Ashley Rickards and Molly Tarlov of 'Awkward'
With steadily rising ratings early in its first season, the teen comedy "Awkward
" has been renewed for a second run on MTV.
"Awkward" still has seven more original episodes to air in its first season, while the season season will debut in 2012.
"The show is really resonating with out young audiences," states MTV programming head David Janollari. "What I like about the show is that it first and foremost is a comedy but it's also not afraid to be honest and emotional. It's all about the voice of Jenna that Lauren Iungerich so brilliantly created, and with Ashley Rickards, we have an immensely watchable TV star who gives Jenna all the depth and humor and pathos and sympathy we’re looking for in a TV star."
In addition to Rickards, "Awkward" stars Beau Mirchoff, Molly Tarlov, Jillian Rose Reed, Brett Davern, Nikki DeLoach and Desi Lydic. The series was created by Lauren Iungerich, who recently got an additional vote of confidence when MTV sent her "Dumb Girls" script to pilot.
Despite airing in a somewhat cumbersome 11 p.m. time period, "Awkward" hit a series high last week in MTV's core 12-34 demo, up 21 percent from the prior week. Since its July 19 premiere, "Awkward" has been averaging 1.7 million weekly viewers.
At the Television Critics Association press tour early this month, Janollari explained the decision to air the half-hour comedy at 11 p.m.
"[O]ur programming strategy on this was kind of just simple. 'Teen Mom'.. it's one of our highest-rated shows on the entire network," he said. "It also has one of the highest concentrations of our female audience, and we thought it would be a natural flow to try to get all of the all of the audience from 'Teen Mom' to stay around and watch 'Awkward' right after. And, so far, that’s been proving to be a theory that’s worked."
Janollari didn't rule out the possibility that after establishing an audience, "Awkward" could eventually move to an earlier slot.
"Absolutely," he said. "It will run it will run behind 'Teen Mom' for its original 12 episodes this summer, and then, hopefully in success, we’ll look to bring it back in another in another place on the schedule."
for "Awkward" comes just days after MTV opted to cancel "The Hard Times of RJ Berger" after two seasons. MTV already renewed "Teen Wolf" earlier this summer after canceling "Skins" after only one season. On the original scripted front, MTV has "Death Valley" and "I Just Want My Pants Back" premiering later this summer and the animated offerings "Good Vibes" and "Beavis and Butt-head" premiering in October.