All remaining freshman series on NBC got some good news today. Three, The Event, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outsourced, have been picked up for the rest of the season with back-nine orders. A similar pickup for Chase is said to be pending, while I hear Undercovers is close to receiving an order for additional scripts, said to be in 4-6. All renewed series, The Event, LOLA and Outsourced, hail from sister studio UMS. Chase is from Warner Bros. TV, and deals with outside studios sometime take longer (In this case, it hear the holdup has to do with digital rights). Also close to a full-season order at NBC is the WBTV-produced spy dramedy Chuck, a fan favorite that has gone through its fair share of dramatic last-minute renewals. Its deal is being held up by the same rights issues, with both the Chase and Chuck pickups expected to be finalized tomorrow.
Neither of NBC’s new scripted series has broken through, with most struggling in the ratings and one, legal drama Outlaw, already cancelled. But in her statement, NBC’s primetime entertainment president Angela Bromstad indicated that the network brass didn’t focus on the ratings when making the decision. “We are pleased with the quality of The Event, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outsourced, and feel they are an important part of helping to re-build our schedule and our studio pipeline,” she said. “We believe in these new series and the creative auspices behind them.”
The Event launched as NBC’s most promising new drama with strong premiere week ratings but has been consistently dropping since. (It regularly regains some ground in Live+7 ratings as it is solid DVR performer.) Through Oct. 11, Event has averaged a 3.0/7 in 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers overall. LOLA has had a similar trajectory, with two 20%+ week-to-week declines. Season-to-date, it has averaged a 2.5/7 share in 18-49 and 8.7 million viewers. Outsourced, NBC’s newest Thursday night comedy, has averaged a 3.0/8 share in 18-49 and 6.3 million viewers overall. The pickup for Outsourced creates a dilemma for NBC on Thursdays come midseason when Parks & Recreation is waiting to rejoin the network’s Thursday lineup, raising speculation that NBC may open a second comedy block as it also has The Paul Reiser Show, Perfect Couples and Friends with Benefits waiting in the wings. CBS, which has the highest-rated freshman class this fall, is also expected to make its full-season orders early this week.