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.

  • CraveRecords

    NBC can use football and The Voice to promote/launch new shows in the fall and the Olympics to do the same in the spring. Hopefully they’ll choose shows that people actually want to watch so those advantages won’t be wasted. So many question marks remain — will two cycles of The Voice work, will Revolution and Grimm return at fall levels? If the season ended today and I was in charge, this is what I’d schedule.

    Parks and Rec
    The Voice 9-11 (fall)/2 comedies and Revolution (spring)

    The Voice

    Guys With Kids
    Chicago Fire


    USA encores (White Collar, Psych, Suits, etc)

    Comedy encores 8-10
    SNL encore 10-11


    Hold for midseason
    The Biggest Loser

    Hold for insurance
    More hours of Dateline and Rock Center

  • mat

    When I read the predictions and comments from most, in Bill Gorman’s column , they all sound the same. So I am going to predict that if you take a close look at them you will see that they all from one person or they are taking lessons from Bill himself on how not to know what you are talking about, or they are from people who were fired from NBC because they actually didn’t know what they were talking about.

  • andri

    Parks &Recreation isn’t. well written and directed. the SOB and SEO gods need to kneel away their foothold.non-thrifty choicest line up for Nbc. Fire Nbc execs and start anew anent the psychology. of a newly gleaned and cleaned slate fir businesses reasons

  • Ben

    NBC should look like this next season (keep in mind that the Olympics air in February).

    8-The Voice/The Biggest Loser (5 weeks before Olympics)/The Voice
    9:30-NEW COMEDY

    8-Parks and Recreation
    8:30-Betty White
    9-The Voice/The Biggest Loser (5 weeks)/The Voice
    10-NEW DRAMA

    9-Law and Order: SVU
    10-Chicago Fire

    8-NEW FAMILY DRAMA (a drama that is also appropriate for people 10+ so that families can watch together)
    9:30-NEW COMEDY
    10-Rock Center (no new dramas do well here, so don’t try to make them succeed)


    Sunday (after Olympics)
    8-The Biggest Loser (switch to 1 hour episodes for rest of season)
    9-The Apprentice

    Insurance/midseason shows:
    Community (13 episodes)
    Deception (10 episodes)


  • HV

    My 2013-2014 schedule:

    8:00 The Voice (Sept 9)/The Bachelor (Jan 6)/The Voice (Mar 17)
    10:00 Revolution (Sept 9) (12 ep)/Dracua (NEW) (Jan 6) (10 ep)/Revolution (Mar 17) (12 ep)

    8:00 The Voice (Sept 10)/Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (Jan 7)/The Voice (Mar 18)
    9:00 Go On (Sept 10) (24 ep)
    9:30 The New Normal (Sept 10) (22 ep–canceled)
    10:00 Parenthood (Sept 10) (12 ep) (FINAL SEASON)/Smash (Jan 7) (8 ep–canceled)/Untited Rand Ravich (NEW) (Mar 4) (13 ep)

    8:00 MJF (NEW) (Sept 18) (24 ep)//Girlfriend in a Coma (NEW) (Apr 9) (8 ep–canceled)
    8:30 Untitled Robert Padnick (NEW) (Sept 18) (22 ep)//Holding Paterns (NEW) (Mar 26) (10 ep)
    9:00 Law & Order: SVU (Sept 11) (24 ep)
    10:00 Chicago Fire (Sept 11) (24 ep)

    8:00 Community (Sept 19) (10 ep–canceled)/Joe, Joe, and Jane (NEW) (Jan 9) (13 ep)
    8:30 Parks & Recreation (Sept 19) (24 ep) (FINAL SEASON)
    9:00 The Gates (NEW) (Sept 19) (24 ep)
    9:30 Undateable (NEW) (Sept 19) (24 ep)
    10:00 Dateline NBC (Sept 12)/The Blacklist (NEW) (13 ep–canceled)

    8:00 Crossbones (NEW) (Sept 27) (16 ep)//Grimm (March 7) (12 ep)
    9:00 Grimm (Sept 13) (12 ep)/Dateline NBC (Jan 3)
    10:00 Rcok Center with Brian Williams (Sept 13)

  • forg

    I think they will renew they have the Monica-Chandler reunion and The Voice to boost them. Maybe New Normal would get the a mercy renewal as well.

    My proposed schedule for fall (I included pilots that has interesting premise that could work..maybe)


    8-10 The Voice
    10 – *Believe or any new drama


    8 – The Voice Results
    9 – Revolution
    10 PM – Parenthood or new drama

    *Revolution will still get The Voice lead in although it will be weaker than but it will get support. NBC just needs to utilize The Voice while they still can.


    8 pm – Parenthood or new drama/sitcoms
    9 pm – Hatfield and McCoys
    10 pm – Chicago Fire

    *I think then Hatfiled & McCoys pilot they have could appeal to viewers. I think it could be self starter as well and could be compatible to Chicago Fire.


    8 pm – Community or Off the Rockers
    8:30 – Parks and Recreation
    9 PM – *Michael J Fox sitcom
    9:30 – Go On or new sitcom
    10 – Law and Order: SVU

    *With The Office gone, NBC maybe should try Michael J Fox sitcom which will likely get a solid pilot sampling to anchor the night and might get viewers on its own that might not need lead in support anymore. Go On or new sitcom could take the 9:30 slot. Community (or much cheaper Off the Rockers) and Parks stay on their same slots because CBS sitcoms are just tough to compete so might as well give the shows these slots as cannon fodders while NBC resolve other problematic slots .I’ll relocate SVU here which has become a dead slot for NBC so might as well give it to a veteran that does well at 10 PM than 9 PM. I gues


    8 pm – Grimm
    9 PM -*Bloodline or any new supernatural-themedseries
    10 pm – Rock Center / Dateline

  • Micha

    I think NBC should cancel 4 of their comedies (Whitney, Guys With Kids, New Normal, Up All Night) and focus on two more hours of drama.

    Shows like Chicago Fire and Revolution are okay, quality and ratings wise (for now). Returns like Grimm and Law & Order: SVU have proven they can maintain a stable audience (for the most part). I do wish NBC would move SVU under Grimm on Fridays next year; I think SVU could slaughter Blue Bloods under Grimm.

    What NBC should truly consider, revivals of ER and Law & Order. It doesn’t make any sense; the two dramas that built their network over the years are gone because of their hasty decisions.

    NBC = Nothing But Cancellations.

  • HV

    Oops. Meant to say “Biggest Loser” not “The Bachelor” (although Bachelor I believe will be on at that time on ABC)

  • Gale

    I honestly want Deception to be renewed it has great actors it does and the fans that stuck arround love it if they renew it then maybe they could actually promote it better !!

  • Dakota

    The Voice

    The Voice
    Hatfields & McCoys (new)

    Jessica Simpson project (new)
    Chicago Fire
    Iron Side (new)

    Parks & Recs.
    Go On
    MJF (new)
    SVU (final)

    Dracula (new)

  • HV

    Why do so many people think that next season will be the last for SVU? Law & Order went for 20 seasons, and it didn’t end until it was canceled. I think that SVU won’t end on its own accord until at least season 19 (they would end it then because they don’t want it to go on as long as the original)

  • toadytoady

    Bring back “Little House on the Prairie” and complete the nostalgia trip for past shows….Ironside, Munsters, Hannibal etc

    In October I assumed NBC was following a deliberate strategy of mixing its dramas up with Sport and Reality TV so that ratings looked good and changed the audience perception of the network. That looked obvious to me so i wasnt surprised the ratings drop came when sport/reality stopped. They either keep that strategy going or decide they are a smaller specialist channel with all their major dramas on their side arm of USA.

    Network decisions are not just down to numbers.Management have preferences and push them through. They need some numbers of course, but they also need the Will.Smash is an example of that.

    No one has any idea what Revolution would be like without Voice support.Its Reality/Sport that carry the ratings and they need to continue that strategy.

  • toadytoady

    What is this thing NBC have about shows about superhuman powers?! I see they have another pilot called “Believe” about people who have special gifts that will mature in 7 years. is this their own wishful thinking about themselves as a Network…

  • NBC Fan

    NBC doesn’t have to renew any of their new comidies. It wouldn’t be the first time. In 2011, they cancelled Outsourced, The Paul Riser Show, Friends with Benefits(summer burnoff), and Perfect Couples.

    In my opinion, none of NBC’s comidies except for Parks and Recreation should be renewed. NBC can’t continue to renew low-rated niche comedies that will NEVER find a decent audience.

  • Patrick Gillease

    @ Statik…your rationale about Comcast is stupid. ANY company that owns a TV network has a bottom line that requires their shows to be profitable. Comcast is no different. They may be new to owning a TV network such as NBC, but at the end of the day, they are the same as every other corporate parent. If their shows are making them money, they will be renewed. If not, they will be canceled. It’s a no-brainer.

    That being said, there may be some surprises with what NBC cancels and what they renew this year. “SMASH” is the ONLY series I watch on NBC right now, and I know others who are in the same position. The series does better in metropolitan areas of the country. It is also a pet project of Comcast Executives. So, while its ratings are atrocious right now, they could bounce back once “The Voice” starts airing. Comcast may also eye it for one of their cable channels since the program was supposed to originally be for “Showtime.” I wouldn’t be surprised if it is somehow renewed, unless it sinks even lower.

    In the end, it is very sad how pale the once-proud peacock’s feathers have faded. It was my favorite network in the 80’s and 90’s and almost seems non-existant today. I truly hope Comcast can find some fresh, original shows for the network that make it “Must-See TV” once again!

  • Yessir

    Parks & Recreation, Go On and TNN WILL all we renewed. Mark my words.
    Community and Whitney may be renewed.
    The rest will be canceled.

  • Ultima

    What NBC should truly consider, revivals of ER and Law & Order. It doesn’t make any sense; the two dramas that built their network over the years are gone because of their hasty decisions

    Wait, what?!

    First off, the Law & Order franchise is still on NBC. Second, Law & Order’s ratings were really bad at the end. While it’s arguable they should have stuck with it another year to beat Gunsmoke (and simply avoided LOLA), it would have been canceled in 2011 no matter what. It did not have even decent ratings for NBC.

    While ER had stronger numbers than L&O when it ended, it was far from the ratings powerhouse it was during the 90s. Had it remained on the air, it would have easily been #3 in its timeslot the following season to The Mentalist and Private Practice. It also lacked the massive syndication windfall that the Law & Order franchise had.

  • toadytoady

    NBC needs to look forward, not backwards.
    They could keep all their dramas on USA and make TV history by devising a new sort of network,perhaps audience interactive with internet etc….new technology, new television. USA can carry all the dramas and comedies nicely,smaller audience,smaller productions, opportunity for quality and experimentation.

    The money just gets moved around. Sooner or later changes are coming to all the networks because viewing habits have changed. NBC could make a move ahead of the posses, and make an opportunity out of a disaster.

  • sj2678

    My guesses for cancellation: 1600 Penn, Whitney, Deception, UAN. Why do I think this? Well, UAN is obvious with the departure of a star and the creator. The others because they don’t serve any particular purpose. NBC has invested WAY too much into Smash to just let it go out with a whimper, so I say they bring it back as a mainstay drama (eliminating the need for Deception). Guys With Kids has couple/family appeal and is classic cheap filler material (think King of Queens) – they can put it wherever they want when they have dead space. Go On gets saved from the axe because they’ll try again to leverage Matthew Perry’s star power, and TNN similarly because they want to compete with Modern Family. This leaves Whitney and 1600 as the “odd ones out” of the comedy lineup.

  • Vladimir Putin

    NBC, please revamp your lineup around the new Michael J Fox comedy. But dont put it up against Big Bang Theory, you would be better off airing nothing in that slot. Or, go, old-school and air old episodes of Seinfeld or Friends.

    As far as shows to keep, Guys With Kids has really started to find its way. The ratings dont suggest that because, well, its NBC. Give it another shot.

    Go On and The New Normal deserve to come back.

    Create that Friday comedy block, put Whitney, Community, and 2 other shows there to go up against ABC.

    Whatever you do, dont jack around Amy Poehler and Parks & Rec. Give it full-season order right now.

    Now is the time to let some of your shows find their audience. They cant do that if you pull them after 1 season.

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