While the recent trend for many TV series recently has been to boost appeal by adding more episodes to the scheduled selection of installments, Fox (who themselves initiated many of the extended episode orders) seem to have brought the concept in the other direction by halving the planned first season of new sitcom The Goodwin Games.
The show, which features Becki Newton, Scott Foley, and TJ Miller as three distanced siblings who are forced under a unique stipulation of their father’s will to reunite and get along (said to be ‘proven’ with a family-modified version of trivia game Trivial Pursuit) in order to inherit his $23m estate.
Originally planned for a 13-episode first-season run on Fox in 2013, the format (created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas (also responsible for How I Met Your Mother)), the network have now cut the order to just seven.
While it is not yet fully clear, the motivation for the decision could be a lack of faith in the concept (though keeping the door open to put the episodes back in if needed), producers being unable to make the full 13 episodes, or the most likely reasoning (implied by a network insider) that with a spate of season extensions on the network (usually by 6 episodes), something needed to make way in the same capacity.
The shows that potential Goodwin Games fans will be able to blame for not recieving the initially-planned length of series include New Girl, Raising Hope, and The Mindy Project (all of which will now air a total of 24 episodes in their respective current seasons), Ben & Kate (to 19 episodes), and while unrelated, Animation Domination staple Bob’s Burgers, which went from 13 to 19 planned episodes for its current third season.
While the network have expressed that The Goodwin Games will not be dropped from the schedules completely, a halved first season will not be seen as a good way for any new show to start life, but can the Trivial Pursuit-themed sitcom pull off a strong start with the cards it has been dealt with?