Bubble Watch 2011: BETTER Without MR. SUNSHINE?

With the Network UpFronts just around the corner, theTVaddict.com’s Bubble Watch continues with special correspondent Nawfal Faizullah’s look at BETTER WITH YOU and MR. SUNSHINE’s prospects for renewal amidst an embarrassment of Wednesday night comedy riches that include THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY, HAPPY ENDINGS and COUGAR TOWN.

Working in their favour: In terms of quality, both shows had a pretty good first season. What BETTER WITH YOU lacked in originality, it more than made up for with snappy dialogue and a fantastic ensemble. While MR. SUNSHINE may have taken some time to find its comedy legs, it felt far funnier by season’s end. Well, that and we’d be content with the likes of Matthew Perry and Allison Janney reading a phone book for the better part of thirty minutes. Could we be anymore in love with them?


In terms of ratings, airing after THE MIDDLE, BETTER WITH YOU deserves some serious credit for consistency by holding on to the majority of its lead in audience with a respectable 2.0 in the coveted 18-49 demographic. And while the same can’t be said for MR. SUNSHINE, which plummeted from its surprisingly stellar bow of 11 million viewers, again, we heart Matthew Perry and Allison Janney.

Working against them: Despite the consistent ratings, BETTER WITH YOU has the dubious distinction of being ABC’s weakest Wednesday night performer. What’s more, the series was unable to hold on to even a smidgen of the massive bump in viewers it attracted when airing in the plum-post DANCING WITH THE STARS timeslot. Similarly, MR. SUNSHINE was unable to capitalize on the high sampling it received for its series premiere, losing more than half its audience by the time the first season ended.

Verdict: If reports are to believed and ABC is in fact planning on adding another night of comedy to their schedule next year, the cockeyed optimist in us — you know the one that is still holding onto hopes that a VERONICA MARS movie might actually happen — could imagine room for both BETTER WITH YOU and MR. SUNSHINE on the Alphabet’s schedule. That said, should there be room for only one of the two as a result of ABC’s prodigious development slate, all evidence points to the end of the road for Perry’s MR. SUNSHINE, thanks to a somewhat sarcastic tone that doesn’t quite fit in with the optimistic and family-friendly vibe currently emanating from the rest of ABC’s Wednesday night lineup.

Nawfal Faizullah is a contributing writer to The TV Addict. He lives in London, has a passion for American television, and dreams about one day crash landing on the Island from Lost. Contact Nawfal at nawfalf@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter (@mightynaf).

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  • Ace

    I think it’s safe to say that Mr. Sunshine will go. I don’t have strong feelings for Better With You. Such a great cast, but the show itself isn’t great. I’d much rather see Happy Endings get a slot.

  • French8899

    i think the only reason i enjoy Mr sunshine is because of the great cast, personally Allison Janney is one of my favourite actresses, and even though i would love to see her again on TV. i would prefere if they kept Better with you.

    I have really enjoyed the series, and the cast is again great, they all go well together, the best new comedy this year.

    must also say that i am really enjoying the new writter
    @mightynaf he has written several great articles including this one and his article on Dr Who.keep up the great Work

  • SteveL

    Great read!

    A fan of both shows but like the poster below, I’d rather see Happy Endings get a 2nd Season. From what I read, they’ve been looking to recruit a number of new writers for a 2nd Season, to possibly air beside Cougar Town.

  • Rob

    Mr. Sunshine just doesn’t have a good story setting .. And some of it is plain silly.
    I had a few laughs with Better With you, speciLly when they compare the generations. But I don’t have a close attachment to the series either.
    Happy endings? I like the gay guy .. Keep confusing the blonds *lol*, and dot really care fthat much or the others.

    My vote goes for the sweet sometimes funny Better with you. But if it is cut .. No problem.

  • Rob

    Mr. Sunshine just doesn’t have a good story setting .. And some of it is plain silly.
    I had a few laughs with Better With you, speciLly when they compare the generations. But I don’t have a close attachment to the series either.
    Happy endings? I like the gay guy .. Keep confusing the blonds *lol*, and dot really care fthat much or the others.

    My vote goes for the sweet sometimes funny Better with you. But if it is cut .. No problem.