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.

  • Dee W

    “Harry’s Law” is one of the best shows on T. V. but obviously it is too sophisticated for the average viewer. What a shame! Those programs which continue year after year have little if any substance. It is getting to the point that I may go back to the radio!

  • Just0r

    Woohoo, one more season of the office! I demand a Michael Wedding episode, come on Steve Carrell, it takes like a week to film an episode. DO IT.

  • Mo

    If Kathy Bates would only loose 100 lbs, become a red head, have a face lift, LOTS of botox in the lips. and for god sake, cut out all those big words she uses, “Harry’s Law” might stand a chance. Oh yes, forgot spandex clothing.

  • Ellen

    Harry’s Law is one of the best shows on TV. We are so sick of reality tv.
    The network should not cancel this great show. It has wonderful story lines and great characters.

  • Bev Lusis

    I cannot believe that Harrys Law is going to be canceled. It has alot of viewers, the story lines are spectacular, Kathy Bates is a wonderful actress. NBC needs to re-evaluate their decision, I think they are going to lose many viewers over this unfair decision. Targeting the 18-49 year age group I understand is important but the 50 and up group also watch television and it seems to me Harrys Law has quite a following, you might want to look at the numbers closely before making such a rash decision.

  • vjw

    Looking for an explanation for canceling Harry’s Law.
    Any show that sparks water cooler conversations
    the next day has always been a keeper.
    Someone at NBC set on proving they have power?
    Yes, we will boycott I know how to delete nbc from our channels.
    Nothing else that we watch there anyway

  • Mary Newland

    It continues to be amazing to me that total viewership doesn’t account for anything. Especially when it is in a demographic who has all the money and last time I checked purchased the items advertised on these shows. Taking a smart show like Harry’s Law off the air is just another step in the direction of totally dumbing down television until we get to the point where the only thing left to programming is Miley Cyrus type clones in Hannah Montana misadventures. The downward spiral is really sad for those of us who can remember when quality television was the norm and not the exception. So keep hiring your little MBA Harvard grads and listen to them say that Harry’s Law isn’t hip amongst the 18-49 demographic…because it’s all about the kids, isn’t it?….geeesh!! What about the rest of us!! You know the ones who PAY for everything?

  • Nancy Riggio

    I think we should boycott NBC until they bring back Harry’s Law – – one of the best shows ever. I can’t believe they could be such morons. If they don’t want the show maybe another station (someone with brains) will pick it up. (along with Unforgetable).

  • steven moss

    Harry is one of the best shows on TV.The Topics alone are great ,the acting> Do not cancel this show…

  • steven moss

    I will boycott NBC.Harrys Law Rocks.THe little I watch now…Leno

  • Diane

    Love The Firm and Harry’s Law. What are they thinking?

  • Nancy Riggio

    Kathy Bates is one of the last great actresses of our times but I guess the 18-49 airheads wouldn’t agree. She was perfect in Harry’s Law, along with the cast. Who is the moron who cancelled this show? If said moron was running the studeo in the days of Seinfeld – said moron would have cancelled it that first year and we would never have had the fabulous show about “nothing.” I wish someone will see fit to bring back Harry’s Law.

  • Bonnie

    I cannot believe you have cancelled Harry’s Law. It was one of the best on TV. Don’t you care what your viewers think or don’t you care.

  • Kathy Mascher

    How can such an elegant program such as Harry’s Law be cancelled? Easy. The public IQ. CEO’s and number crunchers have a pathological distrust of anything that requires thought. Sickening. And so predictable. Obviously.

  • Tim in Denver

    What is wrong with NBC, the take Harry’s Law off the air, and keep thos stupid reality show. No wonder we are turning to CBS.

    Come on NBC, get a clue.

  • B. J. Higgins

    I really love Harry’s Law. One of the two best shows on TV. I read the TV Guide about all the new shows that NBC will be putting on. Most of them look stupid. I’ll just tell NBC that I won’t be watching anything on their station anymore.

  • Peggy Eggen

    I am astonished at the decision to cancel Harry’s Law. There are so few choices of good quality programs on TV and when one comes along that is so reliably entertaining, it is cancelled. Does anyone ask the public what they would like to watch? This was a totally wrong decision.

  • Mike

    So the high paid executives of a major network employed a very simple formula (or one similar to that provided) to decide which shows to renew. I hope all of the NBC shareholders realize they can replace these folks with an Excel spreadsheet for a lot less money.

    Soon the content providers will market their wares directly via the internet and unless the networks can find a way to add value they will go the way of the Dodo bird.

  • MaryAnn Disbro

    I also am very disappointed that NBC would even think to cancel Harry’s LawShame on them for taking a really good show off and keeping the mindless idiot based shows and reality shows on. Too many realities shows are overdoing and boring!! David Kelly is an excellent writer…Boston Legal, Ally McBeal and Harry’s Law were probably too intelligent for the station to keep. Hope another station picks them up and you can bet you boots, NBC, not watching your shows in prime time or otherwise….canceling NBC!!

  • Martha Agee


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