'Nashville' Gets Full-Season Order at ABC; 'Malibu Country,' 'Last Man Standing' Earn Extra Scripts

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Connie Britton turns in a bravura performance as an aging country superstar.

ABC has given the vote of confidence to freshman drama Nashville and expressed optimism in Friday comedies Last Man Standing and Malibu Country.

The network has given a back-nine order to the country music drama from Oscar winner Callie Khouri and picked up three additional scripts for both the sophomore Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing and Reba McEntire rookie Malibu Country

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Heading into the fall season, the critically acclaimed Nashville received an aggressive marketing campaign ahead of its Oct. 10 premiere. Opening in Revenge's former time slot at 10 p.m. Wednesdays, the series scored a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 8.9 million viewers, falling below industry expectations. 

It easily bested its time-slot competition -- CBS' NCIS and NBC's Chicago Fire -- in the key demo but lost a significant chunk of its haul (half a point) in its second half-hour. Thus far this season, the Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere starrer from Lionsgate TV and ABC Studios is averaging 6 million total viewers and 2.1 rating among the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo.

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Working to its benefit, Nashville has been able to tap ancillary revenue from downloads of the T Bone Burnett-produced music from the series.  

Nashville joins rookie comedy The Neighbors and Shonda Rhimes' sophomore drama Scandal as having received full-season orders at ABC this season. Awaiting word on their fate, meanwhile, are first-year efforts Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue. The network already has picked up additional scripts for both.

The additional script orders for Malibu Country and Last Man Standing come after the latter's most recent airing scored a 1.6 rating in 18-49, down three-tenths of a point from its second-season premiere, with Malibu coming back down to earth following its surprisingly strong 2.2 rating debut. 

In midseason, ABC will launch rookie comedies How to Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) and Family Tools; the episode order for the latter recently was cut from 13 to 10.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit