ABC: Even If 'Private Practice' Tuesday Ratings Stink, Expect A Final Season Renewal Attempted

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

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April 24th, 2012

Click this link for the latest ABC 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 22, 2012):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Pan Am* canceled 0.42
Charlie's Angels * canceled 0.48
Work It! * canceled 0.61
Cougar Town :| :| :| 0.64
Missing :oops: 0.65
Body Of Proof* :oops: 0.66
Man Up * canceled 0.66
The River* :oops: 0.66
GCB :| :| :| 0.80
Scandal :| :| :| 0.82
Castle :) :) :) :) 0.88
Last Man Standing :) :) :) :) 0.89
Private Practice :) :) :) :) 0.92
Suburgatory :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 0.99
Revenge :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.00
Happy Endings :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.01
The Middle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.03
Desperate Housewives final season 1.04
Don't Trust the B in Apt 23 :) :) :) :) 1.13
Once Upon A Time :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.28
Grey's Anatomy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.44
Modern Family :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 2.00

When Private Practice hit a series low 1.7 rating in its new Tuesday 10pm timeslot last week some viewers freaked out. Understandably so. That ratings level is typically associated with a danger of cancellation on ABC. However, my guess is that no matter how woeful the ratings are during the brief Tuesday run of PP this Spring, ABC will try and engineer a deal to bring the show back for what might be its final season next year.

That's not to say such a deal is certain. I thought ABC would do the same for a final season of Brothers & Sisters (and they reportedly tried), but didn't get a deal done.

The observant will note that I've moved Revenge up to certain to be renewed. That may hit the headline in a future week, but I wanted to get PP in this week.

Don't Trust The B---- In Apt. 23 fell only slightly in its second episode. It's still likely to be renewed.

Following the ratings loser Titanic special, GCB fell to a series low 1.5 adults 18-49 rating on Sunday. The trigger happy would predict it likely to be canceled now, but since it had a string of prior non-dreadful ratings, I'm not so quick to move it from a "toss up" for renewal or cancellation. I'm still waiting to see how it does in its next new episode.

Why is Cougar Town just a "toss up" with its dreadful ratings instead of "likely to be canceled" or worse? Because of past (negative) experience, I'm keeping shows in their third seasons (even shortened ones) no lower than a "toss up" because of potential syndication related benefits.

The Renew / Cancel Index above includes results beginning January 2, 2012. How did ABC'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.

  • Common Anomaly

    Exception paradox: if every rule has an exception, then there must be an exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.

    After Rules of Engagement and Cougar Town are canceled, the “even shortened seasons” provision of Bill Gorman’s syndication rule should be incorporated into the new rule next season, which would allow Bill to classify these shows as “likely to be canceled.” And thus enable him to take shows without shortened seasons from the bubble and classify them as “likely to be renewed.” This will be known as “the Rules Rule.”

  • Justin121

    – Kennith, what do you know about revenge?

    – Well, the Bible says it’s wrong but it’s the surprise hit of the season on ABC so… :D

    30 Rock [6.16]

  • KJ Styles

    WOW, ABC could have as many as 11 cancellations this year (12 if you count Desperate Housewives ending). Would that be a record? If that happens, they better hope and pray that their new shows next season are hits or else they won’t be on par with either CBS or FOX anytime soon.

  • The Big Toe

    Where are all the renewals? When the renewals come, Apartment 23 will be canceled due to controversy!

  • SJ

    ^Oh go back to church, would ya?


    Haha, 30 Rock is but the third show this season to reference Revenge. Happy Endings and 2 Broke Girls mentioned it too.

  • bluejays

    Glad to hear that PP will get a final season. I really like this show, prefer it by a mile to Greys.

  • Matthew

    My ABC 2012-13 Schedule

    8/7c Once Upon a Time
    9/8c New Drama
    10/9c Revenge

    8/7c Last Man Standing
    8:30/7:30c New Comedy
    9/8c: New Drama
    10/9c: Body of Proof

    8/7c The Middle
    8:30/7:30c Suburgatory
    9/8c Modern Family
    9:30/8:30c New Family Comedy
    10/9c Apt 23
    10:30/9:30c Happy Endings

    8/7c: New Drama
    9/8c: Grey’s Anatomy
    10/9c: Private Practice

    8/7c: Shark Tank
    9/8c: New Drama
    10/9c: 20/20


    7/6c: AFV
    8/7c: DWTS (Fall Only)/The Bachlor/New Drama (Short Season)
    9/8c: DWTS (Fall Only)/The Bachlor/Scandal or GCB
    9:30c: DWTS Results (Fall Only)
    10/9C: Castle

  • Eric

    I honestly don’t know much about the ratings system, but can someone explain to me why there is even talk about a final season for PP? I thought it was doing fairly well and basically a likely renewal…

  • Katelyn

    If private practice does worse than Body of Proof then it shouldn’t be renewed

  • Rebecca

    Yes, I loved LOST. Not every episode, but overall it was a favorite show in this house. Some people mentioned Suburgatory and Last Man Standing to you also….of those two I like Last Man Standing. I don’t know, I might try Suburgatory again on hulu some time once I have more time, but the little I’ve seen of it so far hasn’t drawn me in much (I like Cheryl Hines, though). While it’s on is when we’re usually starting to watch The Middle on chase play mode on the DVR so we can be done in time to see MF. LMS is funny but not a favorite of mine…it’s watchable, mostly for the at-home family scenes (the girls playing Tim Allen’s daughters are funny, especially the youngest of the three). And he has mostly all the same crew who worked on Home Improvement with him, I’ve heard. Good environment. If it gets renewed I’ll keep watching.

  • rob60990

    I’ve seen quite a few schedules putting DWTS Results show after the performance show. Like how does that make any sense? That means the West Coast can’t even vote unless they do the show live on both coasts.

  • JJF

    I think PP might squeak out a final shortened season. Unlike B@S, I think ABC will want to keep relations with Shonda and also, I think they’re going to want to get PP over the 100 ep mark. Since they don’t really have any runaway hits this year, I think PP will squeak it out.

  • The Big Toe

    Cougar Town and GCB are both going to be canceled. I like Cougar Town, but I think it will be canceled, sadly. Scandal may stay.

  • Sarah

    Like others have said, I believe the reason a deal didn’t go through for a final season of Brothers & Sisters was the cost. Sally Field alone probably cost as much as most of the Private Practice cast and I don’t think Calista Flockhart worked for cheap either. ABC has a lot of low rated freshman dramas that will probably only to continue to get lower in a second season. Might as well give a show that’s been on for 5 seasons some closure.

  • tvfreak

    @SJ: But it’s only funny when 30 Rock does it. ;)

    CASTLE – 41 (+3)
    THE MIDDLE – 44 (+2)
    ONCE UPON A TIME – 40 (-2)


    18. The River (4-11, 8:28pm)
    17. Private Practice (4-11, 8:28pm)
    16. Grey’s Anatomy (4-12, 9:31am)
    15. Last Man Standing (4-12, 9:31am)
    14. Scandal (4-13, 5:47am)
    13. Missing (4-13, 5:47am)
    12. Happy Endings (4-13, 9:14am)
    11. Body Of Proof (4-14, 6:52pm)
    10. Cougar Town (4-15, 4:31pm)
    9. Suburgatory (4-16, 3:43pm)
    8. Apartment 23 (4-22, 10:03am)
    7. Revenge (4-22, 10:03am)
    6. GCB (4-22, 6:30pm)

    From Castle episode 4.07 “Cops and Robbers” –
    Beckett: What do you want, Castle?
    Castle: Tell me you need me.
    Beckett: (beat) Excuse me?
    Castle: I’m stuck in the bank, helping my mother get along with my banker. Please tell me there’s a murder somewhere we can be solving.
    Beckett: Uh, sorry, there’s no dead bodies, just a lot of paperwork, but you’re welcome to come and do your share, for once.
    Castle: The only thing worse than being here is being there doing paperwork.

  • SJ


    Where have you been? This is far and away ABC’s best season since 2007-2008.

    Also, why does everyone seem to think that Shonda’s got ABC by the balls? She sold a script to another network (Fox, I think) this development season. Her production company has a deal with ABC Studios, not ABC network. Besides, I’m fairly sure that she knows that her particular brand of drama can only work on ABC (or Lifetime).


    Yeah, but there’s always a possibility that GCB and/or Scandal could rise in season 2. There is no such possibility for Private Practice. If GCB or Scandal had opened to a 3.5 and then fallen all the way to a 2.0 I’d likely agree with you. The real issue is that they haven’t even been sampled properly yet, but are not doing terribly either. Now that’s a kind of show that can grow in season 2. Something like Pan Am, on the other hand, which started out relatively high but cratered shortly afterwards, can’t.

    Side note: How badly must ABC feel right now? They screwed Private Practice by moving it and now they’ve got a situation where PP is rating lower than any episode of Body of Proof that followed Dancing and Scandal is rating lower than any PP episode that followed Grey’s. Aside from the fact that all this showed ABC that both BOP and PP are extremely lead-in dependent, it somehow made all three shows look even worse off than they already are.

  • Sarah


    I agree with you about Scandal, it hasn’t lowered since it’s premiere and I think it could possibly go higher, it seems like word of mouth type of show. GCB on the other hand I feel has had enough time for people to sample it and won’t grow in a second season.

    Side note: How badly must ABC feel right now? They screwed Private Practice by moving it and now they’ve got a situation where PP is rating lower than any episode of Body of Proof that followed Dancing and Scandal is rating lower than any PP episode that followed Grey’s. Aside from the fact that all this showed ABC that both BOP and PP are extremely lead-in dependent, it somehow made all three shows look even worse off than they already are.

    I completely agree. For some reason I think Scandal would have done better on a different night.

  • SJ


    Scandal skews older than Grey’s, PP and GCB. It probably would have done OK after DWTS. Don’t get me wrong, PP needed to move, but I wish ABC had done it in the fall. An April move for a veteran show/premiere of a new show does neither of them any good.

    I do slightly disagree with you that Scandal has done better than GCB. Scandal has aired each episode after an original Grey’s, it always aired in the same time slot and it never went on breaks. All luxuries that GCB didn’t enjoy so far in its run. And they have so far both averaged a 2.0 (GCB even a little higher if you don’t count the post-Titanic episode and the 9pm episode).

    Also, I can’t help but think – and I’ve already mentioned this – that GCB’s position as a Sunday show makes it that much more likely to get renewed so that ABC could avoid premiering two new hour longs back to back. Sure, they could move some of their existing shows there, but with most of them pulling low 2s in their regular time slots, how do you think they’ll do there? Anyway, I say renew them both, but for 9-10 episodes each so that, if they tank by late fall, ABC can premiere new dramas in January while people are still watching TV and while their respective lead-ins still have more episodes to air.

  • rob60990

    Scandal seems to be skewing a little older. I think it could have worked with DWTS.

  • Sarah


    I see your point about Scandal vs GCB. Scandal also has the better lead in so it should be doing better than GCB, so I think you are correct about GCB being renewed before Scandal.

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