Fox is keeping its freshman drama Red Band Society in contention for a back episodic order with a pickup of four additional scripts. The hospital drama launched to solid reviews but has been soft in the ratings. Still, a couple of weeks in, its numbers stabilized, and last Wednesday the series (1.0 among adults 18-49 in Live+SD) actually logged a one-tenth week-to-week uptick. Additionally, the drama starring Octavia Spencer has been a major DVR gainer, getting 70-80% ratings increases in Live+7.
Backup script orders are used by the broadcast networks for freshman series they feel have shown some promise but have not yet proven their case for a full-fledged episodic order. Commissioning extra scripts keeps writers on the shows working, buying the network execs extra couple of weeks to evaluate the series’ performance before having to make a decision on ordering more episodes.
So far this fall, NBC has given three-script orders each to The Mysteries Of Laura and the upcoming Constantine, ABC did the same with Selfie, Manhattan Love Story and Forever, while the CW ordered three scripts each of The Flash and Jane The Virgin, also ahead of their premieres. Both CW series have followed up on the script pickups with full-season orders.