9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Murphy Brown,' 'Happy Together' to End After Initial Orders on CBS
CBS continues to solidify its midseason lineup.
A day after doubling down on unscripted fare come January, the network is firming up its comedy slate for 2019, with its Murphy Brown reboot and Damon Wayans Jr. vehicle Happy Together both ending their respective runs after their initial 13-episode orders. Both series will clear room on the schedule for the rookie comedy Fam and the third season of the Matt LeBlanc vehicle Man With a Plan. A return date for the fourth season of Life in Pieces will be announced at a later date.
For Murphy Brown, the rebooted series was always intended to be a closed-ended order of 13 episodes. The multicamera comedy, featuring the return of star Candice Bergen and from original creator Diane English, has underperformed (6.2 million total viewers and a 0.9 in the key 18-49 demo) in its prime Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. slot and remains in consideration for a renewal. Fellow multicam comedy Fam, starring Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell — which has already changed showrunners — will take over Murphy Brown's slot starting Thursday, Jan. 10.
Happy Together, meanwhile, is CBS' lone rookie series to not earn an order for additional episodes this season. The multicamera family comedy landed pilot season's biggest star in Happy Endings grad Wayans, who signed on with one of the largest talent deals of the year. The show is averaging a lackluster 4.7 million total viewers and 0.9 in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic. Happy Together will wrap its run and clear the way for Man With a Plan starting Monday, Feb. 4, at 8:30 p.m.
In addition to the fourth season of the single-camera comedy Life in Pieces, CBS has a crowded bench of dramas that remain unscheduled as Elementary and Instinct, in addition to rookies The Code andThe Red Line, await premiere dates. News on that front is expected to be announced in the coming days.
As for the fall freshman class of 2018, only CBS' Happy Together and NBC's I Feel Bad did not receive additional orders. (The jury is still out on a back order for Fox's Rel.)