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USA Renews ‘Playing House’ With Early On-Demand Viewing Option

Episodes will be available to view online a full week before airing on television

USA not only renewed its modestly-rated comedy “Playing House,” but it also paired it with an innovative video-on-demand offer. In fact, the VOD presentation of “Playing House” will be its initial airing, followed a week later by a televised broadcast on the USA network, TheWrap has confirmed.

Comcast and NBCUniversal made the unprecedented move for the comedy after noticing that the low-rated series performed very well through the on-demand format, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Sometimes the top shows on-demand are not necessarily the top-20 Nielsen shows and ‘Playing House’ was one of those shows,” Comcast senior vice president Matt Strauss told the Journal.

The innovations don’t stop with the unique VOD offering for the second season of the sitcom starring Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham. The stars, who are also executive producers, will also star in the commercials for the program, and these will tie in to the plots of the program.

Presumably, fans of the show will be more likely to sit through the commercial break if the stars of that show are the ones presenting the advertisements.

“Playing House” isn’t the first show to be made available via VOD before its television broadcast. Comcast attempted a similar approach with the latest season of FX’s “The Bridge,” telling the WSJ that roughly one third of the DVR audience for that show shifted their viewing to on-demand. “The Bridge” was cancelled after its most recent season.

“Playing House” has been renewed for an eight-episode order. St. Clair and Parham executive produce, write and star in the USA comedy series, which is also executive produced by Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan. Season 2 is expected to premiere in the latter half of 2015.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report this renewal.