NBC has ordered five more episodes of its freshman comedy Sean Saves the World, bringing the first season total to 18 episodes.
Sean Saves the World stars Sean Hayes as a divorced gay father to a 14-year-old daughter, Ellie (Samantha Isler). Sean not only has to balance his work and family life, but has to deal with his pushy mother, Lorna (Linda Lavin) as well.
The series premiered on October 3 to 4.43 million viewers, but viewership dipped with subsequent episodes — the second episode dropped to a series low of 3.26 million viewers. However, the November 7 episode “Sean Comes Clean” outperformed the pilot with 4.55 million viewers. The series has received mixed reviews from critics.
“It’s just the struggle of the elephant in the room, which is, ‘How do you get viewers to NBC?’ NBC programs great shows, it just doesn’t have the eyeballs CBS does,” the 43-year-old Emmy Award winner said.
“Even if I wasn’t on the show, it’d be the funniest sitcom, to me, on the air right now,” Hayes added. “I wouldn’t change anything right now, I think it’s all working.”
NBC recently canceled Welcome to the Family and Ironside after three episodes. Welcome to the Family drew only 2.99 million viewers when it premiered on October 3, making it NBC’s lowest in-season comedy debut.
A remake of the 1960s series of the same, Ironside starred Blair Underwood as paraplegic Chief of Detectives Robert T. Ironside. Underwood’s casting drew controversy over the fact that he isn’t actually disabled (neither was Raymod Burr, the star of the original series).
Sons of Anarchy star Kurt Yaeger compared Underwood’s casting to “having a white guy do blackface.” However, executive producer Teri Weinberg said the series cast a non-disabled actor because there were flashbacks to Ironside’s life before he became a paraplegic.
While NBC has saved Sean Saves the World from cancellation for the time being, The Michael J. Fox Show may not be so lucky. TV by the Numbers‘ Cancellation Bear currently has the freshman comedy listed as more likely to be canceled than renewed by May 2014.