'Suburbia' is transplanted

MRC show that was set for the CW will play on ABC after 'Dancing'

ABC has picked up the Media Rights Capital comedy "Surviving Suburbia" and scheduled the series to run after "Dancing With the Stars" in April.

"Suburbia" was planned as a midseason addition to the CW's Sunday night block. When the CW elected to pull the low-rated block from its lineup, MRC told producers to continue shooting in hope of attracting another buyer.

"We were halfway through production and terrified they were going to shut us down," executive producer Michael Hanel said. "MRC had just started exploring other options when they said, 'We want you to do all 13 episodes.' "

The collapse of the CW block turned out to be a blessing in disguise. ABC quickly stepped in and rescued the show, giving it a significant promotion. The series will premiere at 9:30 p.m. April 6 behind "Dancing," filling the slot vacated by "Samantha Who" now that the Christina Applegate comedy is moving to Thursdays. "Dancing" helped drive a significant audience to "Samantha" and establish the show.

The move brings Bob Saget back to the network after playing a suburban dad for nearly a decade on "Full House" (1987-95).

"Surburbia" is about a couple who have been married for 20 years and have two children and a cookie-cutter house in the idyllic suburbs, but with Saget's character maintaining a cynical point of view.

Hanel said Saget's character is midway between the actor's wholesome image from "House" and his lurid stand-up.

"People will see him in a very different way from 'America's Funniest Home Videos' and 'Full House,' but not what people see in his comedy," Hanel said.

ABC now has a healthy number of half-hours for midseason, though they're going to be sprinkled across three nights on the schedule: "Suburbia" on Mondays, "Better Off Ted" and "Scrubs" on Tuesdays and "In the Motherhood" and "Samantha" on Thursdays.

There's still no word on the placement of Mike Judge's animated MRC comedy "The Goode Family." (partialdiff)
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