Encouraging news for freshman NBC dramas Mysteries of Laura and Constantine. The network has ordered three extra scripts of each show. The script pickup for Laura comes after three episodes, for Constantine, it is being done ahead of the comic book drama’s debut later this month. Both series hail from Warner Bros. TV.
Picking up backup scripts has become a favorite tactic of the broadcast network as it is a relatively inexpensive way to buy a few extra weeks by keeping writers working on shows that executives feel have promise before the nets have to decide on a back episodic order.
The Mysteries of Laura has showed excellent week-to-week retention. In its second episode in its regular Wednesday 8 PM slot, the cop dramedy starring Debra Messing drew a 1.5 in Live+Same Day, matching its rating in Week 1 and also matching the delivery of NBC’s 10 PM drama on the night, Chicago P.D. Meanwhile, Constantine, based on the DC comic, has been tracking very well, with one of the highest awareness levels for a new series this season. The series joins NBC’s Friday genre block on Oct. 24.
NBC is the second broadcast network to hand out backup script orders this fall. The CW did it with both of its new series, the well reviewed The Flash and Jane the Virgin, which also received three-script pickups ahead of their premieres.
Overall, it has been a solid fall start for new broadcast dramas, with most considered candidates for backup orders, including CBS’ Scorpion, Madam Secretary and NCIS: New Orleans, ABC’s breakout How To Get Away with Murder and Forever and Fox’s Gotham. Fox’s Red Band Society has been relatively disappointing, while it’s too early to tell on CBS’ Stalker as it has aired only one episode. The jury also is still out on the comedies, as it traditionally takes longer for a new comedy series to take hold.
Based on a Spanish format, The Mysteries of Laura stars Messing as a top detective and a harried mom. Jeff Rake developed the US version and executive produces with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, Greg Berlanti, McG, who directed the pilot, Sarah Schechter and Todd Lituchy.
Developed and executive produced by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, Constantine stars Matt Ryan as the trench coat-wearing occult detective.