There's bad news and good news for fans of ABC's Tuesday comedy block. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 has been pulled from the schedule, effective immediately, while Happy Endings will start airing back-to-back original episodes starting Jan. 29.
A network rep confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that the change takes place next week, following tonight's special two-hour premiere of The Taste and weeks of shuffling for both Apartment 23 and Happy Endings.
After the two comedies were given an early end date in March to accommodate ABC's midseason schedule, the network announced plans to air three "bonus" episodes of each in the vacated 10 p.m. Sunday slot before ditching the third round for an encore of Shark Tank after low ratings.
This latest development also comes two weeks after ABC Network Groups president Paul Lee told reporters at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour that a decision on the future of both Apartment 23 and Happy Endings was yet to be made.
"We love those two shows. They're incredibly distinctive, and they’re water-cooler shows," he said, noting that he planned to continue supporting the series throughout the season. He stopped short of commenting on whether either show will live beyond their current orders (22 episodes for Happy Endings and 18 episodes for Apartment 23).
For Apartment 23, the move marks the latest in its wonky scheduling. The series launched as a midseason show last year with multiple episodes shelved to run out of sequence this season, including a story line involving co-star James Van Der Beek as a Dancing With the Stars contestant that only recently aired.
And Happy Endings, itself a midseason show in 2011, saw its full order come to a quick close last season to accommodate new entries. An unaired season two episode only finally made it to air two Sundays ago.
Happy Endings, airing at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, has performed significantly stronger than Apartment 23 since the lineup launched earlier this season. It's currently averaging a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 4 million viewers in live plus same day returns. Apartment 23 has a season average of a 1.2 adults rating and 3 million viewers.
No decision has been made on when or where the eight unaired episodes of Apartment 23 will land.