Yahoo! News: ABC to Hold 'Wife Swap' Meet Year Round
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Mon Nov 1, 7:39 AM ET
Entertainment - Reuters TV
By Nellie Andreeva
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - ABC has given the green light to a full season of its reality series "Wife Swap," which has proved a solid performer in the competitive Wednesday 10 p.m. period against NBC's "Law & Order" and CBS' "CSI: NY."
Along with other broadcast networks, ABC also took a half-step toward picking up a clutch of fledgling freshman series by handing out a number of additional script orders during the past week.
But in general, the networks seem to be treading more cautiously this year than in the recent past when it comes to giving full-season pickups to new series performing in the fair-to-middling range. Additional scripts help network and studio brass evaluate the long-term prospects for shows on the Nielsen fence without having to commit to putting them into production.
ABC has ordered nine more scripts of its Tuesday 9:30 p.m. sitcom "Rodney," which has done respectable, if not impressive, business behind 9 p.m. anchor "According to Jim." It also asked for six more scripts of Friday newcomer "Complete Savages," which has so far been fairly weak behind "8 Simple Rules" in the 8 p.m. hour.
Sources said CBS has ordered two additional scripts for its struggling Friday drama "Dr. Vegas" and another two for equally ratings-challenged frosh drama "Clubhouse."
UPN has ordered four more scripts apiece on the new dramas that generated significant critical buzz for the network this year but haven't connected as well with viewers: "Kevin Hill" and "Veronica Mars." The network also bought three more scripts of its romantic comedy "Second Time Around."
The WB Network has ordered four more scripts of drama "The Mountain," which had no sway in the plum post-"Smallville" slot on Wednesday and so has been rerouted to Sunday 9 p.m. as of this week.
Meanwhile, ABC's pickup of "Wife Swap" brings the total number of episodes ordered to 22, including two specials, "Husband Swap" and "Boss Swap," which are meant to serve as backdoor pilots for potential spinoff series.
The solid performance of "Wife Swap," which features two mothers from different backgrounds swapping households for two weeks, has been overshadowed by ABC's new drama hotshots "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" so far this season. The reality series is running neck and neck with "Law & Order" among adults 18-49 (4.4 rating/11 share vs. 4.5/11) and has improved ABC's performance in the hour in the demo by 52%.