NBC: 'Best Friends Forever' Is Certain To Be Canceled, Even If NBC *Loves* It!

Categories: 2-Featured,Cancel/Renew Index,Cancel/Renew NBC Shows

Written By

April 17th, 2012

Click this link for the latest NBC renewal / cancellation information:

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows by the end of the 2011-12 season in May, 2012. (includes results from January 2- April 15, 2012):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Prime Suspect* canceled 0.47
Bent :oops: 0.52
The Firm* canceled 0.61
Harry's Law :oops: 0.63
Best Friends Forever :oops: 0.65
Free Agents * canceled 0.66
The Playboy Club * canceled 0.67
Chuck (F)* final season complete 0.69
Awake :oops: 0.82
Are You There, Chelsea? :cry: :cry: 0.92
Grimm (F) renewed 0.93
30 Rock :) :) :) :) 0.97
Whitney :) :) :) :) 0.99
Parenthood* :) :) :) :) 1.00
Up All Night :| :| :| 1.01
Community :) :) :) :) 1.03
Law & Order: SVU :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.10
Parks & Recreation :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.10
Smash renewed 1.54
The Office :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.61

After dropping to just a 0.9 adults rating in its second episode Best Friends Forever is certain to be canceled, even if, like another certain to be canceled show, NBC just loves, loves, loves it!

In other news, anyone suggesting that Law & Order: SVU is "on the bubble", is either crazy or playing crazy on the Internet to troll for traffic. You be the judge.

Bear pic hat tip to alert reader Cindy.

The Renew / Cancel Index above includes results beginning January 2, 2012. How did NBC's shows stack up based on their Fall results? Click here.

*shows no longer on the air have their Renew/Cancel Index "frozen" at the point they left the schedule.


  • :oops: - certain to be cancelled by May, 2012
  • :cry: :cry:- more likely to be cancelled than renewed by May, 2012
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2012
  • :) :) :) :) - more likely to be renewed than cancelled by May, 2012
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2012

The Renew/Cancel Index is the ratio of a scripted show's new episode adults 18-49 ratings relative to the new episode ratings of the other scripted shows on its own network. It's calculated by dividing a show's new episode Live+Same Day adults 18-49 average rating by the Live+Same Day new episode average of all the new scripted show episodes on the show's own network. The network's average ratings in the calculation are not time weighted (ex. hour long shows are not weighted twice what 30 minute shows are).

(F) -Fridays: Shows airing on Fridays were renewed with significantly lower than average Indexes.

How would the Renew / Cancel Index Have Done Predicting Last Season's Scripted Show Fates? Check out how the Renew / Cancel Index predicted renewals and cancellations from the 2010-11 broadcast television season.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “ps Also NBC will air Olympic games in June/July! That can help too! With promotions and ratings!”

    Do you just make random stuff up?

    The London Olympics are 27 July-12 Aug 2012.

    That’s outside the broadcast season, and while it’ll certainly get good ratings, it won’t be part of the season averages the PR folks puff up, and the media reports.

    As for promotion usefulness, there was very little benefit to NBC’s Fall schedule from the 2008 games and they ended 12 days closer to the start of the season (August 24) than will the 2012 games.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    What the hell is up with the bear pictures?
    And why at they seen only on the NBC ratings pages?

    The cancellation bear is the Renew / Cancel Index mascot.

    Since the NBC post is at the top (in reverse alphabetical order), the bear always is in the NBC post.

  • Brian J

    Concerned Citizen:

    That’s not a bad schedule, but I’m not crazy about it. Then again, I wouldn’t pick up some of those shows, like “Chicago Fire,” to begin with. I get the importance of Dick Wolf to the network, but really?

    Part of NBC’s problem is that some of the really interesting shows appear to be doing to other networks. I can certainly understand why, given the problems it is facing, but it’s losing out on what would seem to be perfect fits. I think shows like “Last Resort,” or whatever the Shawn Ryan submarine show is now called, “Penzoa,” or whatever the one about the female crime boss is now called, the crime/mob drama with Ralph Lamb at CBS, the one at Fox about the cardiac surgeon moonlighting for the mob to help her brother, and the one about the serial killer with Kevin Bacon, also at Fox, are what NBC needs to go after. In fact, if for some reason any of these shows, or others, like “Mistresses” at ABC, are not picked up, NBC should feel no shame in its sloppy seconds conquest. As I and many others have said, it just needs one show, and then it’s a different ballgame. And the same can be said for comedies as well as dramas.

    I almost feel it’s pointless to speculate about the schedule until we know what shows the network will try, but I will say that if it can split up “The Voice” so that it works like “American Idol” all the time (I have never actually seen the show, so I just don’t know), they might want to do it. Its ratings, while off for whatever reason in recent weeks, are still very strong. And if it can get the same ratings on both nights, as an hour show each night, it’d be worth it to prop up another show. Then again, it’d be up against “The X Factor,” but it’s not clear how much of a threat that show will be.

    One thing NBC has to do is to use its summer schedule to (a) find a new reality hit, at a point when not running a scripted show is probably less costly, and (b) use its existing hits to prop up its well reviewed but struggling shows, like “Parenthood.” Unless I missed something, it ran “America’s Got Talent” on Tuesday last year, but didn’t try to expose any new viewers to its existing shows. Depending on how much “AGT” can be stretched, it could even run back-to-back episodes of a show like “Parenthood.” While this probably won’t instantly double its ratings, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the show gain viewers in the fall and grow even in the regular season. Again, at this point, what does the network have to lose by trying something like this?

  • Some Guy

    If I were NBC, I would renew Harry’s Law just to see Bill Gorman’s reaction.

  • Brian J


    I wasn’t going to post a schedule, but what the hell? I am prepared to be told how completely unrealistic it is, by the way. Here goes:

    MONDAY: The Voice, followed by Notorious/Mockingbird Lane, followed by Smash

    TUESDAY: The Voice, followed by Notorious/County, followed by Parenthood

    WEDNESDAY (which, by the way, is arguably the hardest night to program for this network): The Biggest Loser, followed by Bent, followed by some comedy, perhaps Up All Night, or else something new, followed by an undetermined drama. Perhaps this is the spot for one of the pilots not picked up by another network!


    WEDNESDAY: Bent, followed by some comedy, perhaps Up All Night, or else something new, followed by an undetermined drama, followed by another undetermined drama.


    WEDNESDAY: The Biggest Loser, followed by two dramas. Perhaps this is the spot for Notorious and/or County. Or would Mockingbird Lane and Do No Harm work better here? What about Midnight Sun?

    THURSDAY: Go On, or whatever Matthew Perry’s new show is titled, followed by either Parks & Rec, Up All Night, or some other tonally consistant comedy, followed by Friday Night Dinner, followed by either Parks & Rec, Up All Night, or some other tonally consistant comedy, and then capped off with a drama. If not Revolution, then what?

    FRIDAY: In any particular order, Grimm, Awake, Do No Harm, and/or Midnight Sun.

    SATURDAY: I’m not sure what to say. Repeats might work, as might a full night of reality, but why not go for something REALLY different? Why not spend the money that you normally would produce for a show, divided up amongst people trying to break into television, and then let them film a certain number of episodes? This could be done all season long, and if something clicks, it could be transferred to the regular schedule after being picked up. What does it cost to produce a new pilot without anybody big (i.e. Tim Allen, Matthew Perry, or Julianna Marguiles)? $1 million? $500,000? Divy that up between people who have questionable and unusual ideas and see what happens. At the very least, this would get people talking, even if it goes down in flames.

    Were the network in a stronger position, I’d suggest it try to program the night with scripted shows, but it has bigger fish to fry at the moment.

    SUNDAYS: What I described for Saturdays would also work here, I think, once football is over with. If not, then why not can the reality and try to aggressively program the night for men? Going off what I said somewhere else, this would be the perfect spot for “Last Resort,” the untitled Fox drama about the surgeon helping her brother with the mob, and maybe one other drama. Or perhaps, some comedies would work. Or maybe a show like “Ed,” which premiered here before moving to Wednesdays all those years ago, which you can classify as either a one-hour comedy or a dramedy. But seriously, aside from Fox, who has sitcoms here? Hell, you might even try two full hours of comedies.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “If I were NBC, I would renew Harry’s Law just to see Bill Gorman’s reaction.”

    Few recent surprises would rival that. “Dollhouse Renewed For Season Two” certainly would, even in hindsight. I’m not sure any others would.

  • Doug

    @Ultima – I don’t think there’s a comparison between NBC and ABC, even after ABC’s post Millionaire apocalypse. Things were bad on ABC, yes, but never as bad as the spot NBC’s currently in. Even if you look at 2003, right before the 2004/05 blowout, they still had The Bachelor (12th), Monday Night Football (14), The Bachelorette (22), Extreme Makeover (36), According to Jim (38), The Mole (40), NYPD Blue (45), Less Than Perfect (45), Alias (48), 8 Simple Rules (49) and My Wife & Kids (49) all in the top 50 on the season (there were 161 shows total that season – substantially more than today). I have no idea what NBC’s top 50 situation is this season, but I would guess that it would include about 4 – Football, The Office, Smash and The Voice. Anything I’m missing? ABC also didn’t have the amount of shows scrapping the bottom that NBC currently has. The fact that Rock Center is STILL on the schedule, even when it’s pulling 0.6’s on a weeknight, is just stunning.

    At most, ABC had a lull of about 3 years where they were unable to launch new hits, while NBC has been falling pretty steadily for the last 10 years. How many true, night building hits have they launched in that time that have held their strength for a few seasons? I can think of just a few – The Office and The Biggest Loser. We’ll see with The Voice.

    NBC’s problem isn’t new, although they have fallen to shocking lows this season. The upshot is that it can’t get much worse – Wednesdays will be better next season almost by default, and Thursdays can’t get that much worse. We’ll see what happens.

  • Doug

    BTW – I’m referring to adults 18-49 ratings above.

  • Brian J


    “As for promotion usefulness, there was very little benefit to NBC’s Fall schedule from the 2008 games and they ended 12 days closer to the start of the season (August 24) than will the 2012 games.”

    I have to wonder just how NBC used the games that year. It’s kind of like running a political ad, in that when it’s often necessary, simply running one isn’t enough.

    If they get a good number of eyeballs, no doubt effective promotions could be helpful. But let’s consider what shows might be promoted and how it might be paired with other strategies. Were I running NBC, I wouldn’t spend a lot on traditional advertising during the games for a show like “Grimm.” I would, however, try to promote the shows it is paired with, assuming it is paired with some, while focusing on promoting “Grimm” through other means (more on that in a second). It’s never going to be a huge show, but something like “Midnight Sun” could be, so why not promote that, so that it gets a big tune in and “Grimm” benefits as Fridays are stronger overall? Or “Parenthood,” which despite being older is more accessible for a wider audience.

    But then, as I indicated, a show like “Grimm” can be promoted other ways. As could “Awake,” assuming it is renewed. And even as a show like “Parenthood” is being promoted in traditional ways, it too could get promoted in alternative ways. Give away copies of any seasons available in some way, perhaps by giving a code during summer repeats or before certain movies, or even at the theaters themselves. Use social media, like Twitter, too.

    I’m thinking putting a show like “Parenthood” after “America’s Got Talent” during the summer and offering sets of the previous seasons would be a good way to increase viewers for the fall. It’s worth trying, I think.

  • Pivotal

    Looks like that Whitney renewal is right around the corner.

  • Chris

    Harry’s Law may have lots of total viewers, but advertisers (even the ED pills) pay according to the 18-49 numbers. HL is gone because it doesn’t bring in any revenue for NBC and they can easily find a show that can get better 18-49 numbers even if it means lower total viewers.

  • Justun121

    Harry’s Law has at least double the viewers of every other NBC show.

    NBC: 2-4 mil.
    CW: 1-2 mil.

    8 mil = renewed.

  • Justun121

    2001/02 – NBC 5.2, CBS 3.9, ABC 3.6, FOX 3.5*

    2002/03 – NBC 4.5, FOX 4.3, CBS 3.8, ABC 3.5*

    2003/04 – NBC 4.2, FOX 4.1, CBS 3.7*, ABC 3.2

    * The Super Bowl effect taken out, ABC wasn’t doing that horribly.

    ABC is averaging 2.4 this season with no football. NBC without football would be like 1.5?

    PS sports is not an entertainment program according to the Nets’ press releases.

  • Ali

    I am holding my breath for a massive miracle when it comes to Awake… I know it’s probably pointless but I cant stop hoping….

  • Cory

    I can’t wait until Harry’s Law gets canceled so we can start talking about something else!

    AWAKE – 14 (-1)
    30 ROCK – 15 (+1)
    PARENTHOOD – 14 (-2)
    COMMUNITY – 86
    PARKS & RECREATION – 16 (+2)

  • Max

    I know what NBC shows will come back or won’t come back for the 2012-13 season:

    Already Renewed: Grimm & Smash

    Renewed: 30 Rock, Whitney, Parenthood, Up All Night (or toss-up), Community, Law and Order SVU, Parks and Recreation, The Office

    Toss up: Up All Night

    Cancelled: Bent, Harry’s Law, Best Friends Forever, Awake, & Are You There Chelsea?

  • sc04

    I’d say everything above Grimm is renewed and everything below is canceled.

  • battye

    Tommy Mickens raises a good point, a lot of NBC’s shows are at CW levels. As Justun121 said, besides The Voice, SNL and the few months when NFL is on – when does NBC get 8-10 million pairs of eyes on the screen?

    I think Harry’s Law should be cancelled simply because NBC can’t afford to keep mediocrity (18-49 wise). But I can understand the argument that you might as well keep a show drawing 8-10 million viewers when most likely the show replacing it will score the same demo rating but only 2-3 million viewers overall.

    I disagree with the people saying NBC’s situation is not unique. I reckon it’s unprecedented. And I think Brian J has hit the nail on the head, NBC need to be aggressive in getting themselves out of this hole. I love the idea of giving Saturday’s to up-and-coming actors with out-of-the-box visions. See what sticks, if even one of the shows draws half-decent ratings then run with it and try to grow it. I’ve thought about similar ideas myself, not as outlandish though. I think NBC would be pretty well served in commissioning 4 or 5 miniseries of say 6 episodes each. Run them all through the season. It’s NBC so there’s a good chance most will crash and burn. But if one sticks, renew it for a second season.

    And expand their sitcom offerings. Double the shows, double the chance one of them will perform alright.

  • Brian J


    “The fact that Rock Center is STILL on the schedule, even when it’s pulling 0.6?s on a weeknight, is just stunning.”

    I don’t think it is. It’s probably substantially cheaper than any scripted show, and while there might be a case for repeating an episode of “Community” or “Smash” somewhere, let’s remember that “Rock Center” was a fairly important promotion for the news division. That it faltered so badly is hardly surprising, but considering the names attached, I can see letting it stick around until the overall schedule is in better shape.

    Anyway, I can see the logic in your distinction between ABC and NBC, but consider that all shows are posting considerably lower numbers than they were years ago. Off the top of my head, it wouldn’t surprise me to see there’s not that much daylight between a lot of ABC shows and a lot of NBC shows now. After all, “Grey’s Anatomy” is still very successful for ABC, but it’s not nearly a dominant as it once was.

  • Brian J


    “Should I be worried for Parenthood?”

    I doubt it, unless NBC decides it really wants to clean house. But then, unless the network is going to order more pilots, pick up the rejected series from other networks (which it should definitely think about doing, by the way), and/or going overboard with news shows and reality shows, it just doesn’t have that many series ordered.

    It’s pretty well reviewed, probably not all that expensive despite the big cast, is owned by NBC Universal, and pulls in decent ratings for the network. I could understand why the network would cancel it, but given its many other problems, what’s the overwhelming reason to do it?

    I am probably destined to drive myself crazy here, but if NBC renews and doesn’t promote it over the summer, what’s the point? As I keep saying, it should absolute use “America’s Got Talent” to try to help expose the show to new viewers and even think about giving away copies of earlier seasons for free. I have no idea how much this might cost, but given that it’s an NBC Universal product, don’t they want it stretched out over many seasons?

    On that note, when does a network stop ordering shows to be made into pilots from scripts?

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures