The Neighbors (2012 TV series)

The Neighbors is an American television science fiction sitcom that aired from September 26, 2012, to April 11, 2014, on ABC. The story line revolves around a family of humans living in a community of extraterrestrials. The series was created by Dan Fogelman, who also served as executive producer. Chris Koch, Jeffrey Morton, and Aaron Kaplan served as co-producers, and the first season was produced by ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment.

The Neighbors
Created byDan Fogelman
Theme music composer
  • Chris Koch
  • Jim Murphy
  • Siddhartha Kholsa
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes44 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Dan Fogelman
  • Chris Koch
  • Aaron Kaplan
  • Jeffrey Morton
  • David L. Bertman
  • Jonathan Schwartz
  • Liza Cardinale
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
Original networkABC
Picture format720p (HDTV)
Audio format5.1 surround sound
Original releaseSeptember 26, 2012 (2012-09-26) 
April 11, 2014 (2014-04-11)
External links
Official website

On October 29, 2012, The Neighbors was given a full-season order of 22 episodes.[1]

Its first season aired on ABC on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Central in the 2012–2013 television season.[2] On May 11, 2013, The Neighbors was officially renewed for a second season,[3] which aired on Fridays at 8:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Central.[4]

On May 9, 2014, ABC canceled The Neighbors after two seasons.[5]


The series, set in New Jersey, revolves around a family that has relocated to a gated townhouse community called "Hidden Hills". Upon their arrival, they discover that the entire community is populated by residents from another planet. Amongst their myriad quirks, these aliens identify themselves by the names of sports celebrities, patrol the community in golf carts, dress alike, receive nourishment through their eyes and mind by reading books rather than eating, and cry green goo from their ears. The aliens have assumed human form, but they can revert to their natural appearance by clapping their hands above their heads. They have been stuck on Earth for 10 years, still awaiting instructions to return home.

Cast and characters


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122September 26, 2012 (2012-09-26)March 27, 2013 (2013-03-27)
222September 20, 2013 (2013-09-20)April 11, 2014 (2014-04-11)

Development and production


Dan Fogelman devised the concept of the series, which was previously entitled Down to Earth. It was described as a sitcom about "a New Jersey family that moves into a gated community occupied exclusively by extraterrestrials."[6] The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) picked up the pilot episode of The Neighbors in October 2011, with a pilot commitment.[7] In May 2012, the show renamed to The Neighbors, and production of the program was green-lit.[8]

Fogelman conceived The Neighbors after visiting his mother, who lived in a gated townhouse community, and stated, "you could reach out my mom's bathroom window and touch her neighbor's bathroom window", but they never spoke to or knew each other, and the idea was "who are these people that she's living between?", and what if they were all aliens?[9] He claimed that family is the best part of humanity, and he kept "exploring stuff".[9] Fogelman wants The Neighbors to be a show that "the whole family can watch together". He said, "It's high concept but I do want to ground it as a family sitcom".[10]

The show's premise has been described as "goofy", and has been considered as a "high-concept" show by Entertainment Weekly.[11] At the semi-annual press tour in Beverly Hills, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee stated that The Neighbors has "high-concept nature", but "love[d]" it.[11] The Neighbors was originally stated to premiere at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, but ABC decided to air it in 8:30 time interval. In response to this, Lee claimed that "8:30 p.m. suited the show better" as "there's so much pressure [to perform] after Modern Family". The 9:30 p.m. slot was replaced with Suburgatory.[11] Lee wants it to be on the air for a long time, and claimed that Suburgatory would better fit in the 9:30 slot.[12] Lee praised Fogelman, calling him a "wondering writer"; he thinks he will give a "smart piece of storytelling".[13]

Production team

The single-camera comedy was originally produced for ABC Studios and Warner Bros. Television, but Warner Bros. Television was replaced by company Kapital Entertainment. Dan Fogelman, Chris Koch, Jeff Morton, and Aaron Kaplan executive produce the series.[7] Chris Koch signed on to direct the pilot episode,[7] which was written by Fogelman.[7]


Simon Templeman (left) portrays alien leader Larry Bird. Toks Olagundoye (right) portrays Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Larry's wife.

In December 2011, Jami Gertz, Simon Templeman, Toks Olagundoye, and Tim Jo obtained roles in the series.[14] It was announced that Gertz would play Debbie Weaver, the matriarch of the human family; Templeman would play Larry Bird, the leader of the aliens; Olagundoye was cast as Jackie Joyner Kersee, the matriarch of the lead alien family; and Jo would appear as Reggie Jackson, the son of the alien family.[14] Larry Bird, the lead alien, was originally to be named Wilt Chamberlain.[15]

In January 2012, Clara Mamet, Max Charles, and Isabella Cramp garnered roles in the series, Mamet as the teenage daughter and Charles and Cramp as her younger siblings.[16] Later that month, Lenny Venito obtained the lead role as Marty Weaver, the father of the human family.[17]


Critical response

The Neighbors initially received negative treatment from critics, but gained increasing critical praise as the season aired.[10][11] Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, David Wiegand thought that it did not look "promising" as it was a high-concept show. He compared it to the NBC science fiction comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun, claiming that the series' creator made it so different from 3rd Rock from the Sun, that it is "weird".[18] He stated that if The Neighbors garnered low ratings, it could possibly be replaced with Family Tools, an ABC comedy that is scheduled to air in mid-season. He compared it to other comedies set to air on the same channel, writing that those are better.[18] According to Wiegand, The Neighbors seems like Outsourced, which aired for one season on NBC.[18]

Other reviews were somewhat more positive. Dave Walker from The Times-Picayune thought that The Neighbors was a "fish-out-of-water"; he called it a "potentially comedic" show.[9] Rob Owen, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette critic, claimed that he has "interest in high-concept shows"; he also "laughed a good bit at the pilot episode".[10] His concern was "how long they can keep up the jokes. Seeing the unusual way aliens do the dishes in the pilot is hilarious. But that gag only works the first time. After that, it's stale."[10]


2013 People's Choice Award Favorite New Comedy Nominated
2013 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series - Supporting Young Actor Max Charles Nominated [19]
Best Performance in a TV Series - Supporting Young Actor Ian Patrick Nominated
Best Performance in a TV Series - Supporting Young Actress Isabella Cramp Nominated
Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series Max Charles, Isabella Cramp, Ian Patrick Won
2013 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Alan Menken & Glenn Slater
("More or Less the Kind of Thing You May or May Not Possibly See on Broadway")
2014 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series - Supporting Young Actress Isabella Cramp Won [20]


The Neighbors premiered at 9:30 pm approximately on September 26, 2012, on ABC after Modern Family,[21] before moving to its regular time slot at 8:30 p.m. after The Middle, the following week.[2] Disney Channel aired four episodes (maybe to gain more viewers) which in fact is also owned by The Walt Disney Company.

In Canada, it originally aired on Saturday at 10:00 pm on CTV network in the fall of 2012 after the Crimetime Saturday block.[22] It has since moved to sister network CTV Two on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m., allowing simsubbing over the ABC broadcast.

In Australia, The Neighbors premiered on September 28, 2013, on Seven Network.[23] In India, The Neighbors season aired from September 24 only on Star World Premiere. In the Netherlands, Comedy Central shows and repeats the series. In Portugal, FX airs the series subtitled in Portuguese.

See also


  1. Andreeva, Nellie (October 29, 2012). "UPDATE: ABC's 'The Neighbors' & 'Scandal' Get Full-Season Orders". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  2. "ABC sets fall premiere dates: 'Suburgatory,' 'Neighbors' switch timeslots". Chicago Tribune. July 26, 2012. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  3. Andreeva, Nellie (May 11, 2013). "UPDATE: ABC Renews 'The Neighbors', 'The Middle', 'Last Man Standing', 'Modern Family', 'Once Upon A Time', 'Revenge', 'Suburgatory', 'Scandal', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Castle', 'Nashville'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  4. Kondolojy, Amanda (May 14, 2013). "ABC 2013-14 Primetime Schedule: 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' on Tuesday, 'Revenge' Sticks With Sunday, 'Once Upon a Time' Spinoff on Thursday, 'DWTS' Downsized & More". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  5. Goldberg, Lesley (May 9, 2014). "ABC Cancels 'The Neighbors'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  6. O'Connell, Michael (June 18, 2012). "Fall TV Pilot Preview: ABC's 'The Neighbors'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  7. Andreeva, Nellie (October 28, 2011). "ABC Picks Up Dan Fogelman Alien Comedy With Pilot Production Commitment". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  8. Seidman, Robert (May 11, 2012). "ABC Picks Up Comedies 'The Neighbors' and 'The Family Tools' and Dramas 'Nashville,' 'Red Widow' and 'Zero Hour' + More". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  9. "ABC's 'The Neighbors' lands a family in alien territory". Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  10. Owen, Rob (July 27, 2012). "PRESS TOUR: Defending ABC's 'The Neighbors'". Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  11. Rome, Emily. "ABC defends WTF alien sitcom 'The Neighbors' | Inside TV |". Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  12. "Breaking News — ABC at TCA: Lee "Optimistic" About "Modern Family" Negotiations". July 27, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  13. "President of ABC Paul Lee Interview". Collider. July 28, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  14. Andreeva, Nellie (December 11, 2011). "Pilot Castings: Four In Dan Fogelman Comedy, Jeff Eastin Drama Adds One". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  15. "Producer Dan Fogelman On 'The Neighbors' And Name Recognition: TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  16. Andreeva, Nellie (January 20, 2012). "Kevin Nealon To Star In NBC Comedy Pilot 'Isabel', Continue On Showtime's 'Weeds'". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  17. Andreeva, Nellie (January 27, 2012). "TV Castings: Lenny Venito To Star In ABC's Dan Fogelman Pilot, Graham Patrick Martin Cast In 'Closer' Spinoff". Deadline Hollywood. PMC. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  18. Wiegand, David (July 27, 2012). "TCA: ABC, easy as 1, 2, 3 and more | @WaitWhat_TV | an blog". Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  19. "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  20. "35th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  21. Matt Webb Mitovich (July 26, 2012). "ABC Premiere Dates 2012 — Your Fall TV List". TVLine. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  22. "CTV Fall TV Schedule 2012-13: Major Changes, Major Stars". May 31, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  23. Knox, David (September 17, 2013). "Airdate: The Neighbors". TV Tonight. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
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