'Mulaney's' Order Shaved at Fox

Mulaney (Fox)

Stars: John Mulaney, Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad, Elliott Gould, Seaton Smith, Zack Pearlman
Team: John Mulaney, Lorne Michaels, Dave Becky, Andrew Singer, Andy Ackerman

The semi-autobiographical comedy follows an aspiring comedian coming of age under the influence of his boss, his roommates and his neighbors.

Mulaney's season is being shaved.

Fox executives have cut the Lorne Michaels-produced comedy's 16-episode order to 13, though the network intends to keep the series on the air in an attempt to build its audience. It will remain in its regular Sunday night time period, where it currently follows Family Guy.

The move comes as the network's new bosses, chairman Dana Walden and Gary Newman along with entertainment president David Madden, attempt to figure out how to turn around the network, which has seen its ratings dip still more this fall. With 13 episodes of Mulaney already completed, the network made the decision to wrap production before episode 14 was set to begin. 

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To be sure, Fox is hoping the 10 percent ratings bump for episode two, which had a Family Guy repeat as its lead-in, was a promising sign for the critically-panned half hour. The series from the former Saturday Night Live writer/stand-up premiered to a low 1.0 rating in the key 18-to-49 demographic.

Waiting in the wings is a promising comedy from Will ForteLast Man on Earth, which could potentially slip into Mulaney's Sunday night slot at midseason. Fox, which has fewer hours to program and has baseball to accommodate, has two other half-hours in animated Bordertown and Weird Loners to find space for as well.