Once upon a time, there was a man named Tim Allen, and he had a happy ending. Such is the news out of ABC today, as the network has ordered full seasons of Once Upon a Time, Last Man Standing, and Happy Endings (all three series were given "back nine" pickups, bringing each show's episode count up to 22). Given the ratings success of all three shows, none of these decisions came as a surprise.
After two episodes, it's fair to call Once Upon a Time a hit (for now). The fairytale drama, which debuted earlier this month, premiered to big numbers and then did something even more impressive: It held onto its audience! I know, right!? The show has drawn more than 12 million total viewers and a 4.0 rating—a fairly shocking performance for a genre series with both a high concept and people in funny costumes. The basic premise is that classic fairytale characters exist across two alternating universes; one of them is the fairytale land were they belong, the other is the real world, where they have no recollection of being Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, etc. It's created quite a buzz here at TV.com and even features some really wacky fights between witches!
Tim Allen's new comedy Last Man Standing has been a pleasant surprise for ABC, premiering to more than 13 million viewers and holding on to almost 9.4 million of those in its most recent episode. Go ahead and pick your jaw up off the floor; the show is here to stay and there's a place for it on TV.
Happy Endings, which is in its second season after a short midseason debut last spring, will go the distance this season after settling into ABC's new potent Wednesday-night comedy block. It's become a nice partner for Modern Family in the nine o'clock hour, with its most recent episode drawing 7.62 million and a solid 3.4 rating in the adult demo. And now I'm about to say something controversial: It's WAY better than Modern Family. Debate in the comments!
ABC has also ordered five more episodes of Pan Am, a good sign that the network is at least considering keeping that drama around. But with last Sunday's installment notching only 5.46 million viewers and a 1.8 rating, those scripts are going to have to be really, really good. Like, spontaneous stewardess orgy while Russian spies try to hijack the plane good.
There's no word yet on Man Up, for obvious reasons.
Which one of these pickups are you most excited about?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom