5:44pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Malibu Country,' 'Last Man Standing' Get 5 More Episodes at ABC
Last Man Standing and Malibu Country will be sticking around on ABC, though not for the traditional full 22 episodes. The network announced late Wednesday that both of the half-hour comedies have received orders for an additional five episodes.
A back nine normally would be the order of business, but their late premieres didn't leave as much room on the schedule. The two join Nashville, The Neighbors and Scandal as the network's other pickups of the season. Freshmen 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort were canceled Nov. 16.
Tim Allen's Last Man Standing, entering its second season on Friday nights, saw a solid time-slot debut of a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 -- though numbers since have cooled. Reba McEntire's latest TV vehicle, Malibu Country, also has seen dips but opened at 8:30 to a very solid 2.3 in the demo. (Both are averaging a 2.2 rating with 18-49-ers in Live+7.)
Both series had earned extra script orders at the time of ABC's first full-season orders. The two mark the network's attempt to reintegrate scripted comedy on Friday night -- typically reserved for reality, newsmagazines and dramas -- after scrapping the most recent incarnation of its TGIF comedy block in 2005.