CBS' long-running Rules of Engagement has skirted death yet again, earning a seventh-season renewal Monday after protracted talks with studio Sony Pictures Television, with the network picking it up for 13 episodes and, as in the past, setting a midseason bow.
The comedy has been a steady performer over its six-season run, no matter how many times the network has bounced it around the schedule. Thus far this season, the multicamera effort has been able to nab a 3.3 rating in the coveted 18 to 49 demographic, putting it well above many of rival NBC's Thursday night comedies, including Community and Parks and Recreation.
Heading into the current TV season, the David Spade half-hour was granted an 8 p.m. Saturday slot, a death wish by any measure. But as freshman How to Be a Gentleman began floundering in CBS' high-profile post-Big Bang Theory slot, Rules was moved again, proving its strength as a valuable bench player.
Also working to the series' advantage is both its reliability and its afterlife potential. Rules is just 13 episodes shy of reaching the all-important 100-episode threshold for syndication, and as of summer 2011 it had already been cleared in more than 45 percent of the country. Monday's renewal brings the series to the key benchmark.
With the pickup, it will join a collection of returning comedies, along with CBS' two newly ordered half-hour buddy comedies from Will & Grace's Max Mutchnick and David Kohan (Partners) and Two and a Half Men's Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Friend Me).
Tom Hertz, Doug Robinson and Jack Giarraputo serve as executive producers on Rules, which is produced by Happy Madison Productions and CBS Television Studios in association with Sony Pictures TV.
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