One Tuesday comedy lives a little longer, while the other goes away
Well, ABC has figured out a way to air all the remaining episodes of "Happy Endings" before "Dancing with the Stars" returns in March — it just comes at the expense of the network's other Tuesday comedy, "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23," which has been pulled off the schedule, effective immediately.
Both shows are pre-empted tonight by the premiere of ABC's new cooking competition show "The Taste," but starting next week, we'll get "Happy Endings" at both 9 and 9:30 each Tuesday until "Dancing" is back.
The return of "Dancing" — and the decision to back away from a planned four-comedy Tuesday bloc that was announced last spring — left ABC with more inventory of both shows than the network was going to be able to air. For a few weeks, the solution was to air additional episodes on Sunday nights (the "Happy Endings" producers talked to me about that back at press tour), but the ratings were so low that the Sunday airings were dropped. I'm told that all the remaining "Happy Endings" episodes should air by the time "Dancing" is on the air again, while there will be eight episodes of "Don't Trust the Birkenstock" in limbo. (As "Don't Trust the Bugle" co-star James Van Der Beek bluntly put it on Twitter, "We've basically been canceled.")
I won't mourn the loss of "Don't Trust the Biplane," but that's also because every time I tuned in this season, it seemed to be a leftover episode from last spring (Liza Lapira tended to be the giveaway), which meant I got very little exposure to whether the show did or didn't improve in season 2. But given its ratings, there was no way it was going to return next season, anyway. The question is whether this represents a significant sign of hope for "Happy Endings," or just Paul Lee playing favorites between the fanbases of two different doomed comedies. At a minimum, it's not bad news that Lee picked "Happy Endings" to stay on the air for the next couple of months.