One of the hottest new dramas of the Fall season is extending its run. ABC has handed out what they are calling a “full-season” order to FBI terrorism drama Quantico starring Priyanka Chopra.
In a departure from the norm, however, the pick-up is only for six additional episodes rather than the more traditional “back nine”. The reduced order is said to accommodate ABC’s hectic midseason schedule, which may preclude the network from airing a 22 episode season.
Quantico has been a breakout hit for ABC on Sunday nights. Since the premiere last month, Quantico has been averaging 7 million viewers and a 1.8 demo rating in live+same day; boosting the network’s average audience on Sunday nights considerably year-over-year. The series has also been a big DVR gainer, with the series premiere jumping a huge 79% to deliver a total audience of 12.15 million viewers and a 3.4 demo rating.
It’s been a perfect storm for Quantico. Thanks in part to an identifiable star with an international fan base in Priyanka Chopra, the project largely sailed through development and scored a series order at ABC back in May. ABC put a lot of money behind the marketing campaign (faux pas aside) and the series wowed international buyers at the LA Screenings, with Disney Media Distribution quickly selling Quantico to a raft of international broadcasters including UKTV’s Alibi channel in the UK.
With this pick up, Quantico is the second new series to earn a full-season order, after NBC handed out a traditional back-nine order to their breakout series Blindspot, starring Sullivan Stapleton and Jaimie Alexander. While the networks have been slow in ordering additional episodes, several shows, such as Rosewood and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, have received orders for additional scripts; while Fox’s Minority Report has had its order cut to ten episodes. A number of back-nine orders are expected to come down in the next two weeks.