1:00pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Dr. Ken' Is Fall's First New Comedy to Score a Full-Season Order
In an oddly juxtaposed turn of events, one of the fall season's most-panned new series is also among the first to get a full-season pickup.
Dr. Ken, a surprise hit on ABC's Friday block, is now the fourth broadcast freshman of the 2015-16 (and the second at ABC) to score a full season. The network has ordered a back nine episodes be produced, bringing the multicam sitcom's order to a full 22.
Starring Community vet Ken Jeong, and loosely based on his own life, Dr. Ken is among the strongest first-year comedies of the fall. Often building on its lead-in from fellow broad comedy Last Man Standing, the series is averaging an impressive 6.6 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49. This past Friday, averaging a night-of 1.3 rating in the key demo and 5.8 million viewers, it also proved to be immune from comedy competition from NBC — which is airing its own comedy block in Friday's 8 p.m. hour this fall to far less success.
The series has not been such a strong performer with critics. With an average score of a 26 on review aggregate Metacritic, it's tied with time slot rival Truth Be Told as the most poorly reviewed new series this fall. The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Feinberg wrote that while the first episode was "very bad," "there might be a good show here by fall 2016." This back nine is certainly bodes well for a long-term future for Ken. After all, ABC has been anxious to find a comedic partner for Tim Allen's Last Man.
Dr. Ken joins NBC's Blindspot, Fox's Rosewood and ABC's Quantico as one of the few series to get a full season — and that comes as we enter the fifth week of fall TV.
Jeong is joined by Mike Sikowitz, John Davis and John Fox as executive producer. The series hails for Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios.