Whatever Happened To Predictability?

ABC has picked up a comedy, “Surviving Suburbia,” starring Bob Saget — a show that was originally intended for the CW (or rather the independent production company that was originally supposed to take over the CW’s Sunday nights), but instead is going to be on an actual network. 

After the CW dropped them, the production company continued making the episodes, producing 13 half-hours on spec and then shopping the entire package around to the networks. Presumably they were figuring that with demand for comedy going up, and particularly for comedies about people who aren’t particularly affluent, one of the real networks might buy the show just so they could have a ready-made comedy for the midseason. It worked with ABC, whose hour-long comedies aren’t doing the kind of business they’d hoped (Ugly Betty is going on semi-hiatus; Pushing Daisies is gone), which is using the final season of Scrubs as a comedy placeholder, and was looking for a more “downscale” comedy. With networks scrambling around to find half-hour comedies, and with Warner Brothers being the only studio that really has a strong comedy factory going at the moment, that could provide an opening for independents and semi-independents to sell stuff to the networks; at least it did in this case.

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