But even with all that love, there’s no guarantee they’ll stick around for next season.
First, the good news. “We love those two shows,” Lee said Thursday (Jan. 10) at the TCA winter press tour. “They’re incredibly distinctive — they’re water-cooler shows. They’re incredibly well-written.”
Lee also says the double runs of the two shows on Sundays and Tuesdays shows the network’s dedication to them, as he hopes to get more people to sample the show (although it also burns through episodes quicker, making room for ABC’s spring lineup). He also thinks they have a chance to grow on Tuesdays after a fall run that was disrupted by the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy.
“We know [‘Happy Endings’] has to stand on its own — it did a great job with ‘Modern Family,’ but every show has to stand on its own, and ‘Happy Endings’ is ready to do that,” Lee says. “We’re going to back it as we go through the season.”
That’s nice to hear, but both shows are squarely on the bubble. “Happy Endings” averages about 4.9 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49, and “Don’t Trust the B—-” comes in at 3.9 million viewers and a 1.6 in the demographic.
Lee says the network hasn’t made any decisions about its 2013-14 lineup yet, “but I can tell you these are shows that we love.” So there’s that, at least.