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CBS continues to reign at the top of the major networks when it comes to sitcoms, and the latest success has been Life in Pieces. Currently #1 of all of the new comedies that premiered in the fall of 2015, the unusual format of Life in Pieces has made it difficult to guess if it is capable of sustaining its numbers. Fortunately, the laughs and viewers have been aplenty, and CBS has officially announced the decision to order Life in Pieces to a full season of 22 episodes.
The show premiered its pilot on September 21 to an impressive 11.28 million viewers. Although ratings have dropped since the first episode, Life in Pieces has found a steady audience that has kept its weekly viewers around the 8 million mark.
Life in Pieces follows three generations of the Short family, with each episode distinctly broken up into four smaller vignette stories. The stories are always connected – even if only loosely – and the episodes have been surprisingly cohesive for such a relatively experimental format. Every sitcom from Friends to Modern Family has broken up installments into A-stories and B-stories, but Life in Pieces is set apart, thanks to developing a way of separating stories into mini episodes per half hour.
Life in Pieces has managed to assure that there is something for everybody of any age in a given episode. Tackling everything from kids growing up to aging to sexuality in an overcrowded lifestyle, the ups and downs of the Short family have been a surprisingly relatable pleasure to watch.
The stellar cast of familiar faces certainly hasn’t hurt the appeal or success of the comedy. Betsy Brandt and Colin Hanks together make one of the married couples of the series, and formidable acting forces James Brolin and Dianne Wiest combine as the top tier of the three-generation show.
Life in Pieces helps to solidify CBS’ sitcom dominance in recent years brought about by shows such 2 Broke Girls and juggernaut Big Bang Theory. Since its premiere, Life has aired on Mondays in the block directly after Big Bang Theory, which undoubtedly has helped to garner its good numbers. With the season premiere of Supergirl on Monday night, however, CBS will be changing up its lineup and moving both Life in Pieces and The Big Bang Theory to Thursday nights. Life will now lead into Big Bang Theory.
It should be noted that an early season scheduling switcheroo does not always bode well for the future of a freshman series, but being tied to the network’s #1 comedy would certainly keep Life afloat even if it were not so enjoyable on its own. CBS placing the 22-episode order is a sign of faith in the series that promises plenty of laughs for fans in the weeks to come.
Life in Pieces will air on Thursday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.