ABC Gives Full Season Orders to ONCE UPON A TIME, LAST MAN STANDING, HAPPY ENDINGS and Five More Scripts for PAN AM

     November 3, 2011


Finally, it’s time for ABC to chime in with their verdict on some series that have been waiting for good or bad news. Thankfully, it seems be mostly good all around with EW reporting that the network has given full season orders to their new freshman fairytale drama Once Upon a Time and Tim Allen‘s return to sitcoms with Last Man Standing. Personally I found the former pilot to be an absolute pain to get through while the latter sitcom is cheesy, but not without a few genuine laughs. Unfortunately, the exaggerated nature of that kind of sitcom coupled with the audience laughter just doesn’t work for me. However, a comedy that really has continued to shine and keep fans laughing is Happy Endings, which just got a full season order for its sophomore run.

However, one show still waiting in the wings is the fantastic but, lower rated Pan Am since the show only got an order for five more scripts, which doesn’t guarantee that more episodes will be ordered to air. It’s only slightly below the line of what ABC wants out of the drama, but the great cast, intrigue, romance and more have made it a surprisingly enjoyable addition to the set of series recordings on my DVR. So it sounds like all you Nielsen families and viewers need to tune in and give it a chance, because it’s really quite stellar and you can’t go wrong with lovely ladies like Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie and Kelli Garner. Here’s hoping Pan Am joins the ranks of these other ABC shows sooner that later.

  • Scurvy

    What about ‘Man Up’?

    I think it is much better than ‘Last Man Standing’.

    • aaronsullivan

      My thoughts exactly.

      I kind of enjoy Last Man Standing, but it’s rough around the edges and still finding its footing. The canned laughter doesn’t work for me anymore, either, but there is definitely some good stuff going on at its core. Has potential to get better.

      Man Up is instantly enjoyable for me and mine and it’s a far more confidently created with immediately endearing characters and very funny situations. I was surprised how good it is. I wonder if there is no decision being made yet because it started a bit later than the others.

      I tried to care about Pan Am… I just couldn’t. I wanted Christina Ricci to be more important because she’s such an interesting actress. Oh well.

      I tried hard to like Once Upon a Time as well, but I found it to be a tonal mess. Nobody seems to be on the same page about what type of show it is. I could imagine reading it on the page and liking it, but the last episode I found I was just waiting to get to the next “Oh, that’s Jimminy Cricket” moment and realized how hollow and unrewarding the entire experience was.

      • Scurvy

        You make a great point about the laugh track.

        It ruins pretty much every single show.

        In my opinion, the two best comedies on network TV right now are Man Up and Raising Hope.

        I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they don’t have laugh tracks either. It’s easy to not have one when the show is genuinely funny.

        Filmed in front of a live studio audience is one thing, at least you know it’s quasi-realistic. Laugh tracks are just plain awful.

  • Bill Graham

    I found ONCE UPON A TIME to be kind of a mess as well. I enjoyed it enough to come back for more, and realize a lot of pilots are going to be poor representations for the quality of the show as a whole. These are what get them picked up, sure, but they are also generally thrown together pretty quickly. You base it on potential more than what it does for you now.

    I watched an episode of MAN UP recently and quite enjoyed it. Very funny.

    Also, I will echo the sentiments of the live audience shows. YUCK. I used to watch some, like Seinfeld and various others. But now, they ring very hollow. Saw a commercial for HAPPY ENDINGS and I want to tune in.

    And I thought PAN AM looked like a late MAD MEN ripoff. But if you like it, Ethan, I will check it out.