NBC: 'Community' Starts As Certain To Be Renewed

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

Written By

February 12th, 2013

Click this link for the latest NBC 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 December 31, 2012- February 10, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Do No Harm* canceled 0.50
Animal Practice* canceled 0.66
Smash :cry: :cry: 0.75
The New Normal :oops: 0.78
1600 Penn :oops: 0.81
Guys With Kids :cry: :cry: 0.83
Whitney :cry: :cry: 0.89
Deception :oops: 0.90
Go On :| :| :| 0.90
30 Rock* final season complete 0.93
Parenthood* :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.08
Parks & Recreation :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.16
Law & Order: SVU :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.17
Community :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.18
The Office final season 1.31
Chicago Fire :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.34
Up All Night :cry: :cry: pending
Grimm (F) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
Revolution :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending

Surprising most of our polled readers, a Dan Harmon-less Community returned to NBC's schedule with a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating last week. That's plenty good enough to be "certain to be renewed" on the ratings basket case that is NBC. Would a ratings decline cause that prediction to be adjusted downward? It could. Stay tuned.

The other end of the NBC ratings spectrum is both woeful and crowded. Ratings are so pitiful that only shows that have hit a 1.1 rating (1600 Penn, Deception) have been moved to "certain to be canceled". Those that have hit a 1.2 rating (Whitney, Smash, Guys With Kids) are just "likely to be canceled". And those that have held at a 1.3 (Go On) or above are still "toss ups". Even so, the complete collapse of NBC spring ratings means that some of those shows probably have brighter futures than I am predicting at this point. NBC's scripted show average the last three weeks has hovered around a 1.5. That means shows that average a 1.3 have a reasonably good chance of being renewed. Let that sink in for a second. Yikes.

My "don't update until the ratings arrive" posture has me holding Up All Night at "likely canceled", but the Applegate departure last week could certainly have the reasonable think its cancellation is certain.

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.

From now through the end of the broadcast season in May, the Renew/Cancel Index values will only be calculated using new episodes airing during 2013. However, until new episodes of a show air in 2013, I will keep the "old"  Fall predictions in the table.

Want to know what the NBC Renew/Cancel Index table looked like at the end of the Fall season? Click here.


  • :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 (ie. 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.

  • JacobYates

    Is it possible for NBC to cancel more shows than they renew?

  • Oliver


    Sony ultimately decided against selling Community into broadcast syndication for a Fall 2013 launch, presumably because they like the chances of a fifth season, so syndication is still relevant.

    Also, ratings being equal, it generally makes sense for networks to renew syndicated veterans over freshman shows. Syndication income subsidises the production cost, veterans are generally more stable in the ratings and syndication exposure may boost its ratings. A fifth season of Community is vastly more valuable to Sony than a second season of a show like The New Normal which will never reach syndication for Fox to recoup its production costs.

  • tjw

    So basically, whichever shows end up airing after The Voice will be safe (I’m assuming Smash won’t be airing on Tuesdays when The Voice comes back if they keep these ratings though who knows).

    As for next year, they almost have to move Revolution and try to establish it as a 9:00 show. Maybe pair it with Chicago Fire on Wednesdays to try and build that night and move L&O:SVU to Thursday at 10:00 (since nothing else seems to survive there). That lets them launch new shows after The Voice and hopefully build out Sunday-Wednesday. It still doesn’t fix their winter/spring problem, but I don’t know how they fix that without figuring out how to extend the Voice out to more than two months in the Spring.

  • Honey Badger

    Posted February 12, 2013 at 10:11 AM
    @Honey Badger
    NBC has to do something drastic at this time.
    There’s a difference between “most” and “all.” Especially because you seem to have trouble acknowledging that NBC is actually doing much better with its dramas than it has recently.
    Also, there’s a limit to the number of fall shows they can effectively promote. I know you keep hoping that something drastic will actually happen, but it won’t – that’s not how this business works.

    @ Ultima “There’s a difference between “most” and “all.””
    I change my wording to “ Almost all “the shows on NBC should be canceled by the Cancellation Bear on Twitter via @TheCancelBear.
    “Also, there’s a limit to the number of fall shows they can effectively promote. I know you keep hoping that something drastic will actually happen, but it won’t – that’s not how this business works.” If that is so, say bye bye to NBC, a few years of slow agonizing death of the network.
    It is easy to see: if NBC does not replace these shows they are doomed to have ever decreasing ratings, and since most shows are in the 1’s 18-49 ratings, this will cost NBC a lot of money. Soon NBC will not only be seldom watched, they will be unprofitable. NBC has to do something drastic at this time.
    The only problem I see is that lately NBC has a horrible track record picking new shows : New Shows: Animal Practice , Do No Harm , 1600 Penn , Deception, The New Normal, Guys With Kids, and others all bombed and are DOA (Dead on Arrival). Anyone could see these were terrible shows and would bomb. How can this happen?
    And with all the money they spent on “Smash “ the show barely registered above a 1.0 18-49 rating when it comes back this year. How can this happen?
    And “ Up All Night “should have been cancelled a long time ago. Replacing showrunners, writers, cast, how often does a show do that and come back to better ratings? Didn’t they learn their lesson with “ Smash “ bombing?

  • Ultima

    Is it possible for NBC to cancel more shows than they renew?


    2012 – 10 renewals, 10 cancellations

    2011 – 8 renewals, 9 cancellations

  • Kavyn

    @Allen, going against Big Bang and Idol is a big reason why it might get renewed. There’s no way NBC would want to put any other show in that time slot and Community’s 1.9 is incredibly promising.

    Even if it drops to 1.3 or 1.4 that’ll still be better than putting any other show at that time slot.

  • Fake Me Out

    And the evil Comcast Empire’s plan to kill off NBC so they can just run with the cable properties continues as a 1.3 demo is the cut-off point for renewal … 2015~2016 the affiliates had better make plans on how to survive as independents or work towards building their own network from the NBC ashes.


  • Jeff (Canada)

    Renew the 5 core dramas (Parenthood, CF, SVU, Grimm, Revolution) along with Community and Parks (and MAYBE Go On), that’s all the network needs in terms of returning shows. Rebuild the comedy brand on Thursday nights with new shows and shortened (final?) seasons of Community and Parks.

  • Ultima

    If that is so, say bye bye to NBC, a few years of slow agonizing death of the network.

    Because no network has every been down in the dumps and recovered except for ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX?

    NBC has to do something drastic at this time

    Why do you think this is the first time that a network has every been in bad shape?

  • Oliver

    Oh yeah, one final thing to consider.

    Sony have three sitcoms on the broadcast networks: Happy Endings, Community and Rules of Engagement.

    RoE looks dead, Happy Endings is struggling at ABC, while Community is on the bubble at NBC.

    I think Sony will try very hard to keep at least one of the shows on air, if only to stay in the network sitcom game.


    @ Ultima

    My guess is they weren’t around in the 70’s & especially the pre-Cosby Show season!

  • edward

    well might as well stop watching TNN now it wont be back so there really is no point to watch now!!

  • b

    Looking at this list I realize I really don’t watch NBC..only Parks and Rec..

  • tjw


    As the perfect example, ABC brought only two Top 50 shows into the 2004-05 season (Monday Night Football and According to Jim). That year they launched Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Boston Legal, which anchored their network for the next decade. They didn’t necessarily spawn a bunch of other shows like CBS does (though Grey’s Anatomy did lead to Private Practice and Scandal) but with those shows anchoring their nights (and Dancing with the Stars eventually replacing MNF), it allowed ABC to do other things like, for example, launching a night entirely filled with new shows, which they did with Wednesday nights in 2009. Of course, Hank and Eastwick didn’t last long, but they got three years out of Cougar Town and still have that night anchored with The Middle and Modern Family.

    It only takes three or four shows that can stand on their own for a network to be able to rebuild. If Revolution can do that and NBC can find one more show next year, that will give them four shows (including both nights of The Voice).

  • Dan

    @Oliver – Sony initially went against selling the show because they figured that with a planned fall premiere Community would get a few more episodes. The show at least has a good chance should it get a fifth season of 16 episodes of reaching stripped syndication. If the show holds up its numbers 1.5 or higher it has a good shot of being renewed and I think thats pretty reasonable for the series at this point considering NBC’s other comedy options. As for what you stated of Sony’s three series, Rules will have 100 eps by May and already a syndication deal so Sony doesn’t need to keep that one. As for Happy Endings Sony will try to shop that one to other networks like TBS but I think its life is over on ABC. With Community, 84 episodes is enough but again if ratings warrant Community will get over just enough eps for stripped syndication.

    @JacobYates – What Ultima stated is correct also there are a lot of other factors to consider like new pilots, and if NBC is in a position to had out renewals like last season. Last season NBC had a bunch of comedies that were doing OK. Besides The Office and Parks which each got 22 episodes, each returning comedy got an inital 13 episode order. (30 Rock, Community, Whitney, Up All Night). This was a wise move in that it showed which shows justified renewal and which didn’t. So far only returning Whitney has gotten a few more eps whie Up All Night is dead after 11 and Community never got the chance to get more eps because NBC moved it to midseason. NBC also had 4 new comedies this fall and a total of 9 comedies airing from Tuesdays to Thursdays.

    Right now NBC is in a mess because all of their comedies sans Parks (And the ending Office) are doing terribly. My guess is NBC will clean house and try to pick shows that can rebuild Thursdays. Out of their current roster Parks, Community, Go On and The New Normal seem like the most likely candidates for fall (13 eps initial for the latter 2) to rebuild Thursdays. Whitney seems likely if NBC wants to continue multi camera. I don’t think NBC will have as much comedy this fall as they did last year nor do I believe they will air comedies Tuesday at 9 behind The Voice (I think a drama would work better there)

  • Melanie

    @Honey Badger Part of the reason that NBC is in this mess is because they DID do ‘something drastic’ a couple of years ago. They quit airing scripted programming at 10 (remember the Jay Leno show?) and more importantly, they stopped doing the standard ‘pilot season’ for I think 2 or 3 development cycles. As a result they have no shows of that median age still working for them. This year with Revolution is the first season they’ve had anything resembling a scripted success. (and they take it off the air for 4 months, go figure)
    They’ve been living on Football and the Biggest Loser and the Voice. Drastic is what got them into the mess, it will take another 2-3 seasons for them to get out of it, assuming that they can manage at least a few modest successes each season.
    So far, they should let the guy who greenlit Revolution have more say than the one who picked Animal Practice (and if its the same guy, it goes a long way toward explaining Do No Harm);)

  • Ultima


    I’d go one step further for the perfect example, which as The Old Man mentioned, is The Cosby Show.

    In the mid-80s, sitcoms were supposedly dead, NBC was in third place, and the networks were already well into annual declines due to competition from cable.

    Then comes along The Cosby Show, which completely changes everything. NBC vaults into first place, dominating the other networks. The Cosby Show puts up unheard of numbers: in 1987 it had a 34.9 HH rating, the higheest since Bonanza in 1965 (22 years), and an all-time high of 63 million viewers per episode.

    Now, I’m not saying that I think a show is going to come along and pull ER-like numbers, but it’s not unreasonable to think that sometime soon we’ll see the next Cosby Show or Millionaire or American Idol and watch the TV landscape change overnight.

  • Rollie Dethloff

    Cancel- 1600 Penn, Up All Night, The New Normal
    Renew for short seasons- Guys With Kids, Whitney, Community
    Renew for final seasons- Parks And Recreation
    Renew for full season- Go On and Betty White’s Off Their Rockers

    Cancel- Parenthood and Smash
    Renew- Revolution, Parenthood, Chicago Fire, Law & Order SVU, and Grimm

    News And Other Reality
    Cancel- The Biggest Loser
    Renew- Rock Center, Dateline, The Apprentice, and The Voice

  • Allen


    That might be true. I doubt NBC would want to put a new show at that slot, so Community might get a boost simply because it will do better than any other show at that time.

  • Shepherd

    Maybe I’m just a sucker for the underdog, or maybe I just think that the drama it would create would be ‘classic’ and fun to watch; but for some reason I’m really hoping that Deception climbs into the Toss-up category. How much fun would that be?

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