ABC is giving full-season pickups to freshman comedy The Neighbors and returning drama Scandal.
Nope, Scandal didn’t already have one. Second-season shows often get full season orders, but ABC has been cautious with the Shonda Rhimes political soap. But in the wake of its reasonably steady performance on Thursdays this fall, Scandal is now getting an extra nine episodes and its first full season. (Scandal is averaging 8.1 million viewers and a 2.5 in adults 18-49, plus a hearty 45 percent DVR boost).
As for Neighbors, it’s been the weakest link in ABC’s Wednesday night comedy block, but hasn’t been nearly the disaster that critics had predicted/hoped. The comedy has averaged 6.8 million viewers and 2.0 in the demo with DVR.
Still no word on ABC’s freshman dramas. We’re told the network will likely decide on Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue this week or early next week. Get this: They’ve averaged exactly the same not-good demo rating. But Last Resort (9.1 million, 2.3) has a much harder job opening Thursdays against huge competition and delivers a bigger overall audience compared to Sunday’s 666 (6.5 million, 2.3). However, Last Resort just went down – but that’s a military-themed show against the World Series, so are you really going to hold that against them?
ABC would love more time to wait and see for both. But the network has to decide whether to continue them soon in order to keep the two respective productions on schedule. Sources emphasize that despite having dramas waiting in the wings for midseason (like Zero Hour and Red Widow), that this is not a “dark room one knife” situation. But after seeing 666 post very modest numbers for Sunday’s Halloween episode, I’d put odds on Last Resort over 666 at this point (I mean, come on, if your horror series called 666 can’t bring a ratings bump for a Halloween episode…). Plus, remember that Private Practice is getting cancelled after its 13 episodes run out, so that frees up a slot too.
ABC has more breathing room on Nashville, which has aired fewer episodes than the other two. If the country music drama can keep its head above a 2.0 in the demo in the overnights (which is exactly what the show earned this week), it’s a fair bet ABC will give the show a full season.