This week’s upcoming fourth episode of new NBC comedy Sunnyside will be the last on the linear network. Starting the following Thursday, October 24, NBC will debut the 11th and final season of Will & Grace in Sunnyside‘s Thursday 9:30 PM slot.
NBC has ordered an additional episode of Sunnyside, bringing its order from 10 to 11. The remaining seven episodes will air weekly on the NBC app, other digital platforms and NBC.com. The series currently is in production on Episode 9 and will complete all 11 episodes.
Sunnyside opened to a 0.4 18-49 rating and 1.78 million viewers in L+SD, numbers that had never been seen for a Big 4 in-season scripted series debut.
Especially with its comedies, NBC is playing the long game, searching for another The Good Place — a smart, single-camera comedy that is a modest linear performer but a digital hit and has the markings of another streaming blockbuster down the road like the network’s The Office and Parks and Recreation, both owned by NBCUniversal. Even with that in mind, Sunnyside, produced by NBC sibling Universal TV, started low and kept sliding to a 0.3 in 18-49 and 1.18 million viewers (L+SD) in Week 3.
While its linear performance has been soft, possibly hurting its 10 p.m. lead-out, veteran drama Law & Order: SVU, the comedy starring Kal Penn has generated enough of an increase through digital and linear delayed viewing to warrant a digital play of the remaining episodes. The 18-49 rating for its premiere has grown by 150% versus Live+Same Day (though off a very small base), from a 0.4 to a 1.0. The Sunnyside opener also was the second-most social broadcast comedy premiere by Total Activity during Premiere Week and was NBC’s most social broadcast comedy premiere in two years, according to the network. Additionally, Sunnyside has the No. 4 most affluent and the No. 3 most educated audience among broadcast series, also per NBC.
Created by Penn and Matt Murray, who also executive produce alongside Michael Schur, Sunnyside features a diverse cast including Joel Kim Booster, Diana-Maria Riva, Kiran Deol, Poppy Liu, Moses Storm and Samba Schutte. The series stars Penn as Garrett Modi, a disgraced New York City councilman who attempts to get back on his feet when a motley crew of immigrants reach out to him to help them become American citizens.
The comedy is the first casualty of the fall season; so far we have had two shows getting back orders, Fox freshman Prodigal Son and the CW sophomore All American.
Last season Will & Grace averaged a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers in Live+7, building on its lead-in by double-digits. After 35 days of digital and linear delayed viewing, those Will & Grace season averages grew to 2.3 rating in 18-49 and 6.9 million viewers overall.
The series, which has earned 91 Emmy Award nominations and 18 wins, including for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2000, stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes.
Creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan write and executive produce. James Burrows directs and executive produces. Will & Grace is produced by Universal Television.
NBC tonight aired the first promo for Will & Grace‘s final season, which includes a big reveal: