American Housewife
Genre
Created bySarah Dunn
Starring
Narrated byKaty Mixon
Composers
  • Erica Weis
  • Orr Rebhun
  • Jonathan Sadoff
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes103 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
EditorDavid L. Bertman
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original networkABC
Picture formatHDTV 720p
Audio format5.1 surround sound
Original releaseOctober 11, 2016 (2016-10-11) –
March 31, 2021 (2021-03-31)
External links
Website

American Housewife is an American television sitcom that aired on ABC from October 11, 2016 to March 31, 2021. It is created and written by Sarah Dunn and co-executive produced with Aaron Kaplan, Kenny Schwartz, Rick Wiener, and for the pilot only Ruben Fleischer. It is a Kapital Entertainment–ABC Signature co-production.[1][2]

In May 2021, the series was canceled after five seasons.[3]

Premise

Westport, Connecticut

The series chronicles the daily life of Katie Otto, a wife and mother who tries to maintain her sense of self and family while dealing with the wealthy, pretentious, arrogant housewives and their privileged children in her new hometown of Westport, Connecticut. Compared to the other residents who own big houses, Katie and her family are renters of a more modest home. She lives with Greg, her level-headed husband who is a university professor of history, and their three children. Taylor is their athletic, headstrong, but somewhat dimwitted oldest daughter who wants to fit in with her peers; Oliver is their savvy, ambitious, and snarky middle child; and Anna-Kat, sweet but obsessive-compulsive, is the youngest and Katie's blatant favorite. Katie frequently vents her frustration to and seeks advice from her two closest friends: Doris, whose strict parenting style sharply contrasts with Katie's; and Angela, a divorced lesbian mother and lawyer with a calm parenting style.

Episodes

Main article: List of American Housewife episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
123October 11, 2016 (2016-10-11)May 16, 2017 (2017-05-16)
224September 27, 2017 (2017-09-27)May 16, 2018 (2018-05-16)
323September 26, 2018 (2018-09-26)May 21, 2019 (2019-05-21)
420September 27, 2019 (2019-09-27)May 13, 2020 (2020-05-13)
513October 28, 2020 (2020-10-28)March 31, 2021 (2021-03-31)

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

Notable guests

Production

Development

On January 28, 2016, it was announced that ABC had given the production a pilot order as The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport.[9] The episode was written by Sarah Dunn who was expected to executive produce alongside Aaron Kaplan, Kenny Schwartz and Rick Wiener. Production companies involved with the pilot include Eight Sisters Productions, Weiner & Schwartz Productions, Kapital Entertainment, and ABC Studios. On May 12, 2016, ABC officially ordered the pilot to series.[10] A few days later, it was announced that the series, now titled American Housewife, would premiere on October 11, 2016 and aired on Tuesdays at 9:30 P.M.[11] On November 4, 2016, ABC picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes and on December 13, an additional episode was ordered.[12][13] On May 11, 2017, ABC renewed the series for a second season,[14] which premiered on September 27, 2017. On May 11, 2018, ABC renewed the series for a third season of 23 episodes,[15] which premiered on September 26, 2018. On May 10, 2019, ABC renewed the series for a fourth season;[16] the first 15 episodes began to premiere on September 27, 2019, and [17] on November 7, 2019, a back order of six episodes was announced.[18]

On March 14, 2020, production on the fourth season was shut down following the impact of COVID-19, reducing season four from 21 episodes to 20.[19] On May 21, 2020, ABC renewed the series for a fifth season, which premiered on October 28, 2020.[20][21] On May 14, 2021, ABC canceled the series after five seasons.[3] The cancellation was somewhat unexpected, as season 5 ended with multiple cliffhangers.[22]

Casting

On February 17, 2016, it was announced that Katy Mixon had been cast in the pilot's lead role.[23] In March 2016, it was reported that Carly Hughes, Ali Wong and Diedrich Bader had also joined the pilot's main cast.[24][25][26] On June 27, 2016, it was announced that Meg Donnelly had been cast to replace Johnny Sequoyah in the pilot role of Taylor, oldest daughter of the Katie and Greg characters.[27]

On September 11, 2020, it was reported that Julia Butters was leaving the series ahead of its fifth season, reportedly to pursue other opportunities; the role of Anna-Kat was recast with Giselle Eisenberg.[5] In November, Carly Hughes announced she had also left ahead of the fifth season, due to a toxic work environment. She appeared in the fifth-season premiere, the majority of which was filmed before production shut down in March.[6] Following Hughes' departure, Holly Robinson Peete was cast in a recurring role meant to fill the void.[7]

Syndication

On September 21, 2020, CMT began airing reruns of American Housewife.[28][29]

Reception

Critical response

American Housewife has received mixed reviews from television critics, with Katy Mixon's performance being praised as the show's highlight. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 58%, based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 6.14/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "American Housewife is boosted by a strong and enjoyable lead performance by Katy Mixon, yet her performance alone strains to sustain an excessively quirky show that relies too heavily on stereotypes."[30] Metacritic reported a score of 60 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[31]

Ratings

Viewership and ratings per season of American Housewife
Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Viewership
rank
Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49
rank
Avg. 18–49
rating
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Tuesday 8:30 pm 23 October 11, 2016 (2016-10-11) 6.61[32] May 16, 2017 (2017-05-16) 4.39[33] 2016–17 65 6.21 43 1.8[34]
2 Wednesday 9:30 pm 24 September 27, 2017 (2017-09-27) 5.66[35] May 16, 2018 (2018-05-16) 4.15[36] 2017–18 84 5.58 52 1.6[37]
3 Wednesday 8:30 pm (1–10)
Tuesday 8:00 pm (11–23)
23 September 26, 2018 (2018-09-26) 4.43[38] May 21, 2019 (2019-05-21) 3.64[39] 2018–19 87 5.10 60 1.3[40]
4 Friday 8:00 pm (1–13)
Wednesday 9:30 pm (14–16)
Wednesday 9:00 pm (17–20)
20 September 27, 2019 (2019-09-27) 3.34[41] May 13, 2020 (2020-05-13) 3.04[42] 2019–20 76 4.48 61 1.0[43]
5 Wednesday 8:30 pm[44] 13 October 28, 2020 (2020-10-28) 3.45[45] March 31, 2021 (2021-03-31) 2.72[46] 2020–21 TBD TBD TBD TBD

Accolades

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2017
People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Comedy American Housewife Nominated [47]

Controversies

In November 2017, the episode "Boo-Who?" featured character Taylor Otto dressed up as a "pregnant Norwalk prom girl", poking fun at the city of Norwalk, Connecticut, which borders the show's location of Westport. Before this incident, there were various other episodes in which Norwalk was mocked: The characters refused to swim in a Norwalk swimming pool, acting like the pool water was diseased because of Norwalk people; one of the children took bets on how many of the girlfriends of Norwalk's basketball team would be pregnant post season; and Oliver Otto used a neighbor's Hispanic housekeeper to alter flawed Polo shirts and sell them to Norwalk students, believing that no Westport resident would buy them; Oliver ended up earning a lot of money. This brought condemnation from residents, school officials, and politicians of Norwalk. After a petition calling for the producers to stop "bullying" Norwalk garnered over 500 signatures and received media coverage, a Disney spokesperson released a statement saying "As a comedy, American Housewife isn’t intended to offend anyone. We’ve heard the concerns of the people of Norwalk and have made the decision to omit any mentions of the city from future episodes".[48]

In November 2020, Carly Hughes revealed her departure from the series resulted from a toxic work environment. In a statement, Hughes said, "I made the decision to leave to protect myself from that type of discrimination. As a black woman in entertainment, I feel the responsibility to stand up for what I deserve, what we all deserve — to be treated equally." Allegations by Hughes and other crew members caused ABC to launch an investigation. Their findings resulted in creator Sarah Dunn no longer having an active producing role, Mark J. Greenberg stepping down as line producer, and showrunners Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz undergoing sensitivity training.[6]

References

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