ABC today became the latest broadcast network to make its full-season pickups, handing out back-nine orders to freshman comedy Better With You and drama No Ordinary Family. Additionally, the network has picked up 5 additional episodes from freshman cop drama Detroit 1-8-7 and 4 from veteran family drama Brothers & Sisters. Missing from the list is new legal drama The Whole Truth, which already has been on shaky ground and is preempted again next week. The series will stay on the air but the network doesn’t plan to order more episodes beyond the original 13. The episodic orders follow the pickup of 4 additional scripts each for No Ordinary Family and Brothers & Sisters 2 weeks ago. It brings the order for Brothers & Sisters to a full-season 22 episodes, up from the 18 ordered in May, meaning that ABC is probably considering a change in its launch plans for midseason drama Off the Map, which was to premiere in Brothers & Sisters Sunday 10 PM slot. (Off the Map also recently received an order for an additional script.)
Overall, comedies have fared better than dramas among freshmen this fall. Besides Fox’s Running Wilde, whose chances are not very good, all other new half-hour series have already received full-season orders: ABC’s Better with You, Fox’s Raising Hope, CBS’ Mike & Molly and $#*! My Dad Says and NBC’s Outsourced. For comparison, 3 new dramas have already been yanked: ABC’s My Generation, Fox’s Lone Star and NBC’s Outlaw, and ABC’s The Whole Truth is not looking rosy either. Better with You, from Shana Goldberg-Meehan and Warner Bros. TV, has been the lowest-rated comedy in ABC’s Wednesday comedy block but has showed solid lead-in retention. For the past couple of weeks, the family comedy has been averaging a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49, holding onto 80%+ of the The Middle demo lead-in. No Ordinary Family, co-created by Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman, has been slipping since its premiere but still delivers respectable numbers in the highly competitive Tuesday 8 PM slot. Last week, it delivered a 2.2 demo rating. The Michael Imperioli starrer Detroit 1-8-7 most recently logged a 1.8 in the Tuesday 10 PM period. Detroit, No Ordinary Family and Bros & Sis are produced by ABC Studios.