We got three wonderfully messy and big-hearted seasons out of USA, but it looks like the cable channel has decided it’s done Playing House. We would cry, but the last season already repeatedly took care of that for us.
As Deadline reports, the single-camera sitcom—co-created by and starring comedians Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair—always had a fierce cult following which saw it do well on VOD but struggled to make a dent on the linear TV ratings. An unusual arrangement in which new episodes premiered on VOD formats like Xfinity helped make the series viable for both a second and third season pickup, but apparently that was the end of the road for this charming show. It was the last half-hour scripted comedy for USA, which has been shifting to more dramatic fare in recent years. Parham and St. Clair made the announcement via a video post on social media:
Playing House began as a sort of goofball version of Gilmore Girls, in which St. Clair’s Emma moved back in with best friend Maggie to help her take care of an impending birth and raise the kid. The town of Pinebrook was stocked with oddball supporting characters, and the central pairing always made sure to thread a big beating heart of warmth and sentimentality through its warped worldview. By the time of the third season, the show was mirroring real life by having Emma go through cancer treatment, just as St. Clair did, and while the final arc could feel a little jarring in its start-stop narratives and time jumps, it more than made up for it with funny and relatable episodes that never saw conflict trump the bonds of affection between the many endearing personalities—a genuine rarity for an American sitcom, which more often these days thrive via antihumanist mentalities that sacrifice honesty and empathy for jokes. You will be missed, Playing House. Anyone can watch all three seasons online now, and revel in some sisters who are, indeed, doin’ it for themselves.