NBC is “pre-emptively” re-envisioning its programming plans, including cutting orders for two series slated to roll out at midseason. Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports that the comedies “Superstore,” starring America Ferrera, and “Hot & Bothered,” starring Eva Longoria, each had their orders reduced to 11 episodes, down from 13.
“The move comes as NBC brass are starting to put together the network’s midseason schedule,” Andreeva writes. “I hear the two single-camera comedies were about halfway through production on their 13-episode orders, allowing for the reduction. The network’s third new midseason comedy, the multicamera ‘Crowded,’ is said to be further along, so it is expected to complete its 13-episode pickup. (As a multi-cam, it also is less expensive to produce.)”
The moves are said to be part of the network’s plan to remain in original programming throughout the season without stretching the budget. NBC has the Summer Olympics coming up in 2016, along with political coverage, with both events reportedly squeezing the prime-time budget.
“Additionally, NBC brass believe that a 10-11-episode run is long enough to inform them of a new show’s performance potential,” Andreeva notes.
The report points out that NBC, which was once the gold standard in prime-time comedy, has not had much success in the genre lately.
“It has on the fewest half-hour series (two) among the Big 4 networks this fall, an hourlong block on the lower-profile Friday night,” Andreeva reports. “It consists of ‘Undateable,’ which airs live, and new comedy ‘Truth Be Told.’ The former started its third season soft but logged an encouraging Week 2 uptick, while the latter got off to a low start.”