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Up All Night, Whitney: NBC Sitcoms Get Full Seasons; A Mistake?

Whitney TV seriesNBC hasn’t been having much luck this fall season. Returning shows are down and most new TV series have been a disappointment (The Playboy Club’s already cancelled).

The brightest spot on the schedule has been Whitney on Thursday nights. The sitcom’s the second highest-rated show on the network with a 2.9 average in the 18-49 demographic. Still, it lost 24% in the demo between weeks one and two and could certainly keep falling.

Another new sitcom, Up All Night, has been averaging a 2.7 in the demo after three weeks on the air. It’s the third highest-rated scripted show on NBC but it has lost viewers each week, most recently pulling a 2.1 in the demo.

These shows are hardly hits and may keep falling. It seems strange that NBC would give them full seasons after so few epsiodes but the network probably doesn’t have much choice. The rest of their schedule is performing very poorly and they have to air something to at least try to be competitive.

If you’re a fan of either of these shows, it’s important to remember that, while these full season orders could be seen as a vote of confidence, Whitney and Up All Night could still easily end up being cancelled in May.

Here’s the press release from NBC:

NBC GIVES FULL-SEASON PICKUPS TO NEW COMEDIES “UP ALL NIGHT” AND “WHITNEY”

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – October 4, 2011 – NBC has picked up the new comedies “Up All Night” and “Whitney” for the remainder of the 2011-12 season, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment.

“We made comedy an important goal for us this season and I’m very pleased to be making full-season commitments to both ‘Whitney’ and ‘Up All Night’,” said Greenblatt. “We’re thrilled with the creative direction of both shows as well as the potential for them to continue to build loyal audiences over the coming months. We’re proud of all of the producers, writers, actors, and directors who have worked so hard to bring these shows to life.”

“Up All Night,” created by Emmy Award nominee Emily Spivey (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and “Saturday Night Live”) and executive-produced by multi-Emmy winner Lorne Michaels (NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock”), is an irreverent look at modern parenthood.

Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who?”) stars as Reagan Brinkley: loving wife, successful career woman, life of the party and, most recently, mom. Determined not to compromise her career or cool reputation to the clich├ęs of motherhood, Reagan adjusts to life with a baby and returns to work with the support of her stay-at-home husband, Chris (Will Arnett, “Arrested Development”).

As Reagan and Chris figure out their new life, self-doubt, sleep deprivation and the pressure of today’s parenting protocols rattle their confidence. What’s more, the endless needs of Reagan’s boss, ambitious but vulnerable talk-show host Ava (Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live,” “Bridesmaids”), threaten to throw Reagan off balance.

“Up All Night” is a Broadway Video and Universal Television production. Along with Michaels and Spivey, Jon Pollack (“30 Rock”) and Erin David (“Saturday Night Live”) serve as executive producers. Christina Applegate, Eric Kranzler and Andrew Singer are producers. Said Entertainment Weekly: “The season’s most charming yet frenetic new sitcom…” It is listed under “5 Best New Shows.”

NBC’s new multi-camera comedy “Whitney” is a hilarious look at modern-day love, which centers around Whitney (Whitney Cummings, “Chelsea Lately”) and Alex (Chris D’Elia, “Glory Daze”), a happily unmarried couple. Together for three years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched, which seems to get a mixed response from their friends. Said Newsday:”…it’s refreshingly authentic, and distinctively Whitney, with her new-generation perspective and brisk verbal rhythms.”

Whitney’s close circle of girlfriends includes on one side: Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, “The Other Guys”), a romantic idealist who loves being in love, and on the other: Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, “The Starter Wife”), a recent divorcee who is practical, cynical, and dreading being single again. Lily and Roxanne’s opposing points of view only exacerbate Whitney’s own complicated outlook on relationships.

Completing their close-knit group is Neal (Maulik Pancholy, NBC’s “30 Rock”), a real modern day Renaissance man – sensitive, cool and knows a little bit about everything and happens to be dating Lily. On the other end of the spectrum is Whitney and Alex’s next-door neighbor Mark (Dan O’Brien, “How I Met Your Mother”), a police officer and total bachelor, who claims to be the ultimate player, but likes to talk a good game.

At the end of the day, Whitney and Alex try to have a relationship on their own terms – in a world that expects a more traditional approach.

“Whitney” is produced by Universal Television in association with Stuber Pictures. Stuber (“The Break Up”), Quan Phung, Betsy Thomas (“My Boys”) and Barry Katz (“Last Comic Standing”) are executive producers along with Cummings and executive producer/writer Andy Ackerman (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine”), who directed the pilot. For embeddable clips and full episodes from NBC shows, please visit NBC.com’s official show site: http://www.nbc.com/shows/.

What do you think? Was it smart to give these shows full seasons? Do you watch either or both?

 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

GAM October 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I tried watching (I liking) Whitney and Up All Night, but they were just so….bad!

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VA October 8, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Yes, to each their own.

Whitney is actually one of the better comedies on NBC and should be kept without the fake audience laugh. On the other hand, shows like The Office and Parks and Recreations, which are extremely bland should’ve have been cancelled years ago.

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tom October 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Great show. I actually laughed out loud during the third episode. I don’t laugh a lot but the show.is getting better every week. Great chemistry. Looking forward to many, many years of Whitney. Thank you Whitney Cummings and cast

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Zabster October 8, 2011 at 10:51 am

Whitney has potential but I fear for its life.
Up all night’s not for me.

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Shawn October 7, 2011 at 6:42 am

They are both TERRIBLE shows. I’m sorry. Whitney is horribly written slapstick with a laughtrack to boot. They get her to talk nasty and dress like a skank to try and lure viewers. Nice try NBC… Doesn’t deserve to be on the same night as good programs such as the office, Parks and Rec and Community. And Up All Night? Babies… You can relate? Who cares! Mindless dribble… Limping to the barn NBC.. FX and Showtime to the rescue. NBC is having talent issues.

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Randy October 5, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Whitney is so darling, you can’t help but fall in love with her. Perhaps one could compare her to Lucille Ball? She is witty and hilariously funny. Her boyfriend, Alex, is the clearly the best ‘companion’ for her, especially with his dead-pan reactions. The show will get better and better, especially since the audience you hear IS the audience present for the show. Unlike other canned laffs pushed on us to tell us when to laugh! It’s refreshing and genuine of a true sit-com (ie. Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Drew Carey, etc.), and is very contemporary, not just for ‘unmarried’ couples, but for all couples and relationships through our short time here on earth.

Finally we can LOL!

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Shawn October 7, 2011 at 6:43 am

nice plant. who’s pocket are you in?

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Desarae October 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I love Whitney! I love her sense of humor and the dynamics of the show. Its my new favorite!

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Kat October 5, 2011 at 9:53 am

I pegged “Whitney” for being the first show of the 2011-2012 season to get cancelled, that’s how bad it is. But “Up All Night” is great, so they’re lucky, in a sense, that they’re getting this full season chance to prove themselves.

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Kat October 5, 2011 at 9:57 am

Although, yeah, I would’ve expected Free Agents to get the pick up over either of ‘em. And I’m not a fan of sitcoms in general.

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Colin October 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm

definitely agree, heck Whitney has a 4.0 on IMDB with over 1,000 votes

now I do think the other show Whitney Cummings helped create this fall is actually very good, 2 Broke Girls

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Zabster October 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

I like to 2 broke girls but I can’t get passed the horse. It’s corny and strange and out of place. A show about 2 girls trying to save every penny they can and trying to care for a horse that just stands in their downtown backyard?
I like the show but the whole horse thing has got to go.

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Bruce October 5, 2011 at 8:26 am

Haven’t seen Up All Night, not interested in it. Whitney I saw an episode via on demand, it was OK, nothing that I would make a special effort to watch regularly. Maybe NBC, and other networks, the standard sitcom is just , like played out? Hmmm?

In the dozens of hours I watch TV every week, i watch exactly one comedy. It is consistently funny, and actually has unique characters (rather than the usual plucky lead, wacky sidekick, guy with the accent, black guy in the corner, horny old lady, etc etc etc). Can you guess what it is? Hint: Its on CBS on Thursdays. Hint #2: “Penny! Penny! Penny!”

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poochie October 5, 2011 at 7:34 am

They say Whitney is “refreshingly authentic”? While I did enjoy the show and find there are some really good laughs, I won’t call this show refreshingly authentic. Wasn’t this done in “Better with you”? The lead’s sister was also unmarried, for 8 years, and living together. That show was hilarious, and was cancelled after one season. So disappointed that it was cancelled as it was really funny and a very nice sitcom.

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Joe October 5, 2011 at 5:57 am

I’m a huge Will Arnett but Up All Night was so beyond terrible I had to turn it off. Are there any good writers left in Hollywood?

I’m not even bothering with Whitney. She’s irritating and useless.

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Ed Stone October 5, 2011 at 12:04 am

To each their own. I think Whitney is cleaver, funny and well done. I like the characters. There is a certain Lucy-esque quality to Whitney’s character. Up All Night and Free Agent strike me as just a couple of New Yorkers being New Yorkers. And I like New York. I just think that new parents who are surrounded by people who don’t like babies and who seem to hide the kid during most of the show aren’t funny. Neither are a couple of newly single people who keep ending up in bed together even though they don’t want to is that funny.

Situation comedies rely on situations, and the two episodes of Whitney so far set up the situation, and then let things happen that go out of control. Classic. And funny.

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Jeremy Rynek October 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Trust me I know. Chase, Trauma, Law & order LA and few others got full seasons, but they still got axed.

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The Roast Beef Vampire October 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm

This is definitely a mistake. Up All Night and Whitney are both horrible shows. Free Agents, which follows Up All Night on Wednesday nights, is a much better show but will probably be the next show cancelled by NBC. NBC is a dying network, they have 2-3 shows that are worth watching.

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dennis October 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I think they are both pretty good…there is only about 4 or 5 watchable real shows anymore,everything else is realty garbage

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CancelWhitney October 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I’d eat 10 gallons of Reality Garbage for every 2 minutes of Whitney I didn’t have to watch.

Seriously, it is the absolute worst show on TV, which is saying a lot because the Kardashians are still on TV. Let that sink in…the Kardashians are more entertaining than this show.

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poochie October 5, 2011 at 7:35 am

I had started to watch this and stopped after a few minutes. But then I revisited it days later and I ended up watching the second episode, because I actually liked it. I find the boyfriend very funny as well. Maybe you could give it a second chance, cause it`s really a likeable show. I liked it more than Up All Night actually.

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