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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter (@mightynaf).