ABC gives ‘Malibu Country,’ ‘Last Man Standing’ five additional episodes each

Malibu CountryEven though ABC’s attempt to revive “TGIF” has dropped off some since its premiere earlier this fall, the network can at least still celebrate one thing: the ratings as a whole on Friday nights are up, and with that in mind, it’s hardly a shock to see a pair of sitcoms in “Last Man Standing” and “Malibu Country” reap the benefits.

Basically, both of these series have seen their orders extended by five episodes, which will give them a total of 18 for their second and first seasons, respectively. So why only 18 rather than the customary 22-episode full-season order? There are a pair of motivating factors behind it:

1. Even though both shows had tremendous starts on the night, they have each lost already at least 25% of their 18-49 audience over the past few weeks. The network has to be wary of more drops in the future, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

2. Since both shows started so late this year, getting 18 episodes is pretty much the equivalent of a full season. We suppose more could be ordered if the ratings surge, but we doubt it.

At the moment, this sort of commitment should at least give Tim Allen and Reba McEntire some hope that ABC is really going to give this lineup a chance rather than just get rid of the comedies quickly. It has to be noted that “Shark Tank” has been boosted tremendously since its move to after the shows at 9:00 p.m., and that may be a motivating factor here, as well. Ultimately, though, “Last Man Standing” may in particular need to show some solid numbers week to week considering the salary Allen is making, which is large by the standard of a show in only its second season.

What is your reaction to this? If you want to read some more news about recent “Malibu Country” ratings, you can do so here.

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