Man Up! is an ABC network sitcom series created by Christopher Moynihan.
The show aired from October 18 to December 6, 2011, lasting for one season & 13 episodes. It was produced by Garfield Grove, Bicycle Path Productions, Tagline Television and ABC Studios.
Set in Gahanna, Ohio, the series revolved around the lives of three modern men who try to get in touch with their inner "tough guys" and redefine what it means to be a "real man".
- Amanda Detmer as Brenda Hayden
- Christopher Moynihan as Craig Griffith
- Dan Fogler as Kenny Hayden
- Charlotte Labadie as Lucy Keen
- Henry Simmons as Grant Sweet
- Mather Zickel as Will Keen
- Teri Polo as Theresa Hayden Keen
- Jason Rogel as Henry Trunka
- Jake Johnson as Nathan Keen
"Man Up!" was poised to be one of the four breakout hits for the 2011-12 television season (along with CBS's "2 Broke Girls", "A Gifted Man" and "How to Be a Gentleman") according to advertisers who had seen the pilot. Of the four shows, only "2 Broke Girls" was renewed for a second season.
The debut episode of "Man Up!" had a modest start averaging a 2.4/6 among 18-49s, with 7.80 million viewers tuning in.
However, the show took a hit in its second week, averaging a 2.0/5 among 18-49 with 6.78 million viewers tuning in, a drop of 21% from the first episode. It also found itself among the shows that could become candidates for cancellation according to the TV by the Numbers Renew/Cancel Index based on the show's ratings.
On November 18, 2011, ABC pulled "Man Up!" from its midseason lineup, despite a statement that it was considered a candidate for a second season pickup.
However, TV by the Numbers had the series listed as "de facto canceled" as ABC had not ordered any more episodes, and eleven of the thirteen had already been produced at the time the announcement was made.
On December 8, 2011, ABC pulled the show from the schedule and replaced it with "Work It" on January 3, 2012, leaving five episodes unaired and effectively cancelling the series altogether. (However, "Work It" would fare even worse in the "Man Up!" time slot, being cancelled after airing just two episodes.)
ABC posted the five unaired episodes of "Man Up!" on the show's website as online exclusive episodes on December 13, 2011; they were removed from the website a month later.
"Man Up" received mixed to average reviews from viewers and mixed to negative reviews from critics.
The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman noted that the actors were saddled in a sitcom world of limited potential, asking, "How long can they play this joke?" He concluded that "isn't it really time to let go of stereotypes and clichés and maybe write a sitcom that has more to joke about than one thing over and over again?"
JAM! gave the series a "Thumbs Down", noting that "...if you're pining for the next great male sitcom, this isn't it."
Variety's Brian Lowry noted that "...it'll take more than sociology to pump up this stale sitcom.
The Oregonian's Kristi Turnquist called the show "Unfunny" in her short review.
Fantriad's Matt Peterson found that among a mixed gender group of 25- to 34-year-olds, "Man Up!" ranked among the top 5 of weekly watched television series.
The group described the show as "a fresh take on comedy" and "laugh out loud funny," during online polls and questionnaires. Among other shows listed highly by this group were "Last Man Standing" and "Grimm."
TV Guide's Matt Roush called the series, "An insult to all genders."