CBS has given a Back 9 order to freshman comedy series Life In Pieces, bringing its episode count to a full-season 22. The pickup follows a tense past few days of a standoff between the network and producing studio 20th Century Fox TV over the size of the back order.
Life In Pieces was conspicuously absent from CBS’ Friday pickup announcement of a full-season order for freshman drama Limitless and six-script pickup for Code Black. I hear CBS tried to leave room for potentially reducing the back order down the line, which reportedly was an issue for 20th TV. Ultimately, Life In Pieces received a firm nine-episode back order.
“Life In Pieces, with one of the best ensemble casts on television, is telling terrific stories in a very unique way, and we’re excited to tell many more of them this season,” said CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller.
Life In Pieces, whose cast includes Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, Zoe Lister-Jones, Colin Hanks, Angelique Cabral, Thomas Sadoski and Betsy Brandt, has been an internal favorite at CBS going all the way to CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves. Touted as an heir apparent to Modern Family, the multi-generational family comedy landed the best comedy slot on the CBS fall schedule — behind juggernaut The Big Bang Theory — despite coming from an outside studio. The network is keeping Life In Pieces in the post-Big Bang slot as TV’s top comedy returns to Thursdays next week.
Life In Pieces, which launched to largely positive reviews, ranks as the season’s No. 1 new comedy in total viewers (10.26 million). It has not been a breakout but has done OK ratings business behind Big Bang, holding on to about half of the big 18-49 lead-in. The full-season order comes on the heels of the freshman comedy posting its highest Live+Same Day adult 18-49 rating since its series premiere in its final airing on Monday.
Life In Pieces, created by Justin Adler, also co-stars Dan Bakkedahl, Niall Cunningham, Holly J. Barrett and Giselle Eisenberg. Adler, Aaron Kaplan, Jason Winer and Jeff Morton are executive producers.