The two shows have performed reasonably well in competitive timeslots thus far this fall. “Up All Night” debuted to more than 10 million viewers behind the finale of “America’s Got Talent” on Sept. 14, then has averaged about 5.7 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in among adults 18-49 in its regular 8 o’clock Wednesday home. Those aren’t great numbers, but they’re significantly better than what the network aired in the timeslot last season.
“Whitney,” meanwhile, has averaged 6.1 million viewers and a 2.9 rating in the demo. Through its first two episodes it has retained about 78 percent of the 18-49 rating from its lead-in, “The Office,” and 85 percent of total viewers.
“We made comedy an important goal for us this season, and I’m very pleased to be making full-season commitments to both ‘Whitney’ and ‘Up All Night.'” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt says. “We’re thrilled with the creative direction of both shows as well as the potential for them to continue to build loyal audiences over the coming months.”
Missing from NBC’s announcement is the network’s other new comedy, “Free Agents.” The show has struggled following “Up All Night,” averaging just 3.5 million viewers so far, and seems like a long shot to get a full season. (NBC also dumped “The Playboy Club” on Tuesday.)
The pickups mean NBC will potentially have to tweak its Thursday comedy lineup when “30 Rock” returns at midseason. We don’t see the network moving “30 Rock” to another night, and the three-hour comedy block it tried for a while last season didn’t fare especially well. That likely means one of the other Thursday comedies could join “Up All Night” elsewhere on the schedule.
NBC also has three other half-hours — “Bent,” “BFF” and “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea” — on tap for midseason.