ABC: 'Last Man Standing' & 'Malibu Country' Fall To "Toss Up" For Cancellation Or Renewal

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

Written By

November 20th, 2012

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

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts the network's decision on renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows by the end of the 2012-13 season in May, 2013. (includes results from September 17-November 18, 2012):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Don't Trust the B in Apt 23 :oops: 0.55
Happy Endings :| :| :| 0.62
Private Practice canceled 0.63
666 Park Avenue canceled 0.66
Last Resort canceled 0.67
Last Man Standing (F) :| :| :| 0.69
Malibu Country (F) :| :| :| 0.74
Scandal :| :| :| 0.82
Castle :) :) :) :) 0.84
Nashville :| :| :| 0.85
The Neighbors :| :| :| 0.87
The Middle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.06
Suburgatory :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.09
Revenge :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.13
Once Upon A Time :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.37
Grey's Anatomy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.45
Modern Family :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.98

With their relatively high premiere ratings of 2.0 and 2.3 for adults 18-49 on a Friday, Last Man Standing and Malibu Country looked like they might be a Friday night ratings surprise duo. Sadly for them, that surprise lasted all of 3 weeks. With last Friday's 1.4 ratings for both, they've now fallen into the "toss up" range for cancellation or renewal by the end of the season. And if their ratings are not done falling, that prognosis may change again very soon.

Sophomore sitcom Don't Trust The B---- In Apt. 23 didn't start well this season, and its ratings completely tanked in its second and third episodes. It's now certain to be canceled, but it's been in the headline of this post enough times to give it a break this week. Because it's not a rookie, it's unlikely to be pulled from the schedule before its (19, thanks Dan) ordered episodes air.

With rookies Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue both canceled last week, ABC probably won't make any more drama cancellation moves until the end of the season, but that won't prevent me from continuing to make predictions!

Since Sony (and ABC) are likely to move heaven and earth to get a fourth season for Happy Endings somewhere, even with it's terrible ratings it's going no lower than a "toss up". May the syndication gods have mercy on the cancellation bear's soul.

Even with full season orders for this season, ABC's mediocre rated 10pm dramas Nashville and Scandal could be either canceled or renewed by the end of the season. Similarly rated Castle, already syndicated, is more likely to be renewed than canceled. Read more about that here.

Better to Follow The Bear, Than Be Chased By Him. This season you can follow the Cancellation Bear on Twitter via @TheCancelBear. The Cancellation Bear will retweet all the Renew/Cancel Index post titles and links as well as engage in a little more back and forth banter than we do on our standard @TVbytheNumbers Twitter feed.


*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, 2013
  • :cry: :cry:- more likely to be cancelled than renewed by May, 2013
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2013
  • :) :) :) :) - more likely to be renewed than cancelled by May, 2013
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2013

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 past television seasons.

  • Deek

    Maybe ABC should up the number of episodes for this season and next to 25 each. That would make them in have them around 84-85 episodes I think which would likely be enough. Either that or I can see them perhaps getting at least one more 4th season on ABC and then possibly moving to cable like Cougar Town after that.

  • rob60990

    “One thing… How to live is a multicam so if any show should go to wednesdays it should be the family tools”

    Futon critic has it labeled as single-cam. I believe in the beginning of pilot season it was going to be multi-cam but it changed.

  • Janice Arthur

    Nashville is in good/bad shape at the same time. Good because it beats out NBC weekly (against the meek Chicago Fire — which I see NBC cancelling at the end of the season, poor representation of the actual Chicago FD), but it’s still not enough.

    Nashville is actually a good and well written/acted series that needs a better lead-in and a boost. But better them be up against CSI than NCIS &/or SVU; or Nashville would have been canceled weeks ago. Revenge held it down last year, they probably need to move it back to Wed., and Nashville to Sunday (where it can have a chance).

    As for Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23, I’m surprised it even got a renewal at the end of last season. It’s gone before this one ends though, and I won’t be crying over it; and neither will b*tchy women in apartment #’s “23”

  • Hattie

    The truth is that neither show is very good. They’re both cliched sitcoms that probably would have been successful in the 80s but are just not in high demand in today’s market. Surprised Last Man Standing dropped so much since last season – wasn’t it a breakout hit? I thought it was kind of funny last year – but the quality has definitely gone downhill. Haven’t seen Malibu County yet, but imagining there isn’t a lot of room to move, storywise. Wouldn’t be surprised if ABC gives Last Man Standing another chance – maybe the creative team could rework it and get it up there again – but I’m not expecting Malibu County to stay on the schedule for next year.

  • rob60990

    “Surprised Last Man Standing dropped so much since last season – wasn’t it a breakout hit?”

    Not really. It premiere big, then leveled off at low to mid 2s. By spring it was in the mid to high 1s.

  • Bill Gorman

    “There is only one problem, wouldnt what happened to Cougar Town happen to Happy Endings??”

    It could, or something similar could, but it’s hardly certain. That’s why I’ve got it as a “toss up”.

    “I don’t get it. I thought it was normal for Friday’s ratings to be lower.”

    It is. If those two shows scored a 1.4 rating on any other night they’d be certain to be canceled. As it is, they’re just “toss ups”.

  • Kyle

    I think what’s killing Last Man Standing is the cast changes. I ahet the new cast members. My favorite actor on the series was Alexandra Krosney and now that she’s gone I have no interest in watching the show.

  • Nick


    ABC has always seemed pretty big on Happy Endings despite it never really getting the best ratings. In their first seasons their ratings were about as bad as they are this season and were still renewed for a second season somehow. I think because it gets a lot of positive buzz from entertainment magazines and makes a lot of “best of” sitcom lists and I’m sure they like all the comparisons it gets to Friends.

    No, you are wrong. Happy Ending was renewed after a disastrous Season 1 because the rest of ABC had an even more disastrous year. It had similar ratings to the other comedies up for renewals (Better With You and Mr. Sunshine), and ABC simply decided it had the most potential.

  • Nick


    The truth is that neither show is very good. […] Haven’t seen Malibu County yet,

    How can you say that Malibu Country is not very good if you hven’t seen it yet?

  • Dan

    Happy Endings seems like the new Cougar Town. It rode on the Modern Family train in its first two seasons but in its third season on a new night its Not doing so well. I still think it could get a fourth year but maybe TBS could pick it up.

  • Steve

    Suddenly, I am convinced that putting Scandal after Revenge should have been done this season. Both are soapy drama while 666 Park really didnt know what it was until it was too late.

  • EveatEden

    I seriously hope they keep Scandal, it is one of my favs and I’m getting into Nashville much more than I expected too as well!

  • Justin121

    What is this SHIELD everyone seems to be talking about?

    It’s not even pilot season yet.

  • Justin121

    Every show that aired after Modern Family got cancelled one season away from the cushy timeslot.

    Maybe not so cushy afterall?

  • Michael

    Last Man Standing is bound to get cancelled. This site is about tv by the numebrs.. well he’s some math for you: you can’t take a show that was targeted to conservatives in season one and alienate that core audience in season 2 by making the show political and make fun of conservatism and expect your numbers to stay steady or go up. That makes no sense and it’s a formula to get cancelled. I hope someone in hollywood learns the right lesson from this. Although they’ll probably blame the fact that the show was conservative in the first place. They’ll probably deduce that conservative shows can’t make it. Which is the wrong conclusion considering that season 1 did better.

    They alienated their core conservative audience. Most of us will never watch it again. That’s the real reason it went from a 2.0 to a 1.4. Many were waiting for it to return and watched the pilot, got angry by the 30 min obama ad and stopped watching. If they watched the 2nd episode they realized that the agenda was real and not a fluke.. and that there’s no reason to watch episode 3.

    It was good before and the writing was smart. They handled partisan issues the right way. Mike wasn’t made fun of, he wasn’t a loser, everyone wasn’t against him, and at the end of the episode he always came out on top while learning a little in the process. Smart. But now it’s very political and partisan. It’s dumbed down. It’s also confused.. meaning that it doesn’t know what it is any more. It is a show that is ostensibly geared towards conservatives but is clearly written by liberals and whether they intend this or not, it is actually preachy about liberal issues.. thus it alienates it’s core audience.

    Despite your political slant, your are not going to watch a show that makes fun of your ideals. The new show runner ruined the show. It seems like he and the writers can’t put their political views aside and make the same good show they made in season 1. Take the episode from season 1 where the boyfriend painted the stuffed bear. They handled the animal rights thing the right way. And in the end it was the daughter who realized that the bf was wrong to do that.. that he had vandalized a historical piece, and even the bf somewhat came to his senses and accepted his punishment. It was smart and it held to the values and ideals of it’s target audience. This season you’ll see an episode about animal rights that will make you want to throw up. It will be preachy and it will be Mike that is forced to change or be the bafoon.. the audience will be told that they are wrong for believing what they believe. Who’s going to watch that? Get a clue.. we don’t watch comedies to be preached at about issues and told that we’re wrong. That’s not going to be funny for us. And by the math.. ratings will go down.. the show will get canceled.

    We didn’t want or need the baby daddy to be a regular or be so antagonistic to Mike. We didn’t need the baby to grow up so fast. And firing the daughter who was delightful and supportive to her sister and replacing her with someone who is just unlikable.. big mistake. Where’s Mike Row and the dad? There was so much more they could have done with those characters.

    The show is ruined. And I for one will never watch it again.

    There’s only one way to save the show and it will never happen. They’ll never do it… Publicly ask for forgiveness and return the old version of the show. Fire the show runner and that new daughter. Right your wrongs. Return the old cast and write episodes that are more like season one. Make it a big public deal that you messed up and are making it right. And you’ll get lots of press and a ratings surge. Otherwise, you’re going to be canceled.

  • janus

    LAST RESORT and 666 ARE BEING TWEAKED IN ORDER TO GET SERIES FINALES for both–so say the tptb of those shows.

    LOVE that Last Resort is making the last episode a Series Finale show–it deserves it. The producer say they had enough warning to do this.

  • Bill Gorman

    “Every show that aired after Modern Family got cancelled one season away from the cushy timeslot.

    Maybe not so cushy afterall?”

    Or maybe those shows were dead no matter where they aired?

  • Randy

    Let’s see. Putting Last Man Standing from a night it had other terrible shows (last year) — in which 3 of them got cancelled (River, drag people, Cougar), and than moving it to the death slot of Friday is really going to help it? I’m confused???

    The cast was NOT the problem. The fact that it had nothing else good with it was the problem last year, and still this year. I don’t know how Reba is really helping either.. It should be on right after the Middle on Wednesday (Get rid of the Neighbors).

    This year though, I think the 1st episode stunk. Too much about politics. People are sick out of their mind with politics, and than to just watch the 1st episode all about politics – back & forth. Obama is for this, Romney is for this… Who’s the person that decided let’s make a episode about politics. They should be fired for such a bad idea!

  • rob60990

    An interesting tvguide article on why Nashville failed to meet ABC’s expectations and talk of a possible move to a new timeslot

  • Justin121


    Thank you for your post.

    That’s the issue with many, many shows.

    They claim they target everyone, but they fail big time.

    You could clearly see the difference in intentions between liberal and conservative jokes.

    For starters: the number of jokes.

    Secondly: you could obviously see how liberal jokes are closer to throwing a bone at the viewing public, while conservative jokes are made to offend and insult. Conservative jokes are plain offensive, and clearly agenda-bearing and biased.

    What you said also applies to: Glee, CBS sitcoms, to a lesser extent, Modern Family.

    FOX, ABC, CW, and NBC dramas and sitcoms are flat-out liberal.

    House, Family Guy, Grey’s Anatomy, 90210, are the most notable examples.

    All of NBC is a notable example. Though, to be fair, NBC’s best comedies usually started off politically neutral. Funny, smart, and genuinely neutral – That’s what made them the best at one time or another.

    30 Rock and Community were fairly neutral for several seasons (which contributed to them being top-notch), but then went full-on liberal and started sucking, in the ratings and in quality. The Office and others didn’t go the (in your face) political route.

    I think in cases such as Glee, Last Man Standing, and The New Normal, the audience just picks up on that after a while and dumps the show.

    Glee / Ryan Murphy thinks (thought?) its audience was dumb and wouldn’t notice that. Episode 14 – that was when it went downhill.

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