ABC has put out its first order for additional content on a freshman series this season. The order goes to an unlikely candidate: the critically panned The Neighbors, which is helped by a runtime sandwiched between ABC’s popular comedies The Middle and Modern Family on Wednesday evenings.

Granted, ABC has not gone so far as to order a full season of the comedy, which follows a family living in a neighborhood otherwise populated by a group of aliens posing as humans. Instead, the network has ordered scripts for three additional episodes of the series. Regardless, THR is musing the move likely means ABC is at least leaning to a full series pick-up.

ABC’s The Neighbors may have been my least favorite pilot of the 2012 season thus far. It's jokes are cringe-worthy and I can't believe it came from the same brain as the guy who wrote Tangled and Cars. However, the series has retained a good 86% of its initial audience, which is a big deal, since The Neighbors aired after Modern Family for its first episode and now airs before the hit ensemble comedy. The show also managed to beat NBC’s Guys with Kids last week, which is it’s only comedic competition in the timeslot. We’ll have to wait and see how the series fares after Suburgatory is added back into the lineup.

You can catch ABC's The Neighbors on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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