The ensembler about a group of Hollywood-ites who relocate to Cleveland paved the way for TV Land’s original series strategy, turning the cabler into a bigger player in the biz after years as a showcase for vintage TV.
“Cleveland” was a success from the get-go in 2010, thanks in no small part to savvy casting of sitcom vets Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. Series was created by “Frasier” alum Suzanne Martin and produced by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills banner.
“It’s been an honor to work with Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and the incomparable Betty White as well as our executive producers Suzanne Martin, Todd Milliner, Sean Hayes and the rest of our exceptional writers, production team and crew,” said TV Land prexy Larry Jones. “The passion and talent they brought to the set each and every week over the past five years has put TV Land on the map as a network dedicated to quality original programming. We will continue to celebrate the show and are looking forward to a fantastic series finale.”
TV Land gave “Cleveland” broadcast-sized episode orders of 20-plus segs in its first few seasons. That allowed the show to be sold into domestic syndication two years ago, making it even more valuable to TV Land. The show logged its milestone 100th episode in September.
“Cleveland” was the platform for a remarkable return to regular series work for White, who was 88 when the series began. She earned a supporting comedy actress Emmy nom in 2011 for her role as the crafty Elka, and she took back-to-back Screen Actors Guild awards in 2011 and 2012.
“Cleveland” has remained a solid performer for the Viacom cabler, averaging 2.4 million viewers in its fifth season. The cast members have shown off their dexterity by mounting two live episodes. It’s been a magnet for guest stars ranging from Max Greenfield and Carol Burnett to several of White’s former “Mary Tyler Moore Show” cast members.