This is one time “The Flash” didn't move fast enough.
ABC has become the first network this fall to extend full-season orders, confirming the extended runs for “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Black-ish.”
The “How To Get Away With Murder” pick-up comes with a bit of a caveat. The Shonda Rhimes-produced, Peter Nowalk-created drama will air only 15 episodes this season, part of the price of getting into business with a star as busy and in-demand as Viola Davis. The restricted full season was always part of the plan and was discussed by ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee and by the producers at the TCA press tour over the summer.
As for “Black-ish,” the Anthony Anderson comedy got a full back-nine order and will air 22 episodes this season.
The “Black-ish” pick-up comes after the show's third episode drew 8.28 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49, up from the previous week. “Black-ish” had had more consistent retention of its “Modern Family” lead-in than any comedy in recent memory. [It's almost as if programming a show about a contemporary family to air after “Modern Family” was a better idea than programming a show about drunken hipsters trying to get laid or Rebel Wilson trying to speak with an American accent.]
“How To Get Away With Murder” has been a major success for ABC, anchoring the network's three-hour block of Shonda Rhimes dramas. In addition to fantastic live viewership — the second episode drew 12.15 million viewers and a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 — the DVR playback numbers have been impressive. With Live+3 Day DVR data added in, last week's episode rose to 17 million viewers and a 5.3 key demo rating, rising 61 percent among adults 18-49.
“Black-ish” and “How To Get Away With Murder” were both no-brainers to get full seasons (even if the “HTGAWM” pick-up isn't really a pick-up at all), but the only question was whether The CW would pull the trigger first on ordering a back-nine for “The Flash,” which launched on Tuesday to the network's biggest numbers in five years.
We'll just have to wait for that “Flash” pickup.
Now we have to sit back and wait for the first cancellation. Will it be “Manhattan Love Story”? Will FOX run out of patience with “Red Band Society” after its key demo numbers dipped below The Mulaney Line (a 1.0)? Will FOX pull the plug on the show that gave birth to The Mulaney Line, “Mulaney”?