This had been an uphill battle and a sign of the new realities of multi-platform TV distribution — USA’s well received but low rated comedy series Playing House has clinched another hard-fought renewal. The 3 season pickup was announced at TCA when series creators/stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair crashed USA president Chris McCumber’s opening remarks with noisy screeching, asking him if he’s given the show a third season. He acknowledged that they did and they duo ran out of the conference room giddy, Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro reports.
Playing House broke ground with its second season introducing a new windowing model where new episodes premiered first on video-on-demand platforms, such as Xfinity and USA Now, and TV Everywhere before airing on the linear USA channel a week later. The series did well on VOD but poorly on linear TV, resulting in lengthy lobbying on behalf of producer Universal Cable Prods. and number-crunching by USA executives. In the end, the series has been renewed.
Comcast and NBCUniversal plan to use a similar windowing structure and sponsorship model for season three. Playing House was a strong performer for NBCU parent company Comcast via its Xfinity platform. It doubled its VOD audience from season one to season two and was #3 on Xfinity during its premiere month in August, beating all other broadcast and basic cable offerings.
Playing House is USA’s last remaining half-hour comedy series after the network pulled away from the genre.