Network to air six episodes this season

ABC has cut back the order for midseason laffer “In the Motherhood.”

The Alphabet web will only air six episodes of the sitcom this season, in addition to the pilot. ABC had originally ordered 13 episodes.

According to the network, decision to slash the order came after ABC decided it didn’t have room for all 13 segs after all. “Motherhood,” which bowed Thursday, airs in the slot temporarily vacated by “Ugly Betty.” “Betty” returns May 7.

But word of the cutback came after the show opened with tepid ratings — and to mostly poor reviews. “Motherhood” debuted with a 2.1 rating and 6 share among adults 18-49, and attracted 6.7 million viewers. 

To be fair, “Motherhood” faced rough competish with Fox’s “American Idol,” and it did narrowly beat time period vet “My Name Is Earl” in both measurements. But it wasn’t enough to convince ABC execs that those additional episodes were needed. As an after-effect of last year’s writers’ strike, Alphabet is launching an unusually large number of series this midseason.

“Motherhood” didn’t begin production until February — which gave ABC the opportunity to reduce the order this late in the year.

Based on the Web series of the same name, “Motherhood” stars Cheryl Hines, Jessica St. Clair, Megan Mullally, Horatio Sanz and RonReaco Lee. ABC Studios produces the show, which comes from exec producers Jennifer Konner, Alexandra Rushfield, Stu Bloomberg and David Lang.

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