Fox has declared its love for “Undeclared,” giving the frosh laffer a full-season order. Net has picked up nine additional episodes of DreamWorks TV’s Judd Apatow-produced college comedy, bringing the skein’s tally for the season to 22.
Pickup means “Undeclared” will now rank as Apatow’s longest-running series — well ahead of “Freaks and Geeks,” which ran for 18 segs on NBC. The Apatow-produced “Ben Stiller Show” lasted 13 episodes on the fledgling Fox back in 1992.
Apatow said he was “thrilled” by Fox’s decision. “If I had this much support when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have felt the need to become a comedy writer,” he told Daily Variety.
Fox Entertainment prexy Gail Berman said “Undeclared” has proved to be “a very compatible piece (of programming) for our network.
“It’s a great show,” she said. “The audience seems to be there for it, and we’re excited about its growth potential.”
While Apatow’s previous skeins have won the same high praise that “Undeclared” has drawn from the critics, the new laffer is the first to generate such solid ratings. After four airings, skein ranks first in its Tuesday-at-8:30 p.m. timeslot among adults 18-49, averaging a 4.8 rating/12 share and 8.75 million viewers.
More importantly, “Undeclared” is holding on to a good chunk of its “That ’70s Show” lead-in — 89% of adults 18-49 and 91% of adults 18-34. Skein is actually building on ” ’70s” with men 18-34 and femme teens.
Apatow said he’s been encouraged by the early Nielsen numbers. “We seemed to have found our audience and held on to it,” he said. “The longer we’re on, hopefully the more people will find us.”
Apatow said a few “Freaks and Geeks” alums will be making guest appearances on “Undeclared” in upcoming months. Skein also has booked Topher Grace of ” ’70s” for a seg.