ABC has announced that comedies American Housewife and Bless This Mess have each received a six-episode extension, bringing their season totals to 21 and 19 respectively.
“Bless This Mess has quickly become a fan favorite, due in large part to the expert wit of co-creators Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether, and our incredibly talented and charismatic cast,” said ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke. “This series exquisitely captures a witty and warm look into the close-knit communities of America’s heartland, and we are so excited to deliver more stories from ‘Bucksnort’ to the masses.” Burke added, “Sarah Dunn created something special with hit comedy American Housewife, and the Otto family continues to entertain on a level that is relatable and hilarious. As Katie Otto, Katy Mixon delivers a welcome comedic relief with her acerbic take on life. These are two of the funniest, sharpest fish-out-of-water comedies on television. We’re proud of their incredible creative teams and look forward keeping viewers laughing this season.”
There’s no word yet as to why American Housewife, a solid utility player for the network that is in a syndication season, was given a 15-episode order this season, but the extension seems like a vote of confidence from the network. The series has thus far been close to even with year-ago time slot occupant Fresh Off the Boat.
As a midseason entrant that was renewed, Bless This Mess began this season with a 13-episode order. Though it’s not had a ratings breakout despite the time slot upgrade, the back order points to the network favoring it over Goldbergs spinoff Schooled, which still has no extension. What likely came into play is ownership (ABC owns Bless This Mess and only co-produces Schooled) and the network’s desire to continue their relationships with Mess creative team Liz Meriwether and Lake Bell.
Unless Schooled gets a late back order, it seems likely that the ABC Tuesday block will remain the same all season while Wednesdays will be where new multi-cam United We Fall debuts.
Last month, ABC gave back orders to newbies Mixed-ish and Stumptown, as well as sophomore drama The Rookie. The network’s other freshman show Emergence is 13-episodes by design and awaits word on a second season.