NBC: 'Smash' Is Likely To Be Canceled

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

Written By

February 19th, 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 14, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Do No Harm* canceled 0.50
Animal Practice* canceled 0.66
Smash :cry: :cry: 0.76
The New Normal :oops: 0.79
Guys With Kids :oops: 0.80
1600 Penn :oops: 0.82
Whitney :| :| :| 0.87
Deception :oops: 0.88
Go On :) :) :) :) 0.92
30 Rock* final season complete 0.93
Community :| :| :| 0.98
Parenthood* :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.08
Parks & Recreation :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.12
Law & Order: SVU :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.14
The Office final season 1.32
Chicago Fire :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.33
Up All Night :oops: pending
Grimm (F) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
Revolution :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending

This is a special "short week" holiday edition of the NBC Index, having been written the evening of Friday, February 15 with ratings through only February 14.

Community stole the NBC headline last week. This week Smash gets a turn. Its 1.2 adults 18-49 premiere rating immediately made it "likely to be canceled". Ah, the limelight.

Speaking of Community, its 1.2 rating on Thursday night, has me dropping it from "certain to be renewed" to "toss up". As always noted, with few data points, predictions can change quickly.

And only on the ratings disaster that is 2013 NBC sitcoms, does Whitney's 1.2 rating also move it to a "toss up", and Go On's lowest rating of 1.3 now elevates it to "likely to be renewed". Ye Gods.

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.

  • CookyMonzta

    Should we be surprised? I think not. I haven’t read all of the posts here yet, but I assume some of you believe, as I do, that the only reason ‘Smash’ managed to survive to be picked up for this year was that it was riding the coattails of ‘The Voice’ all last year. Without ‘The Voice’ to ride piggyback on, ‘Smash’ is about to crash.

    If they do not cancel ‘Smash’ by the time the spring 2013 competition of ‘The Voice’ starts, NBC will most definitely put this show behind ‘The Voice’ in order to save it, even if there are better shows on NBC worth saving.

  • Honey Badger

    NBC has to do something drastic; cancelling a few shows is not going to do it. With almost all their shows not topping a 2.0 18-49 rating, and the ratings are dropping they are in big trouble. And with all broadcast networks dropping ratings for years, it is easy to see that without drastic changes NBC will be a disaster next year with ratings dropping even more, which means lower ad rates, which means lower revenue, which means dropping low profits. Ouch

    NBC needs drastic action to save the sinking network. I know people will say other broadcast networks have been worse off in the past than NBC is now and recovered. To those people I say This:
    For all those who think broadcast television Networks can make changes, turn things around, and go back to the good old days of Gunsmoke and The Cosby show, etc. please read:
    this rule” on tvbythenumbers.com
    tvbythenumbers GunsmokeRule: “No comparing the ratings of any individual show this season to a show in any season except the previous one. “How could CBS have canceled Gunsmoke, for some dreck like NCIS? Gunsmoke averaged a 40 rating and a 65 share in 1960!
    A very different television landscape indeed.
    Since 1997, overall broadcast television primetime ratings have declined by about 1/3. Pretty much every entertainment show on broadcast primetime in 1997 on any given network rated substantially higher than any show today on that network.
    Comparisons to long past broadcast shows *always* reflect poorly on current broadcast shows, prove nothing, and make no sense!”

    And check out the chart on tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com : Where Did The Primetime Broadcast TV Audience Go? http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/04/12/where-did-the-primetime-broadcast-tv-audience-go/47976/

    Adding to NBC problems – The whole television environment has changed the last few years – All the broadcast networks have been tanking for years, and they are tanking big time again this year. broadcast networks have been dropping like a rock in ratings and viewers for many years. Cable, Hulu, Netflix, the internet, Univision, Telemundo, and others are all taking away their viewers. Broadcast television has much more competition than it did a decade ago. In fact things have changed dramatically the last five years. Most of the networks are a shell of their former selves in viewers and ratings. An example of competition “The Walking Dead was Sunday’s top cable original with a series high 6.1 adults 18-49 rating.”
    The whole television environment has changed the last few years.“ The Cosby Show put up unheard of numbers: in 1987 it had a 34.9 HH rating, the highest since Bonanza in 1965 (22 years), and an all-time high of 63 million viewers per episode” . Today there is no show in broadcast that comes anywhere close to that, the top show today “The Big Bang Theory on CBS swept its time period, finishing first in households (11.3/18), viewers (19.02m), adults 25-54 (7.9/21), adults 18-49 (6.2/18) and adults 18-34 (4.4/15). “ American Idol on Fox came nowhere near that, in its best days having around 20 million viewers and now having around 4.1 rating 13 – 14 million viewers.

    NBC is in worse shape than other broadcast networks like CBS because they have lower ratings to begin with. Example: if I have a million dollars and lose 10% I still have $900,000, and if you have $10 dollars and gain 20% you have $10.20. Who is in better shape? Me

    What would you do if you were President of NBC now?

  • Honey Badger

    @CookyMonzta, I agree

    Posted February 19, 2013 at 4:11 PM
    Should we be surprised? I think not. I haven’t read all of the posts here yet, but I assume some of you believe, as I do, that the only reason ‘Smash’ managed to survive to be picked up for this year was that it was riding the coattails of ‘The Voice’ all last year. Without ‘The Voice’ to ride piggyback on, ‘Smash’ is about to crash.

    If they do not cancel ‘Smash’ by the time the spring 2013 competition of ‘The Voice’ starts, NBC will most definitely put this show behind ‘The Voice’ in order to save it, even if there are better shows on NBC worth saving.

  • Honey Badger

    @Oliver, I agree

    Something new has to go after The Voice, otherwise they’re just wasting that giant lead-in.

  • NBC is awesome

    What their fall schedule should look like:

    8-The Voice

    8-The Voice
    9-Chicago Fire
    10-New Drama

    830-New Comedy or Guys with Kids
    10-New Drama

    8-Go On
    830-Parks and Recreation
    9-Micheal J Fox comedy
    930-new comedy
    10-Rock Center/some other filler

    8-Deal or No Deal/Fashion Star/Some stupid thing like that
    10-Hannibal or new drama

  • Honey Badger

    @ Aaron, Last year “ Harry’s Law “ on NBC had a lot of viewers but seemed to get 1.0 or 1.1 in the 18-49 ratings. (Example of two episodes NBC Harry’s Law 1.0/3 7.74, NBC Harry’s Law 1.1 3 8.872) and their ratings last year were considered to be a complete disaster and an easy decision to cancel. But their ratings seem very close to the 18-49 ratings of a lot of NBC shows today. WOW, has NBC fallen. That is why NBC needs drastic action to fix the network.

    Now, NBC shows 18-49 ratings : “American Ninja Warrior” 0.7, Do No Harm* canceled 0.7, Animal Practice* canceled, Smash 1.2, The New Normal 1.1, 1600 Penn 1.1, Community 1.1, Guys With Kids 1.2, Whitney 1.2, “Rock Center with Brian Williams” 1.2, Deception 1.1, Go On 1.3, Up All Night * retooling show 1.3, 30 Rock * final season complete 1.4, “Dateline NBC” 1.4, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers 1.6, Grimm * Friday, 11/16/2012 1.6, Parenthood 1.7, Parks & Recreation 1.5, Law & Order: SVU 1.5, The Office * final season 2.1, Chicago Fire 1.9, The Biggest Loser 2.1, Revolution *Monday, 11/12/2012 2.6, The Voice averaged 4.3 , NBC NFL Sunday Night Football averaged 8.2

  • ravi

    @ben, nope.

  • Ben

    What do you mean be by “nope”?

  • KT

    NBC is a HOT mess. I loved Smash last season, but I hate the direction the show is going in this season for so many reasons: not a JHud fan, don’t care for the contemporary musical Jimmy and the other guy are pitching, Karen’s character has become a total witch (substitute that with a B), etc.

    Needless to say, it’s going to be a race to see which happens first: Smash is dropped from my regular viewing schedule or NBC pulls it from the air. Regardless, I can’t say I’ll miss it based on what I’ve seen so far this season.

    In regards to the comedies battling to the death, the only one I’ve seen is Whitney, in its first season, and WOW was (is) that show awful. Saw multiple episodes too, so it definitely wasn’t just one bad episode I stumbled upon. Shows just how horrible things are for NBC if it might get renewed yet again. I personally really hope the Sean Hayes multicam I’ve been hearing about get picks up, because I love Sean Hayes (and the fact that he and Debra Messing have no scenes together in Smash this season just gives me another reason to hate the show).

  • merrranga

    seems pretty obvious. you asked a yes or no question and ‘nope’ is a form of no.

  • KT

    **should read gets picked up.**

    We really need an edit button

  • Nick

    8: The Voice/ The Biggest Loser
    10: The Sixth Gun (new)

    8: The Voice
    9: Untitled Cee Lo Green Project (new)
    9:30: The New Normal
    10: Parenthood

    8: Revolution
    9: Grimm
    10: Believe (new)

    8: Community
    8:30: Parks & Recreation
    9: Untitled Michael J. Fox project (new)
    9:30: Untitled Peter Murrieta Project (new)
    10: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    8: Whitney
    8:30: Go On
    9: Dateline
    10: Rock Center with Brian Williams

    8: Believe (R)
    9: Law & Order: SVU (R)
    10: Saturday Night Live (R)

    Sun- (midseason)
    7: Dateline NBC
    8: Chicago Fire
    9: After Hours (new)
    10: The Celebrity Apprentice

    Midseason- Betty White’s Off Their Rockers

  • Ben

    What yes or no question did I ask?

  • Rita

    NBC’s lineup is so weak that I actually think renewing Deception is a colorable idea, depending on what shows NBC has on deck. It seems to already have a stable audience (goodness knows Biggest Loser isn’t helping) and it’s cheap to shoot. Also, Scandal’s experience (from ABC-bubble first season to second season hit) suggests that maybe viewers may hang back a bit more than other shows before investing in a minority-led show because of elevated fear of cancellation? Things might be a lot better (okay, 1.8-2.2, but that’s pretty decent for NBC) next season. If it’s clean enough they could put it at an earlier time than 10pm.

  • Eli


    I think you have a point — the ratings are so bad overall that I think it could flip if they to keep a backup drama, but I definitely think they’d need to move it to a less competitive night.

  • Diane


    NBC Nothing But Cancelations ? On the most part you’re correct except for 30 Rock. Tina Fey is a mystic of some sort because i don’t think it ever won its time slot. But kept getting Emmys. ( beyond my logic) On the other hand , 30 Rock should do great in syndication since I don’t know a living soul who has ever seen more than two episodes. go figure.

  • tjw

    @Honey Badger,

    What are you babbling about? Nobody’s saying that NBC needs a 40+ million viewer show to pull out of its rut. If they can find something to bridge the winter between seasons of The Voice and then find an anchor for Wednesday or Thursday (like what ABC did with The Middle and Modern Family a few years ago or Grey’s Anatomy before that) then they can build their way out of it.

  • merrranga


    “Thoughts on my schedule above?” that was your question.

  • Rita

    @Eli – agreed, it would be need to be moved to a different night or be a midseason replacement. Deception, Rock Center, and Smash are NBC’s bench “drama slot” fillers. NBC needs to bring back at least one of these to fill its schedule next season. It could bring two. Deception seems like the best bet of the three at this point because it has more potential for growth in the demo than Rock Center. Smash is the worst bet because it gets the same ratings as the other two despite aggressive promotion.

  • Carl

    It never ceases to amaze me that this is the same network that dominated the sitcom world for over two decades.

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