NBC Renew/Cancel Wrap: 'Harry's Law,' 'Awake,' 'Best Friends Forever,' 'Are You There, Chelsea?' Canceled; 'Community,' '30 Rock,' 'Whitney,' 'Up All Night' Renewed

Categories: Cancel/Renew Index,Cancel/Renew NBC Shows

Written By

May 15th, 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- May 13, 2012):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Prime Suspect* canceled 0.47
Bent* canceled 0.52
Best Friends Forever* canceled 0.58
The Firm* canceled 0.61
Harry's Law canceled 0.61
Free Agents * canceled 0.66
The Playboy Club * canceled 0.67
Chuck (F)* final season complete 0.69
Awake canceled 0.72
Are You There, Chelsea?* canceled 0.90
Grimm (F) renewed 0.92
Whitney* renewed 0.96
Community renewed 0.97
30 Rock renewed 0.98
Parenthood* renewed 1.00
Up All Night* renewed 1.01
Parks & Recreation renewed 1.10
Law & Order: SVU  renewed 1.12
Smash renewed 1.46
The Office  renewed 1.57


Harry's Law fans would have descended on our site like biblical locusts were the show renewed, but of course it wasn't going to be.  Instead we had the executive producer of the show claiming we have far more power than we actually do.

Will the Harry's Law cancellation convince the doubters that total viewership is completely meaningless in broadcast primetime? A networks top total viewership show (but nearly lowest adults 18-49 rated show) was canceled. Doesn't get any more definitive than that. Except perhaps for the crazy.

As it turned out, I predicted every NBC show renewal or cancellation correctly for the season, most well in advance.

Unlike other bears, our cancellation bear hibernates during the summer. With that the Index bids the 2011-12 NBC season adieu, there will be no more NBC Renew / Cancel posts until September.

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.

  • The End


    Not making excuses for Awake but clearly this is one show they should of handed to their Syfy network who would of renewed the show with those numbers.

    Hopefully with a few shows ending this year, the network will have ample chances to pick up a few Awake style shows that don’t belong on NBC lol

  • The End


    Clearly you don’t understand the demographics, things like that.

    Harry’s Law was bringing in less money for the network than Smash, it appealed to the older generation which is no good as far as money goes.

  • Michael

    @Mickey 1.0
    “odds are their new line-up won’t collapse the way this one did.”
    Mickey, you do remember that we’re talking about NBC, right?

  • Spencer

    I watch 9 shows on NBC
    9. Grimm
    8. Bent
    7. Parks and Rec.
    6. Whitney
    5. Smash
    4. 30 Rock
    3. Betty Whites off tgeir Rockers
    2. Up all night
    1. Are you there Chlesea

  • steve

    @ The End

    You’ve had it in for Harry’s Law for so long I’m surprised you’re not throwing a big party for yourself in the cancellation announcement.

    I know that all networks care about is the 18-49 demographic, but NBC is a complete mess and they could have kept Harry’s Law and put in on Friday nights after Grimm or Saturday night and win the night with viewership.

    I bet Smash is cancelled next season as viewership slipped all season to around 6 million and will dwindle this coming Fall, and I am betting that a lot of these new NBC shows will wind up cancelled as well. NBC should have stuck with what they know—viewers obviously don’t matter to them at all. Matthew Perry is TV poison since his stint on Friends, yet he’s back on TV.
    Gee, maybe NBC can pick up a new Christian Slater pilot? LOL

    It’s a shame that another network wouldn’t pick up Harry’s Law like TBS did with Cougar Town. I think it would be a great fit on cable.

    The only other show I’m waiting to hear about that I really care about is CBS’s Rules of Engagement, but because it is the only show in limbo, I don’t think CBS wants to piss off their viewers by announcing that Rules is also cancelled.

    It was a good year for my tv shows that did not get the axe, but the one that really hurts is Harry’s Law. I’ll miss Alcatraz and The River, but I’ll be craving more HL come fall and there won’t be any.

    So go pour yourself a glass of champagne and celebrate the cancellation of one of the few good shows on television—bad 18-49 demographic or not. It had loyal viewers.

  • steve

    Sunday from 8-9 p.m. ET, “Harry’s Law” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 7.6 million viewers overall) was up week to week by 25 percent in adults 18-49 (to a 1.0 rating from a 0.8), for its highest 18-49 rating in five weeks (since April 8). “Harry’s Law” was up versus this week’s total-viewer lead-in by 126 percent. From its first half-hour to its second, “Harry’s Law” grew by 11 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 1.0 from a 0.9) and by 12 percent in total viewers (8.1 million vs. 7.2 million). Versus NBC’s non-sports average in the time period last season, “Harry’s Law” was up 61 percent in total viewers (7.645 million vs. 4.756 million).

    And with no more Once Upon a Time, I bet Harry’s Law gets it’s best 18-49 demo ratings and viewers this season with it’s finale coming up May 20. Chew on that cancellation bear and NBC.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    @steve, you have a future as an NBC press release writer! (or at least an NBC press release cut and paster)

    Sadly, no future as a TV ad salesman. ;)

  • Kenny

    I snet a letter to NBC Bill Greenblatt about the “monatize” comment wondering if i`ll get a comment back i`ll let you guys know…Harry`s Law shouldn`t have been cancelled

  • max

    What about Fashion Star? Is that renewed?

  • toadytoady

    I dont think your figures are right for Smash. Its been bleeding audience and has been 1.8 in key demo for three weeks,also losing total numbers,under 6 million this week. Its now no better than SVU2 which is a 13year old series.Smash is in serious trouble and needs a rethink/rewrite.

  • Mickey 1.0

    Mickey, you do remember that we’re talking about NBC, right?

    Yeah, I know. But this year’s line-up sucked so much I doubt even NBC can repeat the feat. ;) Seriously, I’ve read they’re going all out for 2012-13 to try and turn the network around, so I expect there to be some improvement at least.

    Plus, in all honesty, having watched the trailers for ABC, FOX, and NBC, and read descriptions for the new shows on all the networks, surprisingly NBC is the one with the shows that I’m looking forward to seeing. It’s surprising especially since I don’t currently watch any shows on NBC, and haven’t for a long time, except for the last year of Chuck after I had caught up on DVD.

  • toadytoady

    I think NBC have made good moves to focus on Comedy and reality TV and Sport…where they make their money…..then pick up the best of the old shows and include some risky new ones that are more experimental…like the one about Pirates, “Crossbones”. That one looks good.

    Smash was experimental for them last year. It started well but has lost a lot of ground recently.I didnt like it. If you are going to do a musical there should be something different about it. This one is just an ordinary musical and doesnt grip me.

    So NBC is right to hold it back and make drastic changes.


    I’m so upset over the cancellation of harry’s law and the reason it was done,I’d consider picketing the studio for age discrimination.Honestly it’s the only drama I look forward to watching every week.The script and acting is outstanding.The handling of controversial issues is deeply intelligent and current.What a shame to dump such a meaningful series.

  • Hades

    I’m starting to think networks should be made to pay into some sort of ‘Show cancellation Support Group’ fund to help fans with the grief and denial?!

  • Brenda

    I too am upset about Harry’s Law being cancelled. One of the best new shows of the season. Spinoff of Boston Legal that I loved also. Really a shame.

  • Kali

    I have tried to watch Harry’s Law consistently, but it was not easy when it moved from network to network and changed to different nights repeatedly. It was even more difficult to follow when it was not On Demand. One of my favorites, it will be missed.

  • a p garcia

    No Betty White?

  • SarahL

    I love the graphic of the hibernating Cancellation Bear, very funny.

  • Sioux D

    Bill – Being a number freak myself, I’m wondering if anyone has charted the networks renewal/cancel percentage per season? For example, if ABC launches 20 new shows and cancels 10 by the end of the season, their success rate is 50%. Compare that against the other networks, year over year, and you can see trends for picking winners.

  • Holly

    @Sioux D,

    Being a number freak myself, I’m wondering if anyone has charted the networks renewal/cancel percentage per season?

    The Futon Critic used to as part of their “10 Things You Need To Know Before the Season Begins” series. I don’t know if they still do though.

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