Happy Endings (TV series)

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Happy Endings
HappyEndingstc.png
Happy Endings title card
GenreSitcom
Created byDavid Caspe
StarringEliza Coupe
Elisha Cuthbert
Zachary Knighton
Adam Pally
Damon Wayans, Jr.
Casey Wilson
Composer(s)Ludwig Göransson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes57 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)David Caspe
Jonathan Groff
Josh Bycel
Jamie Tarses
Anthony Russo
Joe Russo
Producer(s)Matt Nodella
Prentice Penny
Steven Mesner
Editor(s)Sandra Montiel
Steven Sprung
Richard Candib
Cindy Mollo (pilot only)
Robert Bramwell
Location(s)Paramount Studios
5555 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Chicago, Illinois
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22–25 minutes
Production company(s)FanFare Productions
Shark vs. Bear Productions
ABC Studios
Sony Pictures Television
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television (USA)
Sony Pictures Television (non-USA)
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Original runApril 13, 2011 (2011-04-13)  – May 3, 2013 (2013-05-03)
Chronology
Related showsHappy Endings:
Happy Rides
 
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Happy Endings
HappyEndingstc.png
Happy Endings title card
GenreSitcom
Created byDavid Caspe
StarringEliza Coupe
Elisha Cuthbert
Zachary Knighton
Adam Pally
Damon Wayans, Jr.
Casey Wilson
Composer(s)Ludwig Göransson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes57 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)David Caspe
Jonathan Groff
Josh Bycel
Jamie Tarses
Anthony Russo
Joe Russo
Producer(s)Matt Nodella
Prentice Penny
Steven Mesner
Editor(s)Sandra Montiel
Steven Sprung
Richard Candib
Cindy Mollo (pilot only)
Robert Bramwell
Location(s)Paramount Studios
5555 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Chicago, Illinois
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22–25 minutes
Production company(s)FanFare Productions
Shark vs. Bear Productions
ABC Studios
Sony Pictures Television
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television (USA)
Sony Pictures Television (non-USA)
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Original runApril 13, 2011 (2011-04-13)  – May 3, 2013 (2013-05-03)
Chronology
Related showsHappy Endings:
Happy Rides

Happy Endings is an American sitcom television series that ran on ABC from April 13, 2011 to May 3, 2013. The single-camera ensemble comedy originally aired as a mid-season replacement with a one-hour premiere of two back-to-back episodes starting at 9:30 pm ET/PT.[1] In the weeks that followed, the show continued to air back-to-back episodes that began airing at 10:00 pm ET/PT.[2]

The show was created by David Caspe, who along with Jonathan Groff (previously a showrunner on Scrubs) served as the show's executive producers and showrunners.

On May 10, 2013, Happy Endings was canceled by ABC after three seasons. ABC's erratic scheduling of the third season, resulting in the season's lower ratings and subsequent cancellation afterwards, has been called one of the "worst TV decisions" of the 2012–13 television season by Vulture.[3]

Plot[edit]

Happy Endings follows the dysfunctional adventures of six best friends living in Chicago: "crazy-in-love" married couple, businessman overachiever Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.) and his neurotic perfectionist wife Jane (Eliza Coupe); ditzy Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), a happy-go-lucky boutique owner and Jane's younger sister; daydreamer Dave (Zachary Knighton), an aspiring restaurateur and food truck owner who used to be engaged to Alex; slacker manchild Max (Adam Pally), who struggles with trying to hold a job and maintaining a consistent relationship; and serial dating single girl Penny (Casey Wilson), who fears she's forever doomed for spinsterhood and on an eternal search for Mr. Right.

The series first begins with the six friends dealing with their group dynamic drastically changing after the breakup of the couple that first brought them all together: Dave and Alex. This leaves the rest of the group (Max, Brad, Jane, and Penny) in the awkward position of either trying to stay together as friends or having to choose sides. Dave and Alex decide to stay friends, but there are many more complications down the road.[4]

While the initial "complications following Alex and Dave's breakup" premise was the focal point in the earlier episodes, this premise was mostly abandoned as the series went on, as the focus became more about the group dynamic of six best friends, in a similar vein of "friends hanging out" ensemble comedies like Friends and How I Met Your Mother. Typically, each episode featured two plot lines, in which varying combinations of the six characters find themselves involved.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedDVD release date
Season premiereSeason finaleRegion 1Region 2Region 4
113April 13, 2011 (2011-04-13)August 24, 2011 (2011-08-24)September 20, 2011 (2011-09-20)[5]March 12, 2012 (2012-03-12)[6]August 15, 2012 (2012-08-15)[7]
221September 28, 2011 (2011-09-28)April 4, 2012 (2012-04-04)October 23, 2012 (2012-10-23)[8]TBATBA
323October 23, 2012 (2012-10-23)[n 1]May 3, 2013 (2013-05-03)October 1, 2013 (2013-10-01)[9][n 2]TBATBA

Development and production[edit]

The cast of Happy Endings in the season three promo poster. (pictured from left to right) Eliza Coupe, Damon Wayans, Jr., Casey Wilson, Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert, and Adam Pally.

On January 19, 2010, ABC green-lit the pilot episode, which was written by David Caspe and directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.[10] The show is from production companies Sony Pictures Television, ABC Studios, and executive producer Jamie Tarses' FanFare Productions. Executive producers are Jamie Tarses, Jonathan Groff, and The Russo Brothers.

Casting announcements began in February 2010, with Damon Wayans, Jr. first cast as Brad, Jane's husband who does whatever she says.[11] Next to join the series was Casey Wilson as Penny, the group's desperate and single friend.[12] Eliza Coupe and Adam Pally shortly joined that cast, with Coupe playing Jane, Alex's control freak sister who is married to Brad, and Pally playing Max, Dave's close friend and roommate.[13][14] Elisha Cuthbert later joined the cast as Alex, Dave's ex-fiancé who leaves him at the altar.[15] Zachary Knighton was last actor to be cast as the newly single Dave.[16]

The pilot was ordered to series on May 13, 2010, as a mid-season entry in the 2010–11 United States network television schedule.[17]

On May 13, 2011, the show was renewed for a second season,[18] which premiered on September 28, 2011. On October 13, 2011, the show received an additional episode order of 6 scripts from ABC, citing improved ratings for the series [19] On November 3, 2011, ABC picked up the series for a full 22-episode second season.[20]

On May 11, 2012, Happy Endings was renewed for a third season of 23 episodes.[21] This season premiered on October 23, 2012 at 9:00 p.m.

Edits[edit]

In the sixth episode of the first season to air, "Of Mice and Jazz-Kwon-Do", Dave refers to the mouse he is trying to catch as "his bin Laden" and then went on to joke that he was referring to "Jessica bin Laden, a super hot Arab girl I went to college with. She was the one that got away". The episode, which was taped prior to the death of Osama bin Laden,[22] aired with ABC muting the final line, and removing the line entirely from online streams of the episode. The episode aired with the line unmuted on City in Canada[23] and is also left intact on the DVD release.[24]

The ninth episode of the first season to air, "You've Got Male", originally included a kiss between Max and Ian and was seen among several promotional images released prior to the episode airing. The kiss was ultimately removed from the episode. Before the episode aired, David Caspe explained that the kiss was cut purely as a creative decision and that there had been no pressure from the network to remove any gay content.[25]

Attempted continuation[edit]

On April 3, 2013, it was reported that Sony TV, which produces Happy Endings, had approached a few networks about continuing the series should ABC cancel it the following month, with USA being the most likely to pickup the show.[26] When ABC confirmed that they had canceled the show on May 10, 2013, Sony TV was said to be shopping the show around to other networks, with USA still reported as showing interest.[27] Talks were underway by May 15, 2013,[28] but showed signs of being unsuccessful as on May 16, 2013, the pickup was already labeled "unlikely"[29] as a result of Sony TV and USA being unable to agree on a price.[30] Two weeks later, despite coming to a general agreement regarding financials,[31] it was reported on June 1, 2013, that USA had opted not to pick up the show, with the low ratings during the third season being a factor as it would have required "a large investment in marketing and promotion" to successfully re-launch the show.[32]

As of June 14, 2013,[33] Sony TV was still talking to other distributors, with Amazon, Netflix,[32] TBS, and NBC[31] being named. At this point, there was just over two weeks left to finalize a deal as Sony's options on the cast contracts were set to expire on June 30, 2013.[34][35] By June 27, 2013, there was no serious talks to revive the series on broadcast, cable or streaming networks, as both NBC and TBS had also passed on the show.[36]

On June 28, 2013, Sony announced that the series had officially ended, citing an inability to find a new home for the show before the expiration of their contracts with the cast as the sole reason behind the decision.[34]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

Season one[edit]

The first season of the show premiered on ABC on April 13, 2011, and concluded on May 25. The premiere aired at a special time at 9:31PM[37] after Modern Family and was followed by another episode in the show's regular timeslot at 10PM. The show was originally set to air a single episode each week that followed, but ABC decided to air a fourth episode immediately after the third episode on April 20, 2011, at 10:30PM.[38] On April 29, 2011, it was announced that the show would air two episodes a week for three weeks at 10PM and 10:30PM beginning May 4, 2011.[39]

The season also aired mostly out of the intended broadcast order to make the initial episodes more "stand alone" in an effort to get more people invested in the show.[40] As a result, the episodes "Bo Fight" and "Barefoot Pedaler", which were intended to air as the second and third episodes[41] as they show the events in the weeks after Alex and Dave's wedding, aired as episodes 10 and 11. It was later revealed that the decision to air the episodes out-of-order was ultimately made by ABC.[42] The episodes later appeared in the intended order on the DVD release.[43]

The episode "Why Can't You Read Me?" was initially left unaired, however it later aired on August 24, 2011.

Season two[edit]

The second season of the show premiered September 28, 2011, and ended on April 4, 2012.[44] The season saw the show move to the 9:30PM timeslot, previously occupied by Cougar Town. The show then left the schedule to make room for Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.[45]

Despite picking up the show for a full 22-episode second season,[44] the 21st episode to air was labeled as the season finale by ABC[44] as they needed to premiere Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 on April 11, 2012.[46] The episode, titled KickBall 2: The Kickening, later aired on E4 in the UK on May 17, 2012[47] and also aired in other international markets,[48] despite the episode officially being held until the third season. Additionally, the episode was excluded from the second season DVD.

Season three[edit]

The third season of the show premiered on October 23, 2012, and ended on May 3, 2013. The season saw the show move again, this time to the Tuesday at 9PM timeslot, where it aired immediately after Dancing with the Stars.[49]

The first six episodes of the season aired in Canada on City, two days prior to the American broadcasts airing on ABC.[50] KickBall 2: The Kickening, an episode from season two that previously did not air on ABC, made its debut as part of the third season on ABC and City on January 13, 2013, despite having aired internationally as part of season two.

On December 4, 2012, ABC announced that on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, Dancing with the Stars would re-take the Tuesday 9 PM hour, leaving the fate of unaired episodes unclear.[51] On December 21, 2012, ABC announced that new episodes of both Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 would replace the cancelled drama 666 Park Avenue for three weeks on January 6, January 13, and January 20 while maintaining its current timeslot.[52] Only two of the three scheduled episodes aired in the Sunday timeslot.

On January 22, 2013, ABC announced that it had removed Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 from the schedule and would instead air back-to-back Happy Endings concurrently on Tuesdays, but it was removed from the timeslot after episodes 12 and 13 aired.[53] However, on February 13, 2013, ABC announced that, starting March 29, the series would move to Fridays at 8:00-9:00 p.m ET/PT with back-to-back original episodes.[54]

On April 19, 2013, ABC preempted its primetime programming in favor of coverage of the Boston manhunt, after the Boston Marathon bombings,[55] pushing back the season finale date to May 3, 2013.

Online[edit]

Full episodes of the series are available for streaming on both ABC.com[56] and Hulu[57] and are also available to purchase on iTunes.[58]

On February 29, 2012, ABC premiered the first of a six-part webisode series titled Happy Rides, which follows the events from Penny deciding to get rid of her storage space, which leads to her selling her first car. The webisodes were sponsored by Subaru.[59]

In 2014, VH1 acquired the syndication rights and is making all episodes available online using VH1′s "TV Everywhere" platforms and also on the VH1 App.

DVD releases[edit]

Complete seasonRelease dates
Region 1Region 2Region 4
1stSeptember 20, 2011March 12, 2012August 15, 2012
2ndOctober 23, 2012[60]TBATBA
1st & 2ndAugust 14, 2012[61]TBATBA
3rdOctober 1, 2013[62]
(manufactured-on-demand release)
TBATBA

Syndication[edit]

On December 10, 2013, it was announced that VH1 has acquired all three seasons, with a marathon of all 57 episodes planned for December 31, 2013 and running through New Year's Day.

With the series settling into its new VH1 timeslot, airing two-hour blocks every Wednesday, beginning in January 2014. In addition to airing the show, the network has licensed rights to showcase episodes of the series online via its "TV Everywhere" platforms and also on the new VH1 App.

Beginning August 30, 2014, Logo will also start airing all three seasons, beginning with a marathon on Labor Day weekend.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The series was initially criticized, being negatively compared to several similar "relationship sitcoms" that had premiered earlier in the season (all canceled at the end of that season) - Perfect Couples, Mad Love, Traffic Light and Friends with Benefits.[63][64][65] The series also drew comparisons from the hit 1990s sitcom Friends.[66][67][68][69][70] However, as the season progressed, the reviews from critics became much warmer - with some admitting that it had grown on them and that it had improved since the pilot.[71][72] Happy Endings was the second "relationship sitcom" of the season that was renewed for a second season, second to CBS' Mike & Molly. BuddyTV ranked Happy Endings #7 on its list of 2011's best new TV shows.[73]

The second season of Happy Endings received widespread critical acclaim, landing on multiple "Best of Year" lists; The New York Magazine,[74] the A.V. Club,[75] Hulu,[76] the Associated Press,[77] the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,[78] and Yahoo!TV[79] all included the series in lists of the top television programs of 2011.

The third season of Happy Endings continued to receive critical acclaim. Verne Gay of Newsday said that "Happy Endings, cast and all, has now officially jelled. The show exists on the same cosmic (and comic) TV plane as "Scrubs," "Arrested Development" and that other late bloomer, "Cougar Town."[80] Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post stated that "Happy Endings" has so many things going for it that the occasional weak story line or meh scene is not a big deal at all. It's one of the sharpest and warm-hearted comedies on the air, and I enjoy it a lot more than "Modern Family..."[81]

At the end of the third season, with the show facing possible cancellation due to low ratings, Rolling Stone declared that Happy Endings was "the most underrated, under-watched series on TV, that may also be the funniest", and went on to say "Despite flying under the radar, Happy Endings has stayed afloat for three seasons by earning both critical acclaim and a devoted fan following. Blending comedic elements of Friends, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock, it manages to serve up something new and refreshing by being both consumed by and annoyed with the frenetic world we live in. It's biting, but easy to swallow – social commentary at its best.[82]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for Happy Endings
YearAwardCategoryRecipients and nomineesOutcome
2012NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesDamon Wayans, Jr.Nominated
Directing in a Comedy SeriesJay ChandrasekharNominated
Writing in a Comedy SeriesPrentice PennyNominated
Dorian Awards[83]TV Comedy of the YearHappy EndingsNominated
LGBT TV Show of the YearNominated
Unsung TV Show of the YearNominated
Wilde Wit of the YearThe Staff WritersNominated
GLAAD Media AwardsOutstanding Comedy SeriesHappy EndingsNominated
The Comedy AwardsBest Comedy SeriesHappy EndingsNominated
Teen Choice AwardsMale Scene StealerDamon Wayans, Jr.Nominated
Female Scene StealerCasey WilsonNominated
Critic's Choice Television AwardsBest Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesDamon Wayans, Jr.Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesCasey WilsonNominated
Satellite AwardsBest Television Series, Comedy or MusicalHappy EndingsNominated
2013NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesDamon Wayans, Jr.Nominated
Writing in a Comedy SeriesPrentice PennyNominated
Dorian AwardsTV Comedy of the YearHappy EndingsNominated
LGBT TV Show of the YearNominated
Unsung TV Show of the YearWon
GLAAD Media AwardsOutstanding Comedy SeriesHappy EndingsNominated
American Society of Cinematographers AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Half-Hour Episodic Television SeriesMichael A. PriceNominated
Critic's Choice Television AwardsBest Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesAdam PallyNominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesCasey WilsonNominated

U.S. ratings[edit]

SeasonTimeslotOriginally airedTV seasonViewers
(in millions)
Rank18-49 Nielsen ratings
rank
18-49 Nielsen rank
Season premiereSeason finale
1Wednesday 9:31PM (April 13, 2011)
Wednesday 10:00PM (April 13, 2011 – May 18, 2011)
April 13, 2011May 25, 201120115.04[84]105th[84]2.1/5[84]75th[84]
Wednesday 10:30PM (April 20, 2011, May 4, 2011 – May 25, 2011)3.63[84]122nd[84]1.5/4[84]103rd[84]
2Wednesday 9:30PMSeptember 28, 2011April 4, 20122011-126.64[85]83rd[85]3.0/8[86]48th[86]
3Tuesday 9:00PM (October 23, 2012 – January 29, 2013)October 23, 2012May 3, 20132012-134.59[87]98th[87]1.9/5[87]77th[87]
Tuesday 9:30PM (January 29, 2013)N/A[n 3]
Sunday 10:00PM (January 6, 2013 – January 20, 2013)
Friday 8:00PM (March 29, 2013 – May 3, 2013)3.36[87]127th[87]1.2/5[87]119th[87]
Friday 8:30PM (March 29, 2013 – May 3, 2013)2.83[87]135th[87]1.1/4[87]123rd[87]

International broadcasts[edit]

Country / RegionChannelPremiere
 AustraliaSeven NetworkNovember 22, 2011
 BelgiumPRIMESeptember 3, 2011
 BulgariaFox LifeMarch 30, 2012
 CanadaCityApril 13, 2011
 EstoniaFox LifeOctober 3, 2011
 GermanyComedy Central GermanyMarch 18, 2012[88]
 GreeceFOX LifeFall 2011
 HungaryComedy Central HungaryOctober 31, 2012
 IndiaZee CaféSummer 2011
 IrelandRTÉ TwoMay 2, 2012
 IsraelHOT Comedy CentralMarch 23, 2012
 ItalyFox (Italy)January 26, 2012
 LatviaFox LifeMarch 2012
 MexicoSony Entertainment Television[89]August 22, 2011[89]
 New ZealandTV2[90]July 27, 2011[91]
 NorwayTV Norge[92]August 23, 2011[92]
 PolandComedy Central PolskaNovember 28, 2011
 PortugalFox LifeOctober 2, 2011
 SerbiaFOX Life SerbiaSeptember 8, 2011
 SloveniaPlanet TVOctober 1, 2013
 South KoreaFox LifeFebruary 11, 2012
 SpainMTVJune 3, 2012
 TurkeyComedyMaxJune 20, 2011[93]
 United KingdomE4[94]September 8, 2011[95]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The third season premiered on Citytv on October 21, 2012 - two days before to the premiere on ABC.
  2. ^ Manufactured-on-demand (DVD-R) release.
  3. ^ Rankings for the episodes that aired in these timeslots are not available as they were labeled as special broadcasts, which means they weren't factored into the 2012-2013 TV season rankings.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]