10:05am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Playing House' Renewed for Third Season on USA (Exclusive)
Playing House continues to have a home at USA.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has renewed the Jessica St. Clair-Lennon Parham comedy for a third season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The news was officially announced Thursday when St. Clair and Parham crashed the Television Critics Association's winter press tour and prompted a formal announcement during USA president Chris McCumber's opening remarks.
Produced by Universal Cable Productions, A24 and American Work, the critical favorite earned a surprise second-season renewal with an early debut on video on demand. The new windowing structure allowed viewers to watch the following week's episode on VOD before its broadcast on USA. The early access helped double the show's VOD audience from its freshman run, the network noted. The series also ranked as the third-most watched on the Xfinity on Demand platform during the month of its August premiere, beating all other broadcast and basic-cable offerings. The VOD deal included limited commercial breaks and branded spots co-created and featuring St. Clair and Lennon with sponsors including Samsung, Toyota and Comcast.
USA is expected to employ a similar rollout structure for season three. A formal return date for the series has not yet been announced. Season two averaged 414,000 total viewers — about half of its season-one haul.
"Not only is this a show for the ages, Playing House also represents a whole new way of financing production with its unique partnership of ad sales, Comcast, studio and network," said Jeff Wachtel, president and chief content officer at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
"Year-over-year we have seen Playing House attract critical acclaim and a loyal fan base that continues to grow,” said Jackie de Crinis, USA executive vp original programming. “The unique relationship between Jessica and Lennon translates into a heart-warming comedy about friendship, and we are delighted to have it for a third season.”
Playing House is part of a comedy roster at USA that includes unscripted entries Chrisley Knows Best and Donny. The cabler does not have any other scripted half-hours.
St. Clair and Parham executive produce Playing House alongside A24's Ravi Nandan and Scot Armstrong of American Work.