It has been a three-way race for renewal among three bubble ABC comedies: sophomore The Neighbors and freshmen Trophy Wife and Mixology, There seems to be some movement within the pack, with the youngest, midseason entry Mixology, gaining momentum. I hear the network and the studio already have put in place a leadership plan for next season, with creators Jon Lucas and Scott Moore set to take over the reins as showrunners from Ira Ungerleider, who will be leaving after running the series for its original 13-episode order. What’s more, in a sign of confidence to Lucas & Moore and their show, I hear ABC Studios is in negotiations with the duo for an overall deal. At the same time last year, ABC Studios inked an overall deal with Dan Fogelman, with his freshman comedy The Neighbors going on to clinch the only comedy renewal for ABC Studios a few weeks later. Mixology — set in a bar over the course of one night — quickly built a core fan base and has supporters at ABC, including network topper Paul Lee. Its ratings have been lackluster at best, but so have been the numbers for Trophy Wife and The Neighbors. Relaunching a heavily serialized comedy in the fall four months after a brief midseason run would be a challenge, though I hear the story might be reset for Season 2.
Of the three bubble comedies, Trophy Wife is the only one boasting a star cast, led by Malin Akerman and Bradley Whitford, but that also makes it the most expensive. The Neighbors comes from prominent Disney writer Fogelman, who also has fairy tale musical comedy pilot Galavant in the running at ABC. That pilot is tracking well early on. Fogelman has the reputation of being very loyal to his staff, so if Galavant gets picked up to series, word is he might bring writers from The Neighbors with him to the new show.
Elsewhere on the bubble at ABC, Warner Bros TV has Suburgatory and Super Fun Night. Of the two, Suburgatory seems to have a slight edge, potentially for a short order. 20th TV’s Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen is quietly wrapping its third season. It has done a decent job as a Friday 8 PM anchor and has a good shot at making it to four seasons.