Happy Endings (TV series)
|Created by||David Caspe|
Damon Wayans, Jr.
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||57 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||David Caspe
5555 Melrose Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||FanFare Productions
Shark vs. Bear Productions
Sony Pictures Television
|Original run||April 13, 2011– May 3, 2013|
|Related shows||Happy Endings:
Happy Endings is an American television sitcom 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. In the weeks that followed, the show continued to air back-to-back episodes that began airing at 10:00 pm ET/PT.
On February 13, 2013, ABC announced that, starting March 29, 2013, the series would move to Fridays at 8:00-9:00 p.m ET/PT with back-to-back original episodes. Previously in the season, the series had aired on Tuesdays, at 9:00 pm ET/PT, and briefly on Sundays at 10:00 pm ET/PT.
On April 3, 2013, it was reported that Sony TV, which produces Happy Endings, has approached a few networks about continuing the series. USA Network has expressed interest, and has had discussions about picking up Happy Endings. On May 10, 2013, Happy Endings was canceled by ABC. Sony is said to be shopping the show around to other networks, with USA still reported as showing interest in picking up the series, although no official decision has yet been announced. On May 15, Cynthia Littleton - an author for Variety - reported via Twitter that talks were definitely underway at USA. However the following day, Nellie Andreeva reported that a pick-up by USA was "unlikely".
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 neurotic perfectionist 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 deals with trying to hold a job and maintaining a consistent relationship; and klutzy serial dating single girl Penny (Casey Wilson), who fears she's forever doomed for spinsterhood.
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.
While the initial "complications following Alex and Dave's breakup" premise was the focal point in the earlier episodes, this premise has mostly been 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 features two plot lines, in which varying combinations of the six characters find themselves involved.
- Eliza Coupe as Jane Kerkovich-Williams – Alex's control freak older sister. She is married to Brad and wanted to start a family and live a "perfect suburban life", prior to being freaked out over Alex and Dave's break-up. She is very competitive and always likes to be in charge of everything. She is a perfectionist by nature and currently serves as head of the home owner's association. Despite her Type-A attitude, Jane had a wild past in college, most notably going through a lesbian phase and donating an egg her freshman year so she could go to Cabo San Lucas and party. She and Brad are very affectionate in public, which often makes their friends uncomfortable. In season three, she takes a job working as a car salesperson, after dealership owner "The Car Czar" (Rob Corddry) is impressed with her negotiating skills.
- Elisha Cuthbert as Alex Kerkovich – Jane's ditzy younger sister and Dave's ex-fiancée who left him at the altar on the day of their wedding. Alex is the youngest in the group of friends. Despite her reasons for originally calling off the wedding, Alex still feels very guilty about it. She enjoys going on double dates and "girls nights out" with her best friend Penny. She runs her own women's clothing boutique called Xela ("Alex" backwards, pronounced "Shay-la") in downtown Chicago. Though the shop occasionally experiences sudden upswings in popularity, she usually has no actual customers. As the group's token dimwit, she often gets lost or confused during many of the gang's jokes, though she is also known to show occasional signs of intelligence. In season two, she moves in with Penny after accidentally ruining her apartment with smoke damage. She often eats a lot, sometimes surprising the gang, even though she keeps in shape. In season three, she moves into a new apartment with Dave as they enter a new phase of their relationship.
- Zachary Knighton as Dave Rose – The self-appointed "cool guy" hipster of the group, although none of his friends view him as such. Dave is Alex's ex-fiancé, and was left at the altar when Alex had second thoughts. Still trying to figure his life out after the wedding, Dave followed his dreams of quitting his office job and is now self-employed with his own food truck business. After his break-up with Alex, he lived on Max's couch. In season two, he's claimed to have moved on from their break-up and still remains friends with Alex while they both attempt to date other people. Dave often goes out of his way to prove he's the "cool guy" of the group, as he is often the butt of his friends' jokes and ridiculed for his fashion choices, such as his love of v-neck shirts. Dave is also known to go overboard with embracing his 1/16th Navajo heritage. In season three, Dave and Alex have gotten back together and are trying to make their relationship work again.
- Adam Pally as Max Blum – The gang's freeloading, usually unemployed, and single friend known for his non-stereotypical qualities as a gay man – Max is slovenly, uncultured, lazy and does his best to avoid any responsibility for anything, Penny describes Max as a "straight guy who likes dudes". He became best friends with Dave and Brad while in college, and also used Penny as a beard while he was still in the closet. He most enjoys sitting around his apartment playing video games, watching sports, and playing mean-spirited pranks on everyone else. Max is openly gay to all his friends, although he only came out to his parents recently, after many years of having Penny pose as his girlfriend when they're in town. Max is fairly casual about relationships, more often settling for brief flings. His most notable relationship was with Grant (James Wolk), but they broke up when Max discovered that Grant would never want children. After Alex and Dave's failed wedding, Max shared his apartment with newly-single Dave until the two reconciled. Max is a minister of a non-denominational Christian church (though he himself is Jewish), licensed to officiate weddings, although he technically wasn't licensed when he did Brad and Jane's wedding. Max is single and unemployed, but in season two he buys a vintage Limousine and attempts to start his own limo driving service. Full name is Maxima Herbert Blum.
- Damon Wayans, Jr. as Brad Williams – Jane's husband and best friend of Dave and Max. Brad and Jane first met in college, while appearing on the MTV reality show The Real World based in Sacramento, CA. Despite being a somewhat uptight businessman during the day, he is generally laid-back and likes to have fun and participate in any crazy adventures the gang gets into, particularly with Max and Dave. Brad and Jane are often overly affectionate towards each other in public, to the point where others are creeped out. Brad will often show his effeminate side around Jane, while trying to maintain a more "manly" demeanor around the rest of the gang, though he usually fails. At the end of season two, his department was cut, and he was briefly unemployed. He spent a brief amount of time working at a children's gym called "Chuckles & Huggs", before he was offered a new business job again.
- Casey Wilson as Penny Hartz – The group's perpetually single friend, who worries she'll never find the right guy. Her train wreck dating life is a constant joke among her friends, as she is constantly seen dating someone new every week. Most of her boyfriends never last for long, as she usually manages to drive them off with her manic behavior. She has known Dave, Alex and Jane since childhood. Max has been her "gay BFF" since college, where they originally dated before realizing he was gay. She has shown occasional interest in Dave after her psychiatrist convinces her that she has unresolved feelings for him. Penny is a successful businesswoman who works in public relations and prides herself on being the most fashionable person in her office. Despite her unlucky lovelife, she always tries to stay optimistic, often declaring that it's "The Year of Penny", the year where everything in her life will start to go right. She is known for her unique ways of speaking and pronouncing certain words (such as her favorite phrase, "a-mah-zing") and has a habit of constantly abbreviating words ("abbreevs" as she calls them), much to the annoyance of her friends. Due to her accident-prone nature, she gives herself a concussion and has to shop for a helmet, which leads to her meeting Pete (Nick Zano), her first-ever successful steady boyfriend. After 4 months of dating, Pete proposed to Penny and she accepted. During a couples' game night, however, she later called off their engagement when she realized they didn't know each other well enough. Her full name is Penelope Aziz Hartz.
Recurring cast 
- Stephen Guarino as Derrick – The gang's "offensively stereotypical gay" friend, who loves to bring the "D-R-A-M-A!" Max first introduces him to Penny, after she complains that Max isn't being the gay best friend that she wants him to be. Penny later turns to Derrick to pose as her fake fiancé for a wedding, but the plan fell through when his only way of acting heterosexual was to impersonate Danny Zuko from Grease. He gets married to his boyfriend Eric at the end of season two.
- Seth Morris as Scotty – Max's weird, creepy, and slightly psychotic friend. Max will occasionally call him in when he needs a favor, such as attempting to rough-up a coffee shop mascot or pretending to be a tour guide. He is also the new referee/judge at the annual "Rosalita's Run" scavenger hunt. It has been implied that he is stalking Max.
- Megan Mullally as Dana Hartz – Penny's super positive and upbeat mother. She has been divorced three times and is a traveling lounge singer. Dana and Penny used to perform as a mother-and-daughter singing duo called "Two Hartz Beat as One". She started dating Dave's father, "Big" Dave, after running into him at Alex and Dave's wedding.
- Nick Zano as Pete – Penny's ex-fiancé. They first meet while Penny was shopping for a helmet after getting a concussion. According to Max, he is said to be Penny's first steady boyfriend to last more than her usual 10 days before breaking up. After 4 months of dating, he proposes to Penny, but she later calls off their engagement.
- Rob Corddry as Lon "The Car Czar" Sarofsky – Jane's crude boss at the car dealership. Known for his famous "The Car Czar: He Knows What Cars Are" slogan. He briefly dates Penny while temporarily separated from his wife.
- Michael McKean as Big Dave – Dave's single father who started dating Dana (Penny's mother) after running into her at Alex and Dave's wedding.
- Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Chase – Max's former roommate who's made it his mission to ruin Max's life when he least suspects it, after Max accidentally causes him to lose his job and his wife.
- Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Daphne Wilson – Penny's annoying childhood friend that she always tries to avoid.
- Paul Scheer as Avi – Max's creepy kimono wearing neighbor.
- James Wolk as Grant – Max's former boyfriend who comes back into his life in season two when he shows up in Max's limo on Valentine's Day.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD release date|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||13||April 13, 2011||August 24, 2011||September 20, 2011||March 12, 2012||August 15, 2012|
|2||21||September 28, 2011||April 4, 2012||October 23, 2012||N/A||N/A|
|3||23||October 23, 2012[n 1]||May 3, 2013||N/A||N/A||N/A|
On January 19, 2010, ABC green-lit the pilot episode, which was written by David Caspe and directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. 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. Next to join the series was Casey Wilson as Penny, the group's desperate and single friend. 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. Elisha Cuthbert later joined the cast as Alex, Dave's ex-fiancé who leaves him at the altar. Zachary Knighton was last actor to be cast as the newly single Dave.
On May 13, 2011, the show was renewed for a second season, 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  On November 3, 2011, ABC picked up the series for a full 22-episode second season.
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, 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 Citytv in Canada and is also left intact on the DVD release.
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.
Season one 
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 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. 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.
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. As a result, the episodes "Bo Fight" and "Barefoot Pedaler", which were intended to air as the second and third episodes 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. The episodes later appeared in the intended order on the DVD release.
The episode "Why Can't You Read Me?" was initially left unaired, however it later aired on August 24, 2011.
Season two 
The second season of the show premiered September 28, 2011, and ended on April 4, 2012. 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.
Despite picking up the show for a full 22-episode second season, the 21st episode to air was labeled as the season finale by ABC as they needed to premiere Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 on April 11, 2012. The episode, titled KickBall 2: The Kickening, later aired on E4 in the UK on May 17, 2012 and also aired in other international markets, despite the episode officially being held until the third season. Additionally, the episode was excluded from the second season DVD.
Season three 
The third season premiered in the fall of 2012. The show moved to the Tuesday at 9PM timeslot, where it aired immediately after Dancing with the Stars. While previous seasons have aired simultaneously in Canada on Citytv, the third season will see the show move to 8:30PM on Sunday where episodes will air two days prior to their airdate on ABC.
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.
|Complete season||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1st||September 20, 2011||March 12, 2012||August 15, 2012|
|2nd||October 23, 2012||TBA||TBA|
|1st & 2nd||August 14, 2012||N/A||N/A|
Critical reception 
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. The series also drew comparisons from the hit 1990s sitcom Friends. 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. 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.
The second season of Happy Endings received widespread critical acclaim, landing on multiple "Best of Year" lists; The New York Magazine, the A.V. Club, Hulu, the Associated Press, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Yahoo!TV 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 plain as "Scrubs," "Arrested Development" and that other late bloomer, "Cougar Town." 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..."
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 devote 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 it's best.
|Year||Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Outcome|
|2012||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Damon Wayans, Jr.||Nominated|
|Directing in a Comedy Series||Jay Chandrasekhar||Nominated|
|Writing in a Comedy Series||Prentice Penny||Nominated|
|Dorian Awards||TV Comedy of the Year||Happy Endings||Nominated|
|LGBT TV Show of the Year||Nominated|
|Unsung TV Show of the Year||Nominated|
|Wilde Wit of the Year||The Staff Writers||Nominated|
|GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Happy Endings||Nominated|
|The Comedy Awards||Best Comedy Series||Happy Endings||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Male Scene Stealer||Damon Wayans, Jr.||Nominated|
|Female Scene Stealer||Casey Wilson||Nominated|
|Critic's Choice Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Damon Wayans, Jr.||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Casey Wilson||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical||Happy Endings||Nominated|
|2013||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Damon Wayans, Jr.||Nominated|
|Writing in a Comedy Series||Prentice Penny||Nominated|
|Dorian Awards||TV Comedy of the Year||Happy Endings||Nominated|
|LGBT TV Show of the Year||Nominated|
|Unsung TV Show of the Year||Won|
|GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Happy Endings||Nominated|
|American Society of Cinematographers Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Half-Hour Episodic Television Series||Michael A. Price||Nominated|
|Critic's Choice Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Adam Pally||Pending|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Casey Wilson||Pending|
U.S. ratings 
|Season||Timeslot||Originally aired||TV season||Viewers
|Rank||18-49 Nielsen ratings
|18-49 Nielsen rank|
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||Wednesday 9:31PM (April 13, 2011)
Wednesday 10:00PM (April 13, 2011 - May 18, 2011)
|April 13, 2011||May 25, 2011||2011||5.04||105th||2.1/5||75th|
|Wednesday 10:30PM (April 20, 2011, May 4, 2011 - May 25, 2011)||3.63||122nd||1.5/4||103rd|
|2||Wednesday 9:30PM||September 28, 2011||April 4, 2012||2011-12||6.64||83rd||3.0/8||48th|
|3||Tuesday 9:00PM (October 23, 2012-January 29, 2013)
Tuesday 9:30PM (January 29, 2013)
Sunday 10:00PM (January 6, 2013 - January 20, 2013)
Friday 8:00PM (March 29, 2013 - May 3, 2013)
Friday 8:30PM (March 29, 2013 - May 3, 2013)
|October 23, 2012||May 3, 2013||2012-13||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
International broadcasts 
|Country / Region||Channel||Premiere|
|Australia||Seven Network||November 22, 2011|
|Belgium||PRIME||September 3, 2011|
|Bulgaria||Fox Life||March 30, 2012|
|Canada||City||April 13, 2011|
|Estonia||Fox Life||October 3, 2011|
|Germany||Comedy Central Germany||March 18, 2012|
|Greece||FOX Life||Fall 2011|
|Hungary||Comedy Central Hungary||October 31, 2012|
|India||Zee Café||Summer 2011|
|Ireland||RTÉ Two||May 2, 2012|
|Israel||HOT Comedy Central||March 23, 2012|
|Italy||Fox (Italy)||January 26, 2012|
|Latin America||Sony Entertainment Television||August 22, 2011|
|Latvia||Fox Life||March 2012|
|New Zealand||TV2||July 27, 2011|
|Norway||TV Norge||August 23, 2011|
|Poland||Comedy Central Polska||November 28, 2011|
|Portugal||Fox Life||October 2, 2011|
|Serbia||FOX Life Serbia||September 8, 2011|
|South Korea||Fox Life||February 11, 2012|
|Spain||MTV||June 3, 2012|
|Turkey||ComedyMax||October 31, 2011|
|United Kingdom||E4||September 8, 2011|
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