9:03pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
USA's 'Playing House' Renewed, Nabs Early VOD Deal
USA Network is ready to play house again.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has renewed comedy series Playing House for a second season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The comedy will return in the second half of 2015 with eight episodes (down two from its freshman order).
The new window structure will allow viewers to watch the following week's episode on VOD before it airs on USA. The approach comes as USA is looking to lure select advertisers with premium placement and engage them with the show's vocal online fan base.
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The unique deal for Playing House comes as on-demand TV consumption has become a go-to for viewers to catch up and stay current with programming. NBCUni expects to drive more than 1.5 billion full episode views on demand across all platforms in 2014.
In its first season, Playing House averaged 862,000 total viewers — a far cry from fellow USA original comedy Sirens. (The Denis Leary-produced comedy was renewed in June for a second season.)
For USA, the Playing House renewal comes as the cable network has shifted its priority back to original scripted dramas. Beyond current comedy series Sirens (from Fox Television Studios) and Benched (ABC Signature), USA's pilot roster contains five dramas and no half-hours.
USA also developed Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner comedy Difficult People, which was moved to Hulu with a straight-to-series pickup in November.