ABC will follow NBC’s lead in trying a full night of comedy later this season — but before that, one “Friend” will take the place of another on the network’s Wednesday-night schedule.
The Alphabet has set premiere dates for the two midseason comedies on its slate, and both will work their way into the Wednesday rotation. “Mr. Sunshine,” which stars Matthew Perry as the misanthropic manager of a sports arena, will debut at 9:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, Feb. 9 — where it will take the place of “Cougar Town,” which stars Perry’s former TV wife, Courteney Cox.
“Mr. Sunshine” will air for nine weeks through April 6; “Cougar Town” returns April 13, at which point ABC will make its Wednesday night an all-comedy lineup with the addition of another new show, “Happy Endings.” It will air at 10 p.m. ET, followed by “fan favorite” episodes of “Modern Family.” (The 10 o’clock hour will open up at that time because drama “Off the Map” will have completed its 13-episode order.
The first part of ABC’s Wednesday lineup — “The Middle,” “Better With You” and “Modern Family” — will remain intact through the end of the season.
“Mr. Sunshine,” which Perry co-created with Alex Barnow and Marc Firek, also stars Andrea Anders (“Better Off Ted”), James Lesure (“Las Vegas”), Nate Torrence (“Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) and Allison Janney (“The West Wing,” “Juno”).
“Happy Endings” is about a couple (“24’s” Elisha Cuthbert and “FlashForward’s” Zach Knighton) who break up at the altar and try to figure out how to coexist within their common circle of friends. It also stars Eliza Coupe (“Scrubs”), Casey Wilson (“Saturday Night Live”), Damon Wayans Jr. and Adam Pally; Adam Caspe is the creator.