USA isn’t completely out of the half-hour comedy game.

The cable channel has picked up a third season of “Playing House,” it announced Thursday at the winter TV press tour. On-air ratings were not great — Season 2 averaged only about 414,000 viewers — but a nontraditional release schedule that got solid on-demand viewing and branded content featuring stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham helped tip the scale to renewal.

“Not only is this a show for the ages, [but] ‘Playing House’ also represents a whole new way of financing production with its unique partnership of ad sales, Comcast, studio and network,” Jeff Wachtel, head of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, says in a statement.

Season 2 episodes of “Playing House” debuted on demand before they aired on USA. That helped double the VOD audience vs. Season 1 — and meant that viewers watched more ads, since fast-forwarding through commercials is typically disabled on VOD.

“Playing House,” which will return in the summer, joins these shows that have been renewed for 2016 and beyond.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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