 8 year period…not to bad

    got to give ABC credit they started with nothing 4 seasons ago and 3 of the 4 show will be syndicated next season

  • steve

    HE is almost at syndication numbers—doesn’t that mean anything as far as money for ABC?

    Do you think TBS will pick up HE if it is dropped by ABC like they did with Cougar Town? Why would ABC leave a show on their schedule for 3 seasons and then just cancel it without any chance for syndication?

  • Colin

    While people are talking about Friday comedies in general, I have an opinion on LMS and MC. I think those shows are only doing as well as they are on Fridays because the shows are geared to older people. And older people don’t go out on Friday’s as much as the youngsters. Now if you put a show like “The Big Bang Theory” or “Community” on Fridays, it could start tanking because their target audience is out and about.

    Happy Endings is not a show for Fridays. LMS and MC can survive there, but not much else can. This is why I think hope for HE is quickly fleeting. Or it could be picked up by a channel like TBS, since it is gearing towards comedy right now. But for ABC, HE’s days are numbered.

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