ABC has started its fall comedy house cleaning, canceling one series, and ordering more episodes of three others.
First up, the James Caan/Maggie Lawson fronted baseball comedy 'Back in the Game' has been effectively axed after airing only six of its 13 produced episodes. While the show won't be pulled from the schedule, ABC declined to order any more episodes, which is basically the same thing as officially canceling it. The seven remaining episodes will continue to air as scheduled, but may not continue airing in the Wednesday 8:30 timeslot.
Next, ABC picked up the back-nine episodes of its freshman comedy with the highest average ratings, that being 'The Goldbergs.' While the '80s set family sitcom starring Jeff Garlin has been experiencing noticeable drops as of late, the first few episodes retained a commendable amount of their 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' lead-in. Impressively, the show retained its previous 1.7 rating this week, despite airing behind a 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' re-run for the first time.
Struggling Malin Akerman/Bradley Whitford comedy 'Trophy Wife' has also been granted its back-nine, despite its most recent episode dipping to a meager 1.2. rating. It's a bit puzzling that ABC chose to keep this show going, while axing the much better rated 'Back in the Game.' Working in 'Trophy Wife's favor is the fact that it is owned by ABC, while 'Back' is not, and executives are apparently happier with 'Trophy's creative direction. Still, it feels strange to be reporting that a sitcom drawing 1.7s has been canceled, while another sitcom drawing 1.2s is getting more episodes from the same network.
Finally, the Rebel Wilson vehicle 'Super Fun Night' is receiving four more episodes this season, for a total of 17. That's certainly not the same show of confidence that 'Goldbergs' and 'Trophy' got, but it's definitely better than ending up like 'Back in the Game.' The Conan O'Brien produced comedy started the season off very strong. Unfortunately, every week sees it lose a little more of its gigantic 'Modern Family' lead-in audience. This past Wednesday's episode, like 'Game' and 'Goldbergs,' drew a 1.7.
Did 'Back in the Game' deserve to get benched? Do 'The Goldbergs,' 'Trophy Wife,' and 'Super Fun Night' deserve more episodes?