The upcoming fourth episode of new NBC comedy Sunnyside this week will be the last on the linear network. Staring the following Thursday, Oct. 24, NBC will debut the 11th and final season of Will & Grace in Sunnyside‘s Thursday 9:30 PM slot.
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NBC has ordered an additional episode of Sunnyside, bringing its order from 10 to 11 episodes. The remaining 7 episodes will air weekly on the NBC App, other digital platforms and NBC.com. The series is currently in production on Episode 9 and will compete all 11 episodes.
Sunnyside opened to a 0.4 18-49 rating and 1.78 million viewers in L+SD, numbers that had not been seen yet for a Big 4 in-season scripted series debut.
Especially with its comedies, NBC is playing the long game, searching for another Good Place — a smart, single-camera comedy that is a modest linear performer but a digital hit and has the markings of another streaming blockbuster down the road like the network’s The Office and Parks & Recreations, both owned by NBCUniversal. Even with that in mind, Sunnyside, produced by NBC sibling Universal TV, started low and kept sliding to a 0.3 in 18-49 and 1.18 million viewers (L+SD) in Week 3.
While its linear performance has been soft, possibly hurting its lead-out, veteran drama Law & Order: SVU at 10 PM, the comedy starring Kal Penn has generated enough of an increases through digital and linear delayed viewing to warrant a digital play of the remaining episodes. The 18-49 rating for its premiere has grown by 150% versus Live+Same Day (though off a very small base), from a 0.4 to a 1.0. The Sunnyside opener was also the second most social broadcast comedy premiere by Total Activity during Premiere Week and was NBC’s most social broadcast comedy premiere in two years, according to the network. Additionally, Sunnyside has the #4 most affluent and the #3 most educated audience among broadcast series, also per NBC.
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Last season Will & Grace averaged a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers in Live+7, building on its lead-in by double-digits. After 35 days of digital and linear delayed viewing, those Will & Grace season averages grew to 2.3 rating in 18-49 and 6.9 million viewers overall.
The series, which has earned 91 Emmy Award nominations and 18 wins, including for Outstanding Comedy Series, stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes.
Creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan write and executive produce. James Burrows directs and executive produces. Will & Grace is produced by Universal Television.
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