1:00pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Designated Survivor' and 'Speechless' Get Speedy Full-Season Orders at ABC
ABC is not wasting any time in committing to a full seasons of Designated Survivor and Speechless. The duo, two of the stronger premieres this young broadcast season, have each earned orders for a back nine.
“Designated Survivor and Speechless are two of the most critically acclaimed new shows of the fall season," said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey. "We’re very proud of the creative excellence in front of and behind the camera, and are thrilled to be giving our audience more episodes.”
Full 22-episode seasons have now been ordered for three freshman series, following NBC's order for more This Is Us earlier in the week. The commitments come no surprise, considering solid ratings performances and relative critical affection, but the speed at which these orders have come is quicker than years past.
For ABC, the two were very clearly favorites heading into the fall season. Both premiered during premiere week after aggressive advertising plays. Designated Survivor, in particular, is representative of Dungey's strategy to beef up the 10 o'clock hour across the week.
In its first week, Designated Survivor posted the best live-plus-3 lifts of any new show since Fox debuted Empire in early 2015. The pilot has climbed to 15.3 million viewers and a 3.7 rating among adults 18-49 in live-plus-3 returns, holding reasonably steady in its night-of showing during Wednesday's second effort. The series comes from The Mark Gordon Co. and ABC Studios.
Speechless has segued into the Wednesday comedy block alongside The Goldbergs, Modern Family and Black-ish quite nicely. The family sitcom, also produced by ABC Studios in addition to 20th Century Fox Television, has averaged a 1.9 rating in the key demo and 6.9 million viewers over two episodes.