UPDATED: Last year, most midseason series received shorter orders for fewer of the standard 13 episodes new shows get. That included ABC’s GCB (10), The River (8) and Scandal and Don’t The B—- (7), CBS’ Rob (8) and NBC’s Bent (6) and Best Friends Forever (6).
This year, the networks are not as stingy to new shows, with only two midseason series, ABC’s drama Red Widow starring Radha Mitchell and NBC’s late pickup, comedy Next Caller starring Dane Cook, getting fewer than 13 episodes — 8 and 7, respectively.
But there are a number of returning series whose orders are shorter than the standard full-season 22 episodes (13 for midseason shows getting a second-season pickup). NBC did a lot of that on the comedy side, which the network’s topper Bob Greenblatt said at the NBC upfront was how they could afford to pick up as many (7) new comedy series. Of NBC’s returning comedy series only flagship The Office and Parks & Recreation have received 22-episode renewals. The rest, 30 Rock, Community, Up All Night and Whitney have been picked up for 13 episodes each. For 30 Rock, that marks the final season. During a press call on Monday, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly criticized the shorter orders for returning comedy series, calling them potentially “confusing.”
Also getting a 13-episode order is ABC’s procedural Body Of Proof, which is being held for mideason, while the CW veteran Gossip Girl was renewed for an 11-episode final season. (UPDATE: While I hear 11 episodes is the target length, CW president said today that talks with Gossip Girls producer Warner Bros. TV continue, with the final order likely in the 10-12 episode range.) They could be joined by CBS veteran Rules Of Engagement, which is finalizing a midseason renewal deal.