NBC: Except For 'Parks & Recreation,' The Cancellation Bear Backs Slowly Away From Predicting Individual Low Rated NBC Sitcom Renewals

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

Written By

February 26th, 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 24, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Do No Harm* canceled 0.50
Animal Practice* canceled 0.66
Smash :oops: 0.69
The New Normal :oops: 0.77
Guys With Kids :oops: 0.80
1600 Penn :oops: 0.81
Whitney :| :| :| 0.88
Deception :cry: :cry: 0.90
Go On :| :| :| 0.91
Community :| :| :| 0.92
30 Rock* final season complete 0.93
Parenthood* :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.08
Parks & Recreation :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.08
Law & Order: SVU :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.16
Chicago Fire :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.36
The Office final season 1.37
Up All Night :oops: pending
Grimm (F) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
Revolution :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending

I was going to headline this post "Smash Is Certain To Be Canceled" to flatter the SEO gods one more time, but now that the NYT's Master Of The Obvious has written about NBC's ratings collapse and highlighted Smash my self dignity no longer allowed me to do that, whatever the cost in pageviews might be.

What isn't yet old news, is that all of NBC sitcom ratings have now plunged so far that the cancellation bear now thinks it likely that NBC will renew at least one (and probably more than one) sitcom that has hit as low as a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating this season. (Parks & Recreation and The Office being the only ones which have not).

But while the bear looks for an appropriate "Catch A Falling Knife" graphic for next week, he's backing away from predicting any particular NBC sitcom besides Parks & Recreation will be renewed and has moved the three sitcoms in the running for renewal to "toss up" for now, or at least until the bear can find some chain mail gloves.

The observant among you will note that Deception is now just "likely" not "certain" to be canceled. Incredibly, NBC ratings have fallen so far that its "steady" 1.2 rating last week tied the NBC scripted show average for the week. Expect that news to hit the NYT by next year.

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.

  • TomZ

    I think/hope that NBC will will renew community because unlike TNN and Go on it actually has competion…
    It has American Idol (3.9) and the big bang thoery (5.5) to compete with.
    TNN and Go on are against a 2.7 (NCIS L.A.) and a 2.3 (New girl), they don’t deserve a second season. And they all have the same ratings (1.0-1.1)

  • Michael1


    No, retention rates are completely irrelevant. “Caroline in the City” was actually the 4th most popular show back in 1996, and its viewership had nothing to do with being on in between “Seinfeld” and “ER.” NBC was totally right to renew that show and cancel “JAG.”


    P.S. This item will remain relevant to current ratings until JAG’s 2 spin-offs, “NCIS” and “NCIS – Los Angeles” end, and are no longer aired from 8pm until 11pm on Comcast’s top rated cable channel, USA.

  • TVDude

    Community is more likely to come back than the other shows for similar reasons as Rules did on CBS this year. Sony will want at least 100 episodes to make it more attractive for syndication.

    If renewed, will Go On survive its second season? Possibly, but Community’s syndication is a for sure thing. If I had to guess, all three bubble comedies will be renewed with short seasons. Parks will be the only one with a full season.

    NBC *could* renew Deception, but I agree that it’s still likely that won’t. Unlike comedies, which all almost have embarrassing ratings, the dramas have a few that are doing better including Revolution, Grimm, Chicago Fire, and SVU. Those should be enough.

  • Dan S

    With so many NBC shows in trouble there’s a major spring cleaning coming. So many holes & so few hits they’ll have to rebuild from the bottom up. I think however Go On will survive but something tells me Whitney is done even as spackle. Maybe next season Grimm like SPN will get promoted to a weekday slot & plug in newsmagazines on Fri that are doing ok ratings wise.

  • Ultima

    NBC was totally right to renew that show and cancel “JAG.”

    NBC was 100% right to cancel JAG. They didn’t know that it would eventually get around to being successful and have a huge hit as a spinoff.

    Had NBC not canceled JAG after one season, I guarantee it would have been canceled after its second.

    Also, Caroline in the City is a terrible example – it was one of the few comedies that actually lasted long enough to hit synidcation after airing for one season on Thursday.

  • John

    I just want Community and Parks & Recreation to be renewed. Anything else doesn’t look all that appealing to me.

  • Sammy

    The New Normal will be renewed because Ryan Murphy is producing it. It might get 13 episodes only, and it might air as a replacement, but it will certainly get renewed. Social awareness plot, low budget, great DVR, Murphy…

    In any case, this prediction has lost any sense. All the comedies are between 0.9 and 1.1. All but P&R. It makes no sense at all that half of them have one smiley and the other half have three…

    Renewing/Canceling on NBC has become a matter of preferences rather than numbers. In my opinion, the decisions will be conditioned by budget, how much do they like or not like a show, the relation with creators/stars…

  • Ultima

    To support my claim that NBC was right to cancel JAG, here’s what NBC’s schedule looked like the following year…

    16 sitcoms (8 hours), 6 dramas, 2 movies (4 hours), 3 Datelines and Unsolved Mysteries. ER, Law & Order and Homicide had the three good drama slots taken, leaving only the CBS-dominated Saturday night for the other three.

    JAG had not performed well on Saturday night and there was simply no where else to put it. Two of the new Saturday series the following season drew better numbers than JAG had and would last for four seasons each (the third was NBC’s attempt to mimic the success of The X-Files).

    Networks have to make decisions with the information they have at hand. There was no way NBC could know that almost twenty years later, JAG’s spinoff would be the most watched show on TV.

  • Ultima

    Renewing/Canceling on NBC has become a matter of preferences rather than numbers.

    Based on what…?

  • Laughing at Repugs

    “NBC is so intent on being politicaly correct that none of their shows will be a hit. The new normal was nothing more than a friends/modern family wanna be…..”

    I love laughing at the uneducated Republicans with low IQs who bitch about “political correctness” every time a show with gay characters comes on the air. Will and Grace had gay characters and that show was a huge hit. Modern Family has gay characters and that show is also a hit. You sound very clueless and dumb.

  • Rare

    Community apparently does pretty well in 18-34, so I’d think that plus the syndication deal might prompt at least a 13-episode final season for it. Plus, what else is NBC going to throw to the dogs Thursdays at 8?

    I think Go On gets 13-episode renewal at least. Whitney’s only hope is that NBC wants another multi-cam block next seasons and wants a returning series for it.

    Why do so many here think The New Normal is going to get renewed? That makes no sense. If they renew TNN they need to renew their entire comedy line-up because TNN is the lowest-rated one.

  • mwc

    NBC probably was right to cancel JAG. At the time they were rich with shows, so much so that they could throw one away to CBS. Now they are poor and they should try the reverse. Find something that ABC or CBS cancels and give it another chance. A show with cancel ratings at CBS is a hit on NBC, at least compared to what they are doing anyway. NBC would kill for Vegas numbers right now.

  • SJ

    I’m gonna take a stab at figuring out what NBC’s 2013-2014 schedule might look like:


    8pm-10pm – The Voice/The Biggest Loser/The Voice
    10pm Revolution/New Drama/Revolution

    No need to change anything here; they just better hope that whichever drama follows TBL doesn’t do as horribly as Deception has done.


    8pm – The Voice Results/New Reality/The Voice Results
    9pm – New Drama
    10pm – Chicago Fire

    You’re about to see why I moved Chicago Fire to Tuesday in a minute…


    8pm – Go On (13 episodes) / Community (13 episodes, final season)
    8:30pm – The New Normal (13 episodes) / Parks and Recreation (13 episodes, final season)
    9pm – Law and Order: SVU – final season
    10pm – Parenthood – final season

    Do Go On, The New Normal and Community deserve to be renewed? Absolutely not, but having two returning comedies in the fall keeps NBC from having to premiere/promote too many new programs at once. Go On and TNN will definitely be dead by December so NBC’s Wednesdays from January to May should have a “final season” theme, which is why I’d also renew Community to pair it with Parks. Parenthood would, in this scenario, have at least 20 episodes and run from September to May.


    8pm – New Comedy
    8:30pm – New Comedy
    9pm – New Comedy
    9:30pm – New Comedy
    10pm – New Drama

    An all-new night. I think it would be smart of NBC to do this. ABC did it in 2009 and sure, the only shows that stuck were The Middle and Modern Family, but it gave them a good launching pad on the night and arguably helped shows like Suburgatory, Revenge and Nashville succeed. So I say, try it. There is really nothing left to lose. They could make the 8pm hour a multi-cam one, leading off with the new Sean Hayes comedy, and have the 9pm hour be single-cam, leading off with the new Michael J. Fox sitcom.


    8pm – Dateline
    9pm – Rock Center
    10pm – Grimm

    This makes more sense than to have Grimm be sandwiched in between two newsmagazine shows.


    8pm-11pm – Drama repeats

    Preferably Chicago Fire, Grimm and the new Thursday night drama.

    Sunday (after football):

    7pm – Dateline
    8pm-10pm – Celebrity Apprentice
    10pm – New Drama

    Cancelled: Up All Night, Whitney, Guys with Kids, 1600 Penn, Deception, Smash, Off Their Rockers, Fashion Star and the yet-to-premiere Hannibal, Save Me and Eva Longoria’s dating show along with them. Crossbones and Dracula join Camp in the summer and don’t air within the regular season.

  • RG-X

    I new New Normal would eventually tank – I think some viewers wanted to like it and found that they can’t stand it… The political views & moral standards were way too far to the left.

  • Jonay

    Why not just cancel all sitcoms and start fresh like ABC?

  • Rare

    @Jonay I’ve seen some suggestions for that, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea. ABC got lucky that Modern Family was an out-of-the-gate smash, otherwise that move could’ve been a total failure. If NBC was a smarter network, I’d say go for it. But this is the network that thought Smash would save their entire line-up and Go On would be their huge comedy anchor. I don’t think they’d be able to pick a Modern Family to make that kind of move work.

  • Michael1


    I would recommend that NBC revive “Partners” and “How to be a Gentleman.” Maybe they could make a play for “Rules of Engagement.” “Happy Endings” would be another option. There’s also, “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

  • Ultima

    8pm-10pm – The Voice/The Biggest Loser/The Voice

    No need to change anything here

    Except that due to the Sochi games and the massive failure without The Voice this season, NBC will probably end up moving the premiere of The Voice to 24 February, leaving only 5 weeks for The Biggest Loser.

    I still think they’ll air it there, and then move it to another night (Sunday?) with one hour episodes stretched out until May.

  • Ultima

    ABC got lucky that Modern Family was an out-of-the-gate smash, otherwise that move could’ve been a total failure.

    A total failure compared to what? By the end of the previous season, Scrubs was ABC’s best performing sitcom and they weren’t even willing to air it instead of repeats on Wednesdays after Hank got canceled.

    NBC is in the same position. If they start fresh, it’s a very low risk move, since they currently have nothing on value sitcom wise (except Parks & Rec and maybe Community – and those could stay).

  • Ultima

    Anyways, here’s my take on NBC 2013-14…

    8 – The Voice
    10 – Revolution

    8 – MJF / new sitcom
    9 – The Voice (maybe start at 8 and switch, like Idol used to)
    10 – Parenthood (new serial drama after Olympics)

    8 – new sitcoms (multi-cam)
    9 – best new drama (procedural – premiere out of special ep of The Voice)
    10 – Chicago Fire

    8 – Off Their Rockers
    9 – Parks & Rec / Community (and/or Go On)
    10 – Law & Order SVU

    8 – Dateline
    9 – Grimm
    10 – Dracula

    8 – new Wednesday drama (R)
    9 – Chicago Fire (R)
    10 – Law & Order SVU (R)

    7 – Football Night in America / Sunday Night Football

    Sunday (after Oscars)
    7 – Dateline
    8 – The Biggest Loser
    9 – The Celebrity Apprentice

    New dramas/sitcoms as necesary at midseason; The Biggest Loser on Mondays 9-11pm while The Voice is off; limited run Deal or No Deal (or new game show) during winter before the Olympics to fill the holes in the schedule before midseason launches at end of February.

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