It took a little while, but ABC
finally gave out its first back-nine orders of the fall on Monday (October 29) afternoon.
Interestingly, the first full-season order for a new show didn't go to the exhaustively hyped and and enthusiastically received "Nashville" or "Last Resort."
Instead, ABC's first full-season order for a freshman series went to "The Neighbors
," which hasn't been as well-reviewed, but has done an acceptable job of retaining viewers from its Wednesday lead-in "The Middle." The alien comedy was originally scheduled for Wednesdays after "Modern Family," but was shifted to the earlier slot in favor of "Suburgatory" (which has, like everything else in the 9:30 slot, struggled to hold onto the "Modern Family" audience).
Also getting a full compliment of episodes is the Shonda Rhimes drama "Scandal," which had been ordered for 13 episodes, but will now get 22 for its second season.
"Scandal," which stars Kerry Washington, has lost a lot of viewers from its "Grey's Anatomy" lead-in, but the drama was expected to continue after last week's announcement that Rhimes' third ABC series, "Private Practice," would be wrapping its six-season journey after 13 episodes this season.
In addition to "Nashville" and "Last Resort," ABC still hasn't decided the short-term fate of the Sunday drama "666 Park Avenue," while the network's other new comedy, "Malibu Country," won't premiere until this Friday. Both "Last Resort" and "666 Park Avenue" received orders for additional scripts.
ABC was the last network to hand out a single back-nine order. CBS, NBC and FOX have all extended several of their new shows, while The CW has given a back-nine order to the freshman hit "Arrow."