Parenthood was renewed for a third season by NBC on May 12, 2011. The third season premiered on September 13, 2011.
This season of Parenthood was set to only have 16 episodes. However, on September 29, only 16 days after its season premiere, NBC ordered two more episodes of Parenthood bringing this season a total of 18 episodes, still less than the 22 of second season, but more than the season 1, that had only 13 episodes.
The ratings for the third season of Parenthood weren't the best, being much lower than the numbers of the previous seasons, but Parenthood still managed to be the most watched drama of the 2011/2012 season on NBC.