11:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
Fox Orders More 'Ben and Kate,' 'The Mindy Project'
Fox has handed out its first orders of the 2012-13 season. Freshman comedy Ben and Kate earned an additional six episodes, and The Mindy Project received a back nine, bringing the latter's episode count to a full 22.
Says Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly, "Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project have everything we want to stand for in comedy: smart writing, hugely appealing casts and comedy that feels contemporary and real, which is why we’re confident they will continue to build on what is already an appointment comedy night for young, influential audiences on Tuesdays."
The two comedies, from creators Dana Fox and Mindy Kaling, respectively, were greeted with largely positive reviews from critics. Their ratings performances have not been as strong as Tuesday neighbor New Girl -- Ben and Kate opened to a 2.1 adults rating and 4.2 million viewers and The Mindy Project premiered to a 2.4 and 4.7 million -- but both saw double-digit growth in their second weeks with Live+3 Day DVR data.
Ben and Kate, airing at 8:30 p.m. after Raising Hope, opened in the time slot after three years of the hour being home to Glee. The Mindy Project, a vehicle for the titular Office writer and star, has been outperforming its former time slot holder (Raising Hope) at 9:30 p.m, despite losing a chunk of its New Girl lead-in.
Fox's only other new fall entry, The Mob Doctor, has not fared as well critically or in the ratings. Its third episode recently pulled just a 1.0 adults rating.
Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project follow last week's NBC renewals for The New Normal, Go On and Revolution, bringing this fall's full-season order tally to five series.