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.

  • Rebecca

    I hope you can use my two bear pics some time next fall season (or spring). I never did find any other good ones.

  • Wolfie

    “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.”

    If this has already been answered, please forgive me and link me to the answer. Anyways, could you explain what you mean by that? I don’t study up on the lingo nor do I religiously follow this stuff week to week. So to me, and I’m most likely misunderstanding it, but it sounds like the real number of viewers doesn’t matter, it’s only what a certain group of monitored people watch that makes a difference. Which means, Harry’s Law could be one of the most watched shows on the air but the ratings aren’t reporting it correctly. Is this the case? If not, then please, dumb it down for me.

    The rest is my babbling…

    I find it amazing that NBC finds ways to screw around with good shows so that their ratings go into the crapper and then cancel them, then turn around and replace it with something that was crap from the start. Harry’s Law was great during the first season but then took a bad turn this season (and managed to get better during the last few episodes). No doubt NBC wanted certain changes done and it’s those changes that ruined it and by the time it recovered in quality, it was too late. Last season, they moved Outsourced (getting good ratings) to a very late time slot and then “oh look it’s ratings went down, let’s cancel it”. Then they replace it with crap.

    NBC = No Brain Cells, I swear.

  • Patrick G.

    @ Rebecca…thanks for your answers, my dear. I am not surprised by “SMASH” getting held off to mid-season with a less-than-full season of episodes in its order since it was dropping precipitously as its season finale neared. NBC likely wants to hedge its bet with a 13-ep order in case it falls further, particularly since it’s an expensive show. Then they will cancel it if it doesn’t do well enough or give the back-9 order if it holds on. I am hoping for the latter.

    @ Bill…thanks for the further clarification about the Bear. I definitely prefer my bears on top, so I appreciate your explanation ;)

  • Terrie

    The ONLY shows that I watched on NBC were both cancelled, Harry’s Law, and The Firm. Again NBC has fallen.

  • Sheena

    I don’t get why networks cancel shows before the end of the first season. Not meaning to sound bitter, but I would think finales are what have the most potential to draw people in. In the end, it is all about numbers, and sometimes it is too little too late, sadly. And I guess based on the trend of the numbers, you can pretty much tell what will be worth it and what will not be. (‘Awake’ fan, by the way.)

    I like what the “Breakout Kings’ writers did, after word of their show being cancelled. They went to Twitter and told the fans how they figured the show would end, to close the loose ends. I have never seen an episode of the show, but the closure for the fans must have been nice. Too bad all the shows can’t do that.

  • Networkman

    So, Who’s Still Standing? has been cancelled.

  • herzco

    Don’t people over 49 have money to spend? Aren’t they almost the ONLY people spending money, watching ads etc? Cancelling Harry’s Law because of demographics like this is just so lame.

  • Barbara

    Guess they can’t handle when a program has great actors and great stories. More space for those moronic reality shows, how sad.


    We should all BOYCOTT nbc they always cancel good shows. I guess 5-6 million viewers don’t mean anything to them. So screw them and BOYCOTT. I love THE FIRM, HARRY’S LAW, & AWAKE. All cancelled by nbc.

  • Lana

    Harrys Law is such a great show, all my friends are upset.Please change your mind and bring it back

  • javax3000

    awake was different from other shows i don’t get it.

  • cancel series

    If network have to canecl so many show every seasons mean this rating system failed. Why is age a big part of the rating system? Why is rating system Largly depend on live 18-49. With this old rating system Advertizers depending on 18-49 broke people whom that can’t afford a box to tape programs on. Why dose it matter bout the age? Do advertizers kno the power of a of 6 year old has with in, what 2 eat that day,& so on. Does 50 year old people stop buying for themselfs r for people under 18? The Old people buy new homes, pay 4 college & so on. Is this old system is hurting series & adertizers? With all the new technology do the advertizers need anything else pulling them back?
    Every season they have a series canceling party. I seen so many series show die all the while REALITY SHOW LIVE ON!
    Is cancel series a gimic to bring in new advertizers?

  • Bill J

    Had NBC not moved Harry’s Law to Sunday night where it had to compete with some powerhouse shows it may have done much better. I loved the show and thought Kathy Bates was great as Harry. The supporting cast was excellent and each show had a different problem or situation to handle. NBC should bring Harry’s Law back on another night and at a later time slot!

  • Bill J

    Dear NBC,
    If you no longer want to run Harry’s Law at least sell it’s rights to another station on cable. I am sure A&E, TMC, or CMT would pick it up as Harry’s Law has plenty of us older people who love the show. Better yet, you can put it on late night…we are usually up until midnight! Bring back Harry’s Law!

  • Holly

    Dear Bill J,

    NBC does not own Harry’s Law and therefore cannot sell it to anyone. Warner Brothers, the primary owner, apparently has no interest in shopping it to cable nets (or more accurately, realizes no cable nets would be interested in buying it).

  • Debby

    Harry’s law is an excellent show and is just coming into it’s own. Yes they shouldn’t have dealt with the store so much and actually should have broken away completely from it. Adding Phoebe really helped and so did that stupid DA guy! They needed some more tweaking, like maybe Adam should move to Phoebe’s law firm, he’s too wishy washy at harry’s! But she did good work and had more to do. They needed to deal more with current events as Boston Legal did and they would have survived. David E. Kelley lets find something else for Kathy Bates, I loved her here!
    Maybe move the next season to Bravo or Fox! NBC you are fools!

  • VBarkley

    You should see the number of seniors who have learned to use the Interwebs to sign up for NBC.com to voice their dismay at the cancelling of Harry’s Law. The Harry’s Law forum has had more traffic in the last week than the entire time it aired.

    I’ll miss Awake – the show got better and better as the season went on. Hope the last episode wraps up some conclusions for the viewers.

    Long live Chuck. <3

    I'll be interested to see how The Office goes with 2 new executive producers and a new showrunner. Better, I hope. They should just reboot the entire show.

    Wonder how Community will be without Harmon?

    At least Up All Night and Parks & Rec should be pretty stable, i.e., good quality. :)

  • VBarkley

    And speaking of Harry’s Law. why isn’t there a Senior Network? Run all the Old People programming, like Lawrence Welk. Remember the MTV ads back in the 1980’s, “I want my MTV!” Well, you could have a bunch of old people going, “I want my Welk TV!” Air Lawrence Welk, Harry’s Law, Murder She Wrote, The Snoop Sisters, Matlock, etc.

  • KooKooKooKwe

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease do NOT cancel Harry’s Law. It is a wonderful program with relevant, current themes, strong characters — including strong women—and Kathy Bates. My God! How can you go wrong with that mix?

  • Shay

    great so they’ve cannceled a great show like awake… but HEY as long as they kept whitney! now we could all sleep well at night knowing that what many viewers considered to be the “bottom” of tv programming, or “tv’s worst moment” still with us for another season. its times like this that makes me just close the goddamn tv and pick up a book. at least with books, they dont canncel it after 13 episodes, and leave you frustrating and wondering what went wrong.

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