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.

  • Michael1

    Why did NBC abandon multi cams for so long? Don’t single camera sitcoms cost more and appeal to a smaller audience? Is there something that I’m missing? Ratings for “Scrubs” fell after season 1, but NBC kept them on “must see” Thursday, even though they never approached those of “Just Shoot Me.”

    I think NBC placed a little too much emphasis on that scene from “Natural Born Killers.”

  • Kenny

    How can you guys give Whitney 3 stars and a chance to survive? C`mon Clean the slate she should be CANCELLED TOO..HER SHOW IS UNWATCHABLE!!!!

  • _JC

    I’m curious to see if there’s a threshold beyond which the rules of “scripted show average” go out the window and NBC cleans house. I know, a slate of new shows is an even bigger risk, but if it gets to the point where the usual metrics would renew a show pulling 1.0s or 0.9s…

    But as a lot of people like to point out, NBC’s dire straits helped give me 5 seasons of Chuck and continue to give hope to fans of Parks & Rec. Not the worst thing in the world :)

  • Luca

    Give a chance to Smash, it´s a brilliant show and this season is getting more interesting and there are a lot of drama.

  • Ultima

    I’m curious to see if there’s a threshold beyond which the rules of “scripted show average” go out the window and NBC cleans house.

    If they clean house, it will be with their sitcoms which are mostly below the overall scripted average.

    Their dramas are actually up ~26% year-to-year.

  • David Howell

    The great thing about playing fantasy schedules at NBC is that we can’t do that much worse than the real schedulers! So I’ll play along:

    MON: no change (but the fall cycle of The Voice should be the kids version that has worked as a spinoff in the Netherlands)
    TUE: 8 Voice (TBL between cycles), 9 MJF, 9:30 new comedy, 10 Parenthood
    WED: 8 Whitney, 8:30 new multicam, 9 new drama, 10 Chicago Fire
    THU: 8 Community, 8:30 Parks, 9 new drama, 10 SVU
    FRI: 8 Grimm, 9 Dateline, 10 Rock Center
    SUN (spring): 7 Dateline, 8 Celeb Apprentice, 10 new drama

    TBL would air on both Mondays and Tuesdays during the Voice hiatus, and you could even give it a stripped five-night run in the first week of January. There’s a ready-made advertising market for that show in that week (that I hate this personally doesn’t affect me as a fantasy scheduler!), and it’d allow the season to be sorted before Soshi starts.

    Three new comedies and two new dramas, plus one show moving night and another moving slot within a night, is enough fall rescheduling promotion. You’re still fairly well cleaning house with the comedies – Whitney is spared because it’s a multicam, Community is spared by the syndication gods, but Go On doesn’t go on, and neither does anything else rating below Parks.

    NBC also needs to order US pilots for some European studio game shows – almost all the unscripted hits of the last decade originate from either the UK (Millionaire, Weakest Link, Idol, I believe Survivor was an Anglo-Swedish invention) or the Netherlands (DoND, The Voice, Big Brother). Rival networks passed on pilots of “The Cube”, “Secret Fortune”, and “The Chase”. Any of these (plus UK hit “Pointless”, a trivia-driven inverted “Family Feud”) could be hits for NBC (in fact, “Minute to Win It” was rushed to series as a “Cube” spoiler), and there’s precedent for this; the “Deal or No Deal” US pilot was for ABC (whose non-buyer’s remorse led them to buy two weak formats by the same devisor, both of which bombed). Game shows could be very useful spackle for them. They just need a proven format that works, and (unlike with their last imported studio quiz, “Who’s Still Standing?”), get the production right.

  • Michael1

    Once “The Voice” returns, NBC can choose whichever scripted shows it wants to be the highest rated. If they have committed to putting “Go On” and “Revolution” in those time slots, then the entire exercise is academic. Congratulations to NBC for perfecting this parlor trick. They’re only fooling themselves, but that still counts. I think…

  • Ultima

    Congratulations to NBC for perfecting this parlor trick.

    Millionaire ABC and MustSeeTV NBC were much better at it than NBC currently is! ;)

  • michael

    maybe when they stop showing there episodes in the UK a couple of month after there made people wont torrent them and you will get ratings.Until then how do you expect to get ratings.

  • Ultima

    maybe when they stop showing there episodes in the UK a couple of month after there made people wont torrent them and you will get ratings

    In terms of revenue, domestic A18-49 ratings are so heavily weighted that virtually all other viewership is insignificant, including international.

    Unless you’re saying that if they aired it worldwide it would get rid of domestic torrenting, which seems very unlikely. Touch had a massive worldwide release and was still on bittorrent.

  • Jazz

    I believe NBC ordered 17 comedy pilots. By comparison CBS and ABC ordered 12 each. Someone please correct me. So it will be interesting to see which current comedies show up in 13’/14′

    I am still hoping Deception can retool and return next year for the Revolution break but it’s not a strong show and has shown little improvement over its short season. Too bad I do like it but it’s weak and rather consistently falls short. Awesome music. Good actors. Cringeworthy script. Toss it. Let the actors improv.

  • TV Addict

    C’mon Community!!! Scrap the bottom of that barrel!!! You just need two more seasons and a movie!!! I’ll never give up on you!!!! #sixseasonsandamovie

  • Oliver

    @David Howell

    I don’t think The Chase/Pointless lend themselves to primetime but I don’t understand why The Cube hasn’t aired on a US network.

  • Jerry

    Outside of Whitney is the only one definitely coming back, the rest are on the bubble. I can see them bringing back Go On and Guys with Kids but the rest are dead. I’m not sure if NBC is that desperate to give Community a final season when its likely they will no longer run the 2-hour Thursday comedy block after this season.

    Then there’s always Up All Night, just don’t know what’s going on with that one.

    For the dramas outside of Chicago Fire the rest are unproven. Obviously Revolution will comeback but that’s unproven due to The Voice boost. SVU, Grimm, and Parenthood will lead the veteran pack of renewals. I think a real good wild card prediction for renewal might be Deception they might keep that one and Smash you never know.

  • Jerry

    P&R is definitely coming back I missed that one.

  • omabin

    I would go with:

    The Voice
    The Voice
    New Drama

    The Voice
    New Comedy
    New Comedy


    Community/Go On
    Parks and Recreation
    Chicago Fire
    Law and Order: SVU

    Rock Center

    Two new dramas, two new comedies. Make sure they are really good and bring out new stuff taking advantage of the olympics at midseason. Three big moves: grimm to wednesdays, revolution to wednesdays and chicago fire&svu to thursdays, but they are promotable IMO, especially with them not launching that many new shows in the fall.

  • Dan

    @Tom – My guess a couple of months ago was that Parks and Rec, New Normal, Go On and Michael J FOX comedy will air Thursdays 8-10 in some form and then maybe NBC might move a veteran drama to Thursdays at 10 like SVU, Parenthood, Grimm or Chicago Fire. A new series would not work in the slot.

    However New Normal has done very horribly so its slot may very well be replaced by Community should it get a fifth season.

    The final guess on the comedies is besides Parks’ certain renewal

    Go On is on the positive side of 50/50 because NBC will save one comedy from this season and this show will be it. I do expect an uptick when The Voice returns so NBC will save this show no matter how low rated it is.

    Community is on the negative side of 50/50 although anything is possible.

    Whitney is also 50/50 but the series getting picked up will have less to do with the ratings and more to do with NBC’s other shows, like if they want a new multi camera comedy this fall to pair with Whitney at 8:00 Wednesdays.

    The New Normal is a show that everyone says will probably be cancelled but my guess is with a slight Go On/Voice uptick, the show will be renewed.

    Guys With Kids, Up All Night, and 1600 Penn have all either finished or will finish up their seasons and then be cancelled no doubt.

    The Office and 30 Rock are in their final seasons.

    My advice to NBC, try to launch a new series at Mondays at 10 after The Voice and a new drama post Voice on Tuesdays (not comedies). If Revolution gets renewed air it at Tuesdays at 10, move Parenthood to Thursdays at 10, Switch Chicago Fire and SVU, and air a drama at 8 Fridays. Therefore dramas can take advantage of a Voice lead in because comedies clearly dont work on Tuesdays, Chicago Fire is on Fire so it and the aging SVU can switch slots, Revolution which will be an established drama can anchor Tuesdays, Comedy-drama Parenthood can air a full 22 episode season Thursdays at 10 where its more compatible.

    8:00 The Voice
    10:00 NEW DRAMA

    8:00 The Voice
    9:00 NEW DRAMA
    10:00 Revolution

    8:00 NEW COMEDY Multi Camera
    8:30 Whitney
    9:00 Chicago Fire
    10:00 SVU

    8:00 Go On
    8:30 The New Normal
    9:00 Parks and Recreation
    9:30 Michael J FOX Comedy
    10:00 Parenthood

    8:00 NEW DRAMA
    9:00 Grimm
    10:00 Dateline

  • Jacob

    New normal is boring now half of it isn’t funny, I watched Deception last night, first 10 minutes, then got sidetracked.

  • Brendan

    I’m really glad that Parenthood, Parks & Rec and Chicago Fire got renewed. I’m also glad that 1600 Penn is getting canceled. The on the bubble shows such as Go On and Whitney I’d like to see get renewed. I wish that they would renew Guys With Kids but that is more than likely getting canceled.

  • Dan

    I forgot to air in my schedule Community 13 episode final season to timeshare with The New Normal should it flop. I think The New Normal will get an “Up All Night” type second chance.

    Here’s my reasoning

    Mondays – NBC will surely have The Voice 8-10 and they will want to launch a new drama behind it.

    Tuesdays – Again NBC will have The Voice for an hour and launch a new drama at 9. My guess is for other networks at 9, ABC will air DWTS results, CBS will have NCIS LA (Or the spinoff), and FOX will have New Girl and a new comedy. Instead of coedies which will fail, a new drama would work the best at 9 following Voice. Revolution should it be renewed will likely air Tuesdays and NBC figures that it would need to hold its own and break away from The Voice. Its possible Revolution will air a straight 18 episode season through February and then be replaced by a new drama but who knows.

    Wednesdays – My guess is Whitney will be renewed and NBC will order a new multi cam comedy to pair it with. Its possible they will have Whitney lead off the night but maybe the new comedy could be as well. The competition will be The Middle and some comedy, Survivor and X Factor. NBC would be smart to flip fop Chicago Fire and air it at 9 since maybe it would do better in that slot and air the aging SVU at 10pm.

    Thursdays – Rebuilding the Thursday comedy bock without The Office and 30 Rock isn’t wont be easy but my guess is that NBC will renew the best of their multi camera comedies to air there. Go On will probably lead off the night followed by New Normal and I can see Parks inheriting The Office’s slot with the new Michael J FOX comedy airing at 9:30. If NN flops again then NBC could bring Community back for what I expect will be a midseason 13 episode final season. Parenthood would make a great fit for the troubled 10pm slot since its already a comedy and its established over its 5 seasons.

    Fridays – NBC will probably want a drama airing at 8 alongside Grimm then Dateline.

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