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.

  • omabin


    Even though your schedule and mine have big differences, I actually like your schedule a lot. The problem I have with that is Thursday. I don’t think NBC can keep on trying with the 2 hour comedy block there. Maybe its time to move on from something else. I think the block that you have there with be sub 1.0 for at least 3/4 of the block come late fall, which would be atrocious, even for NBC. Another point is that I don’t think Whitney should be on the fall schedule. I think it should be renewed as sparkle only. I don’t have a major problem with two new multi cams opening wednesday but they have to be reaaally good.

  • mike

    They could just air repeats from SyFy and USA and do twice as well in the ratings. Must See TV, indeed.

  • Dan

    @Omabin – I do agree that NBC shouldnt keep trying with their Must See TV for Thursdays but they probably will try anyway. No other network has comedy 9pm Thursday and unless CBS expands to 2 hours, NBC will probably keep trying to find comedy hits for Thursday. CBS has a 2 hour block mondays, FOX has a 2 hour block on Tuesdays (Or they will keep trying), ABC has a 2 hour block on Wednesdays so NBC will always keep trying for Thursdays. I agree with your 100% that whatever shows air in that slot will be from 1.2-1.9 but NBC’s standards have lowered to the point where it doesn’t matter.

    As for Wednesdays, the only reason Whitney would work there is that its a returning comedy as we all know from last season, 2 new comedies do not work in that slot. Animal Practice flopped and Guys With Kids only got an extension because its numbers built on AP but that’s not saying much (Although given the failures of Up All Night and Save Me it probably would have helped NBC to have ordered a full season). Whitney is also doing the best out of NBC’s bubble comedies even Go On. Thats the only reason for NBC to bring the show back.

  • statik

    you’ve got to take into consideration that Comcast is now fully running the show at NBC, a once proud Television network–
    Comcast has a Cable TV has mentality with a different set of standards than ratings or creative excellence–it’s called profits–they could give a crap about what the word Network means and the prestige that goes along with it–good rating bad ratings it doesn’t matter to them–they only care if a show can generate enough Network Advertising dollars and show a healthy profit, then it’s staying on the schedule–

  • NBC Fan

    Why in world would NBC want to renew The New Normal? I know expectations are lower for NBC but a 0.9 rating is still absolutely UNACCEPTABLE. It will probably rise when The Voice comes back , but it’s recent ratings are it’s true ratings. The same goes for Go On.

  • Jerry

    @ statik

    Exactly, Comcast has a different train of thinking this is why ratings are starting to become real secondary in the thought process of how NBC makes their renewals. Unless something really hits hard like Chicago Fire and The Voice the bubble shows that they own have a good chance of returning.

    I remember Comcast saying they want a multi-cam in syndication by 2016 so that’s probably why Whitney is returning for season 3.

    @ NBC Fan

    They won’t especially since they don’t own the show, if they owned TNN it might be back.

  • rockyisgood

    Anyone notice some of Community’s stars are appearing in some new pilots like Ken Jeong. That’s probably not good for Community.

  • omabin


    Yes, I agree that NBC will probably keep on trying. I just think it is not wise. And I do think there is a strong possibility for CBS to expand their comedy hours next season with the amount of buzzy, can’t miss pilots they have this season.

    As for Wednesdays, I don’t think you can simply declare that two new shows don’t work like that. For startes, they went there with a block that was, IMO, very incompatible. A single-cam and a multi-cam, not to mention shows thematically completely different. Then there is the fact that AP was rejected by the audiences from the get go. I think that Up All Night last year proved that a new show can somehow open ok if has attracted a solid audience in promos. From then on, it is up to the quality of the show and frankly, and of course this is just my opinion, AP didn’t have it. A strong, compatible, big names and mass appealing block would be the way to go for me there if they go with comedies. But I still say that they need comedies so desperately that they would be better off trying multicams on tuesdays post the voice and making wednesday all genre night with crossbones, revolution and grimm.

  • Oscar

    Is it possible that Community could get renewed because many of their shows have been cancelled (or looking to be cancelled) or ending? It looks like they can almost start new next season with so many shows doing badly.

  • Brian J

    There really needs to be an open thread where we can discuss our best suggestions for a new schedule for the networks for next season, but anyway, I think NBC’s focus should be on having one legitimate scripted hit that can stand on its own, regardless of what night it’s on. Which is to say, as much as Thursday matters, NBC will be in a much better position to rebuild that night if it is stronger on other nights.

    Since the MJF sitcom is their crown jewel for next season, that should get the lion’s share of attention. I think it should go on Tuesdays, after “The Voice,” with a new sitcom and a new drama following it. If NBC spent $25 million promoting “Smash,” it needs to spend $50-100 million promoting this new show. It has to pull out all of the stops to get a massive initial tune in, which will benefit the shows that come after it. Along the same lines, it should absolutely put a new sitcom after “The Voice” on Mondays as well, but only at 9:30. CBS is the only comedy competition, and it’s shows are strong but hardly lethal.

    That’s three new comedies, with the emphasis on “new,” and perhaps that’s all that’s needed at the moment. NBC can promote the hell out of those three. “Parks” and perhaps “Go On” can be renewed but held for midseason, along with a few other comedies.

    Wednesdays and Thursdays could be devoted to mostly dramas, and largely new ones. NBC should really work on finding an unscripted show to put on both of those nights at 8:00, in the hopes of giving new dramas a base. And while it might seem odd to make this suggest, counter-programming might be the best move. NBC could probably move “Grimm” to Thursdays at 8:00 and pair it with two of its similar pilots. A 2.5 in the demo might not light the world on fire, but a solid performance would be a big improvement, particularly in the later hours.

    If/when the new MJF show takes off, NBC could always scale back “The Voice” even more on Tuesdays, allowing whatever comes after it to move to 8:30 or having a new show there. It might be able to do the same on Mondays, where it could then launch another show. And if need be, it could always put the first part of “The Voice” on Sundays, which would probably be a big boost to that night and help launch a few more shows.

    This might not work, but the focus needs to be, in some way, on finding one scripted show to anchor a night.

  • stevenD

    NBC has MJF and Sean Hayes for next year so hopefully things will look better next year for them comedy wise.

    I had an idea for a new Wenesday night

    Move SVU to Thursday at 10, Chicago Fire to Tuesday at 10

    Wednesday at 8, MJF and Go On.

    With the Winter Olympics, they can split up the schedule. From the Fall to the winter olpymics, they can air The Sixth Gun at 9, and Revolution at 10, probably for 15-18 episodes.

    After the Olmypics, They could air Crossbones at 9, and Dracula at 10. Both have 10 episodes, and can be easily promoted during the olympics.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • alvar

    NBC need to cut comedy time next season. Its just not working for them at the moment, especially on Thursdays up against CBS. They would be better off trying to replicate the success of reality and drama shows such as The Voice, Revolution, Grimm, Chicago Fire, Parenthood, Biggest Loser etc with new projects.

  • Dan

    @NBC Fan – NBC would want to renew the New Normal because they don’t care about the series’ ratings. All of there shows are garbage, the two things they look for is shows that can ptentially grow and shows they like. They like Up All Night so much that they ignore the garbage ratings, the fact that the starts want to move on and the fact that no one else would care if the show returned. I believe they like New Normal’s quality and thats the reason that they “may” renew it. Also they will probably look at the fact that the numbers for Go On and The New Normal will probably rise after The Voice returns and thats there justification for a renewal. If out of 6 new comedies NBC would have to salvage 2 of them it would be Go On and The New Normal. 1600 Penn and Animal Practice flopped out of the gate, Guys With Kids burned through 17 episodes low rated, Save Me hasn’t premiered and Next Caller was cancelled before it aired a single episode.

    @Omabin – I do agree that Animal Practice and GWK were very incompatible. If anything NBC should have aired Community and Animal Practice Wed at 8 and 8:30 (There main compatibility was that monkey but single cameras work together) and then aired Multi Camera Whitney and Guys With Kids Fridays at 8 against ABC’s multi cam hour. Instead they opted for all new Wed at 8 and Tues at 9 while sidelining the returning comedies to step in for failed comedies. I guess NBC would rather not have aired new comedies on fridays then aired mismatched comedies. NBC has a few multi cam shows in development for next season so it seems they would want a returning multi cam show to work well with it. GWK flopped and Whitney is doing OK so the best bet is to bring back Whitney.

  • Brian J


    I have to ask, who says that comedies need to go on the night anyway? Wouldn’t NBC be better off if it had hit comedies on Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday and had only dramas on Thursdays, but ended up a vastly improved third or even second? Of course.

    I am really starting to think NBC’s best route is to schedule two or three dramas on Thursday. Put “Grimm” there to lead off the night, and put “America’s Got Talent” there over the summer, with “Grimm” after it, to get viewers used to watching NBC on the night again and to expose new viewers to the show.

  • Dan

    @Oscar – The fact that almost all of NBC’s new comedies have flopped can help Community though Community isnt doing much better. Since 2 veterans have ended this year (The Office, 30 Rock ) I can potentially see NBC giving Community a final farewell fifth season. They could just dump the series however, its pretty much 50/50.

    @Alvar – I agree, I think NBC may just have 2 new comedies on the schedule next fall and 6 hours overall 8-10 Thursday and 8-9 Wednesday. The less comedy the better.

  • Nick

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

    8: The Voice/ Hollywood Game Night
    9: After Hours (new)
    10: Chicago Fire

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

    8: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
    8:30: Parks & Recreation
    9: Untitled Michael J. Fox project (new)
    9:30: Welcome to the Family (new)
    10: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    8: Dateline
    9: Grimm
    10: Dracula (new)

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

    Sun- (midseason)
    7: Dateline NBC
    9: The Celebrity Apprentice

    Midseason- Whitney, Go On

    I made some big changes this week, & I want to know what everyone thinks. Should I have put OTR against TBBT? Is giving up on Sundays OK? Should Parenthood stay on Tuesdays?

  • Brian J


    That’s too choppy for me.

  • Dan

    @Brian J – Because The Voice will be dominating Monday at Tuesday, comedies dont work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so Thursdays for 2 hours seems naturally where NBC will air the shows. I cant see them making a drastic change like airing dramas on Thursday. Plus if they tried a 2 hour wednesday block, they would just be slaughtered by ABC.

  • Dan

    @Nick – Thats a pretty good schedule. I’m unsure if NBC would move Parenthood back to 8 but if they did that would seem good instead of 2 comedies. SVU may be the only drama worth the Thursday 10pm slot but if not Parenthood could work. I’d switch Go ON and Betty White. I think NBC is more likely to try out Go On Thursdays at 8 while holding Betty White for midseason. I doubt they would sideline Go On for 8 months. We both agree on new dramas at Monday 10 and Tuesday at 9 but I’m not sue if NBC would want a new drama at Wed 10, although CBS and ABC may be trying out new dramas there too. For fridays if they start the hour I think theyd lead off with Dracula then Grimm and then Dateline at 8.

  • Brian J

    The goal is to get as many viewers as possible to see a new show, and since “The Voice” is the biggest thing besides football that NBC has, it only makes sense to put some new comedies after it. Why take a gamble on Thursdays? I think it makes more sense to focus on establishing strong comedies on other nights and then, when they are stronger, perhaps moving one of them to the night.

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