They’re “Undateable” — and proud of it.
The NBC sitcom that excels at magnifying all the quirks that have kept so many of us single for so long made its way to Austin for South by Southwest, where series creator Bill Lawrence and several cast members took the stage at Esther’s Follies for an official comedy showcase.
While they were here, they also dropped a few hints about what’s ahead during the show’s second season, which kicked off this week. There’s a new time slot, an addition to the cast and perhaps the biggest news of all: a live broadcast set for May 5.
Usually 30 minutes long, “Undateable” will expand to an hour for the live show, with two editions planned – one for the East Coast and one for the West Coast.
Lawrence, the man behind “Scrubs,” “Cougar Town” and “Spin City,” said he’s especially pleased about the new time slot, which is 8 p.m. Tuesdays, moving from 8 p.m. Thursday slot from last summer. “Undateable” now airs after “The Voice,” a ratings powerhouse, and he’s hoping viewers will stick around and sample his latest show.
“There’s a nervous excitement,” he said. “If we fail, it’s our fault because we’ve got the eyeballs.”
So far, so good. The season premiere did very well, according to the TV by the Numbers website. “Undateable” was second in its time slot among viewers of all ages, with an audience of 6.43 million people. It ranked first among viewers ages 18 to 49, the demographic many advertisers covet.
The new cast member is Bridgit Mendler. She joins Bianca Kajlich, who had been the show’s only regular female presence.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of something people are believing in,” Mendler said. “This show really is like the lightning in the bottle you always hear about. The guys are all like brothers. They’re so ridiculously fun to be around.”
Returning cast members say that, in many cases, they’ve known each other for years or even decades. Those off-camera friendships have helped give “Undateable” a chemistry that many other primetime shows could only hope for.
“I keep waiting for it to end,” said Chris D’Elia, who plays Danny. “It feels too special to be happening.”
Landing a TV gig wasn’t something D’Elia said he expected, but clearly he’s enjoying it.
“I never saw myself doing this,” he said. “I thought I was too weird.”
While the goal is to make us laugh — it’s a sitcom, after all — “Undateable” does a have a warm-and-fuzzy side to it, as well, adding to its appeal.
“It’s about friends who, if they didn’t have each other, would be very, very lonely,” said David Fynn, who plays Brett.
And when you’re considered “Undateable,” there’s no shortage of times when you’re in need of some companionship.
“When the world beats you up, it’s the people around you who pick you back up,” said Brent Morin, who plays Justin.
8 p.m. Tuesday
KXAN Channel 36