MTV’s single-camera comedy, The Hard Times of RJ Berger, has been renewed for a second season and singing star Justin Bieber may have helped make that happen.
The TV show received a jump in the ratings towards the end of its first season. On July 19th, Bieber tweeted, “Just met the guys who created that new show on @MTV “The Hard Times of #RJBerger” — good dudes. Show’s on tonight at 10pm. Funny stuff.”
That night’s rating reportedly went up 9% and the following week’s installment rose 14%.
Co-creator and executive producer David Katzenberg tells TV Guide that he’s grateful for any help Bieber gave. He said, “The show gets a big teen male audience… Hard Times is a word-of-mouth show and kids are not in school right now where they would be talking about it. That’s a problem for us, but Bieber’s fans are insanely loyal and I think it’s rubbing off on our show.”
The season finale is set to air on August 23rd. Here’s the official press release about the season two renewal…
MTV HARDENS COMMITMENT TO SCRIPTED PROGRAMMING WITH SEASON 2 GREENLIGHT OF “THE HARD TIMES OF RJ BERGER”
Season 1 Episode 109 Premieres Tonight at 10pm ET/PT: “It’s All About the Hamiltons”
Santa Monica, CA (August 2, 2010) – MTV has greenlit season two of its original comedy series “The Hard Times of RJ Berger,” building on the network’s growing slate of scripted programming, which includes recently announced greenlights for “Skins” and “Teen Wolf.” The second season of “Hard Times” underscores MTV’s broader programming strategy to leverage the success of its reality franchises to develop and nurture a range of new scripted series for the network’s millennial audience.
“The Hard Times of RJ Berger” is a half-hour, single camera, scripted, coming-of-age comedy that follows the awkward life of RJ Berger, a late-blooming loser struggling to navigate the minefield of being fifteen, and provides a new and twisted take on classic teenage milestones. MTV has ordered 12 episodes for Season 2. The season finale for the first season airs on August 23. Episode 109, “It’s All About the Hamiltons,” airs tonight at 10pm ET/PT.
“We are 100% committed to scripted programming, and our current reality hits like ‘Teen Mom’, ‘If You Really Knew Me’, and, of course, ‘Jersey Shore’, provide an incredibly solid foundation for us to launch scripted series and let them gain traction,” said Tony DiSanto, president of programming for MTV. “That’s key, because whereas reality tends to burn bright and fast, scripted series take time to grow. Plus we have been so heavily branded as a reality network it will take a beat for our viewers to embrace — this new diverse slate on the channel. That’s why we are so thrilled by the response to ‘The Hard Times of RJ Berger.’ After a sneak peek post the Movie Awards, the show has had solid week to week growth in its regular Monday night slot, as well as strong repeat numbers. We are thrilled to announce Season 2 coming soon to MTV!”
“The Hard Times of RJ Berger” continues to build in viewership with a 31% increase among P12-34 in the past four weeks. *
THE HARD TIMES OF RJ BERGER
Episode 109: “It’s All About the Hamiltons”:
When a hungover RJ gets caught taking aspirin in the Principal’s office, he gets sent to detention, where he befriends a tough thug named Hamilton. As RJ enjoys the protection and power of Hamilton’s intimidating crew, his friend Lily tries out for the cheerleading squad in hopes of winning RJ’s attention.
The Hard Times of RJ Berger portrays the hilariously-hellish lives of a deeply unpopular 15 year-old named RJ Berger (Paul Iacono) and his scheming, sex-obsessed best friend, Miles Jenner (Jareb Dauplaise). For RJ, other than pining after the girl of his dreams, Jenny Swanson (Amber Lancaster), receiving daily beatings from the meanest jock in school, Max Owens (Jayson Blair), and evading the stalker-ish advances of Lily Miran (Kara Taitz), there really isn’t much excitement in his life. That is, until his anatomical gift is accidentally exposed to the entire school. In a single moment, RJ goes from anonymous to infamous, and for the first time in his life, he feels a tiny sliver of confidence. A coming-of-age comedy about a high school sophomore, the series is a part “The Wonder Years” and part “Superbad.”
Each episode incorporates a stylized animation sequence, identifying the show with pop culture and video games. The series was created by David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith.
*Source: NMR. L+SD 000s. 7/25/10 or as dated. % increase = 7/25/10 vs 7/5/10.
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 28 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries — giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV is the number one rated full-day ad-supported cable network for P12-24 and P12-34. Online, MTV.com averaged 24.5 million monthly unique visitors during the first quarter of 2010 — up +8% from Q4/2009 and up +13% year-over-year. Average video streams for the first quarter of 2010 increased +8% from the Q4/2009 and is up +6% over the same time period last year. And MTV’s successful sibling networks MTV2 and mtvU each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving young males, music fans, and college students like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
What do you think? Are you glad that the show’s been renewed? Is it worth watching?
Image courtesy MTV.