ABC has handed out a back nine order to their Friday night comedy series Dr. Ken, starring former Community star Ken Jeong, TVWise has learned. With this full season order, ABC has now ordered a total of 22 episodes, matching the size of the order for time-slot companion Last Man Standing.
Dr. Ken follows the eponymous character, who is described as a brilliant physician with no bedside manner. He is always trying to be a good doctor, as well as a good husband and dad to his two kids. However, these good intentions have a way of driving everyone crazy at both work and at home. Luckily, his therapist wife Allison is just the right partner to keep things sane. Produced by Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios the comedy stars Ken Jeong, Suzy Nakamura, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Dave Foley, Jonathan Slavin, Albert Tsai and Krista Marie Yu.
Friday night comedy has been a tough nut for ABC to crack. Over the past few years the network has been hunting for a series that could not only survive but thrive on this typically lower trafficked night, just as Last Man Standing has since its premiere in 2011. All previous attempts, such as Mailbu Country, The Neighbors and Cristela started off well, but were unable to maintain an audience and lasted only one season in the slot.
While it’s early days, there are signs that Dr. Ken may be the series to break that curse. The Ken Jeong fronted series has been able to retain 100% of it lead-in from Last Man Standing in the A18-49 demo, boosting ABC’s Friday night average audience by 25%. Season to date, Dr. Ken has been averaging just shy of 7 million viewers and a 1.5 demo rating in live+3 delivery.
Dr Ken also has the distinction of being the first new comedy from the 2015-2016 season to earn a full season pick-up, with all the other back orders going to drama series. Those other new series to have earned full seasons are NBC’s breakout hit Blindspot, ABC’s FBI thriller Quantico and Fox procedural Rosewood. ABC has also ordered a full season of sophomore comedy Fresh Off The Boat.