November 03, 2011 3:54pm PT by Philiana Ng, Lesley Goldberg
'Once Upon a Time,' 'Last Man Standing' Get Full-Season Orders at ABC
ABC has given full season orders to Once Upon a Time and Last Man Standing.
Additionally, the network has extended the episode count for Happy Endings to 22 and has ordered five more scripts for the 1960s-set aviation drama Pan Am.
The pickup for Once Upon a Time doesn't come as much of a surprise. After two weeks on air, the ambitious fairy tale drama from Lost producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz ranks as the fall's No. 1 new drama and premiered last month to 12.6 million viewers and holding on to most of its audience in its second week. Notably, Once Upon a Time, a modern take on the beloved fairy tale characters, has boosted ratings for outgoing soap Desperate Housewives and Pan Am.
Though its a far cry from Tim Allen's ABC 1990s juggernaut Home Improvement, Last Man Standing has managed to lure a broader, more male audience for a network that skews heavily female. Still, the sitcom, which came out of the gate strong in early October with roughly 13 million viewers, has taken a predictable tumble in the weeks since.
Sophomore comedy Happy Endings, meanwhile,has been a solid performer for the network this fall, most recently hitting series highs in viewership and the key adults 18-49 demographic late last month. The full-season order -- which means the half-hour series goes from a 13- to a 22-episode count -- continues the network's commitment to the comedy, which comes one month after ABC ordered six additional scripts for the David Caspe-created series.
The Sony-produced Pan Am hasn't yet delivered the way the network was expecting. After launching to promising numbers in September, the hourlong period drama starring Christina Ricci lost more than 3 million viewers for its second episode, averaging 7.8 million and a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49, down from the 3.1 it drew in its opener. The series didn't settle down in its third week, dropping to 6.4 million and a 1.9, down 27 percent in the demo. More recently, the series notched a slight uptick, perhaps benefiting from additional eyeballs from Once Upon a Time.
"I think we created this amazing world and I think there's a massive amount of goodwill behind it. We just want to make sure that in the end it's a show that our audiences really connect to emotionally," ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee told The Hollywood Reporter, adding: "It's a great cast."
Once Upon a Time and Last Man Standing join fellow ABC freshman series Revenge and Suburgatory receiving full orders.
No decision has been made yet on the fate of rookie comedy Man Up!.
Lacey Rose contributed to this report.