TV Land is giving another major vote of confidence to Younger, the Darren Star series that helped establish the network’s new single-camera comedy brand. TV Land has renewed Younger for a 12-episode third season ahead of the show’s second season premiere on Jan. 13. The announcement was made at the company’s TCA panel today, which featured cast members Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Nico Tortorella, Miriam Shor, Molly Bernard, Peter Hermann and Dan Amboyer.
This is the second early renewal for Younger, which was picked up for Season 2 four episodes into its freshman run. The series was not a breakout in the traditional ratings sense, debuting with 504,000 viewers on TV Land. But Younger has been an important show for the network and parent Viacom as it exemplifies the new direction TV Land has been taking toward younger, edgier fare. The series was launched on three networks, TV Land and siblings Nick at Nite and Nick Jr., with the premiere episode drawing a total of 1.4 million viewers. The push, which included a secondary telecast for Younger on Nick at Nite paid off, and after an initial post-premiere ratings slip, the comedy’s ratings on TV Land ticked up, with the season finale drawing 645,000 viewers. Younger also has been a strong multi-platform and social media performer, and it draw solid reviews.
“Younger was a critical success and fan favorite right out of the gate, and Darren Star and his team of writers have brought an even sexier, shocking sophomore season to the table,” said Keith Cox, EVP, Development and Original Programming, TV Land.
Younger, created and executive produced by Star, follows Liza (Foster), a 40-year old woman who pretends to be 26 in order to get a job in the highly competitive world of publishing – and succeeds. Now working under the prickly Diana (Shor), Liza has to figure out how to balance her real life with best friend Maggie (Mazar), and her “pretend” life with her new crew – friend/coworker Kelsey (Duff), fashion publicist Lauren (Molly Bernard) and the always-sketchy Thad (Amboyer), Kelsey’s boyfriend. After Liza let her secret slip to sexy young tattoo artist Josh (Tortorella) at the end of the first season, she now must try to salvage their relationship, all while navigating a confusing chemistry with her boss Charles (Hermann) and dealing with her daughter Caitlin’s (Albertson) return from studying abroad.
Said Star about the show’s next season, “We’re keeping Liza’s story alive front and center and giving room for these other characters. We’ll continue to see the balance of her adult life between her 40s and 20s, plus there’s the added twist with Josh knowing her age. The lines are getting blurred between her two worlds.”
Foster mentioned that having recently turned 40, “There’s a lot of life and work parallels” for her on Younger.
In terms of working in the TV Land universe, Star said it’s just as good as HBO. “My experience at TV Land is closer to my experience with HBO where they trust the creator. On broadcast TV, this show would get way too homogenized. There’s a freedom to working here.”
Season two features a roster of guest stars that includes Matthew Morrison as a reclusive author who lives on a farm, Camryn Manheim as a psychologist pitching a life guidebook to people in their 20s, and returning guest stars Kathy Najimy and Josh Pais, as Denise and Todd, Lauren’s (Bernard) parents, as well as Martha Plimpton, back as Cheryl Sussman, the former colleague who blackmailed Liza (Foster) in season one.