NBC’s Thursday night comedy block has been buried in the ratings, thanks to a night of television that includes The Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and The Millers. With those shows in mind, it's easy to see why NBC’s new lineup of shows hasn’t really been able to find its footing in the ratings. The network has already cancelled new comedy Welcome to the Family, and Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show haven’t done particularly well. Which is why it was a bit of a surprise to learn NBC has ordered additional episodes of the comedy.
This week, NBC announced that Sean Saves the World will live on for a few additional half-hour slots. Per the new order, the comedy will be getting five new episodes, bringing the show’s total episode count to 18. In some ways, this is great news because it means the show will have more time to find a rhythm before NBC decides whether or not to bring the comedy back for a second season. However, the order also doesn’t show total confidence in the series, since it’s not for the full back nine.
Honestly, I think it’s more than kind that NBC has even given Sean Saves the World an extra five episodes. According to Deadline, the extra episodes have come after Sean Saves the World posted a 28% gain in the ratings this week. If that sounds like a huge uptick, it is, but don’t let those numbers fool you too much. NBC’s sole veteran comedy on Thursday nights, Parks and Recreation, has been pulled from the schedule for a few weeks to support an additional night of The Voice during its battle rounds. NBC will only be able to piggyback on The Voice for a few weeks before it returns to its regularly scheduled programming and the ratings (more than likely) go back to normal.
The only other thing Sean Saves the World could potentially have going for it is critical reception, and that also hasn’t been particularly warm. I actually thought the series knew what it wanted to be immediately and while some of its jokes were old hat, I didn’t hate the Sean Hayes vehicle. Then again, I haven’t tuned in consistently, either.
Sean Saves the World is the second new NBC series that has earned at least some of its back order. The Blacklist has also done quite well, and will air an additional nine episodes, bringing its Season 1 count all the way up to 22. Additionally, before The Michael J. Fox Show aired, the network worked out a deal with those parties involved that the Season 1 comedy would produce 22 episodes and that NBC would air all of those episodes. So, if you are a fan of the latter show, rest assured, it’s not going anywhere until the end of the season.
For now, fans of NBC’s Thursday night comedy block can breathe a little easy, knowing that some of the network’s newest shows aren’t going anywhere. Still, NBC has a lot of thinking to do before it puts together its Thursday night lineup next TV season.