NBC has cut the orders for two midseason comedies, Eva Longoria’s “Hot and Bothered” and “Superstore,” by two episodes apiece as the Peacock tries to better manage its high volume of series inventory.
Both series received 13 episode initial orders last May during the upfront process but both have been trimmed to a total of 11 episodes including the pilots. Sources said the move came after NBC execs were starting to plan out midseason scheduling plans and realized the network would have too many episodes piling up before the end of the season.
Sources emphasized that the decision to cut the episode orders for “Hot and Bothered” and “Superstore,” both from Universal TV, came as a result of simple math, not a lack of confidence in the shows. The decision was made to trim those orders because the shows are not finished filming yet — both have produced about eight episodes so far — and thus can more easily make the adjustment in their production schedules. More of NBC’s midseason series may also pare back episodes.
The cuts are also a function of NBC trying to better manage its programming resources and to free up funds for other projects that may arise in the coming months. Execs are rethinking the traditional 13-episode order as the standard for new series. The feeling is that eight- to 10-episode run will give programmers plenty of material to evaluate. One insider pointed to the success this summer with comedy “The Carmichael Show,” which demonstrated its merit with a six-episode run that earned the show a renewal.
NBC’s roster of scripted and alternative series to come this season includes dramas “Game of Silence,” “Heartbreaker” and the Jennifer Lopez starrer “Shades of Blue,” the comedic miniseries “You, Me and the End of the World,” the multi-camera comedy “Crowded” and alternative series “First Dates.”
There’s no word yet on premiere dates for “Hot and Bothered” and “Superstore” but they are expected to land in March or April.
NBC is focused on keeping the volume of originals high on its schedule on a year-round basis. But the coming summer will present some challenges for series scheduling because the Peacock will have to juggle series launches around the summer Olympics, the presidential nominating conventions and the NHL playoffs.