ABC this afternoon has made its comedy pickup calls, giving Back 9, full-season orders to The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife and a Back 4 order (four additional episodes) to Super Fun Night. The network is not picking up more episodes of its fourth freshman comedy, Back In The Game, which won’t be pulled and will air the remainder of its original 13-episode order.
ABC put the biggest promotional muscle on the comedy side behind The Goldbergs, from Sony TV, which was a favorite of the network brass and considered most likely to continue. The pickup was sealed after the 1980s comedy became the only ABC freshman half-hour to build on its lead-in this Tuesday, going up 42% from a Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. repeat and holding its rating from the previous week despite its lead-in shrinking dramatically.
Three of ABC’s freshman comedies pulled a 1.7 18-49 rating this week: the picked-up The Goldbergs and Super Fun Night and the cancelled Back In The Game. While the lowest rated among the four first-year ABC comedies, Trophy Wife – which drew a 1.4 this week — is the only one without an established lead-in, the only one owned by ABC, and it has a lot of support at the network. The Malin Akerman starrer also has been airing with virtually no marketing support. Back In The Game, from 20th TV, has shown solid lead-in retention and viewership numbers and has James Caan, while Super Fun Night, from Warner Bros. TV boasts Rebel Wilson. The decision to go with Super Fun Night likely was tied to Wilson’s fan appeal as the show just posted a new low with its lead-in, Modern Family, airing a repeat this week.