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


    I like that schedule for the most part, but I do have some problems with it:
    1) I don’t see significant upside from having Chicago Fire moving to Tuesdays and Parenthood to Wednesdays. It would be one less move to promote, so I would leave Parenthood where it is and simply put Chicago Fire Wednesdays at 8.

    2) As for the new shows, Crossbones (it is a pirates show) had a straight to series order, so it will be airing in the fall, no point in doing a schedule without it. I think it would be very compatible with revolution, they should go together IMO.

    3) I also have an issue with fridays. Two points:
    A) Although I totally get that Grimm should be used as lead-in, I am not sure it is worth investing on a drama for the 10pm hour on Friday. I mean, it wouldn’t be better than Grimm at 9, which has been hanging around the 1.7s or whatever, and that is best case scenario. And the news magazines hold at 1.4s, so it doesn’t seem a big win to me. Putting at 8 would be better, but it wouldn’t allow for the Grimm lead-in, it would have to self-start…
    B) However, having only Grimm on the night surrounded by news magazines and repeats sounds a bit stupid. I have been against moving Grimm off Fridays for ages, but lately, I think I have given up, especially with NBC having so many holes on their schedule. Honestly, even though Grimm is a very strong friday show and is actually up year to year versus last year, which is amazing, it doesn’t do that much better than the combination of the super cheap dateline and rock center, and with it being so needed on weekdays, can nbc really afford having it there? Even its current ratings, if they receive zero boost from moving out of fridays, would be a vast improvement relative to some recent NBC hours.

    4) Although I definitely think that scaling back the hours of comedies is the way to go, I am not sure if they are ready to cut them in half, especially with one half hour being scripted. Seems a bit too drastic for me, so I would put Community or Go On there instead of Betty White

    5) Thursdays. Sure, it has had comedy there in like ages, but is it really worth keep trying? Who is to say that a combination of reality and dramas wouldn’t work better at this point? I don’t know, it just seems more of the same and not the invigoration that NBC truly needs on the night, but I highly doubt they will change that, so I will give it to you.

    What do you think of mine? (NBC’s schedule is the one I change the more often because it is just a whole big mess)

    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.

  • mmogaddict

    Renew Community.

    #6seasonsandamovie !

  • Dan S

    I like the idea of an all genre night. I could see Crossbones, Revolution & Grimm working well together. For Fridays I’d give up on scripted programming & go with reality & newsmags Dateline & Rock Center whose ratings are decent enough. That way they can concentrate on rebuilding the rest of the week Thur needing the most help.

  • omabin

    @Dan S,

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Oliver

    LATimes: NBC’s Thursday lineup goes from ‘Must See TV’ to ‘Must Flee TV’

    Includes quotes from NBC Entertainment head Jennifer Salke and scheduling head Peter Berg.

    They aren’t planning to wave a white flag on Thursday. Salke still pushing the failed “broad comedy” strategy.

  • k:Alex

    I think some have very good ideas, so I think of this:

    8:00 The Voice/The Biggest Loser/The Voice Kids*
    10:00 NEW Comedy-Drama/ NEW Drama (NO POLICE KIND!)

    *In The Netherlands The Voice Final has 3.7 million viewers and The Voice Kids Final 3.1 million. Higher than some comedy’s…

    8:00 The Voice (kids) Results / Off TR
    9:00 NEW MJF Comedy
    9:30 NEW Multicam Comedy 90′ style** (when NBC still had hit shows)
    10:00 Revolution

    **Combination of Cheers/Seinfeld/Friends.

    8:00 NEW Doctor Drama***
    9:00 Chicago Fire
    10:00 L&A:SVU

    ***Not a hospital, but ‘Red Cross’ kind, think back to the success of M*A*S*H.

    8:00 Whitney**** / Guys with Kids*****
    8:30 Community**** / Go On******
    9:00 Parks and Recreation
    9:30 NEW Comedy (Off a poor family might)
    10:00 Parenthood

    ****All for the Syndication Money
    *****Some shows must die for the power of TBBT and Idol.

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

    The Friday is strong enough.

    First start with the 9:00/10:00pm slots, easier competition so enough space for steady hit shows.
    Deal or No Deal if something flops, so it comes back!

  • Ted Craig


    Because the quirky comedy strategy works so much better?

  • DeanW

    What NBC should do:

    8:00 – The Voice
    10:00 – NEW DRAMA

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

    8:00 – Whitney
    8:30 – NEW COMEDY
    9:00 – Chicago Fire
    10:00 – Parenthood

    8:00 – Community
    8:30 – Parks & Recreation
    9:00 – Go On
    9:30 – NEW COMEDY
    10:00 – Law & Order: SVU

    8:00 – Dateline
    9:00 – Grimm
    10:00 – Hannibal / Dracula

    Tell me what you think of my schedule.

  • toadytoady

    Tonight will be a fair judge of Chicago Fire. For the first time in ages it is up against new episodes of both CSI and Nashville. This will be a test of its audience.

  • rob60990

    Ages? Its been 2 weeks since it went against CSI and Nashville.

  • martin

    KEEP SMASH! it really is good but I think more people watch it on-line than the night of. Their loss!

  • k:Alex

    Community must at 8:30
    It has the same public as TBBT, so when TBBT end, a more people can tune-in for Community.

  • toadytoady

    New or repeats for Nashville two weeks ago?

  • Ryan

    NBC needs to mass cancel all it’s failing shows and put out as much new stuff as possible. And have shorter seasons to allow for more shows because at least one will be a hit… hopefully.

  • ILoveSitcoms

    I’ll bet Community and Whitney come back because it isn’t either’s first season.

    I like Go On a lot but I suspect it’s expensive to produce so I think it’s a goner.

    Guys With Kids is the type of show I suspect NBC is going to produce in the future. For that reason I think it could stay but I’ll say it’ll be cancelled.

    The cloying New Normal is something the old NBC would keep. I’m guessing it’s something that it can do without. Cancelled.

    1600 Penn is doing awful following a decently viewed show. It’s a sure thing to be dead.

    Up All Night is staying because NBC keeps investing effort retooling it plus it’s in its 2nd season.

  • Melanie

    The CW really loves what you’re doing, NBC. Keep up the good work!

  • Randy

    I think a big problem with shows such as 1600 Penn, and Smash is that they are mid-season shows, and it’s hard for people to just stop watching something else, and start watching a mid-season show. I don’t think networks understand that at all. I sort of think that networks fall in the trap where they order too many episodes of a new type of show, and than eventually they get rid of them 3 months after. They need to cancel them sooner. Than, it’s time to come up a solution to replace that show, and it’s hard for people to start watching that new show because they were already watching another show on another network.

    Also, the randomness of putting shows on at whatever time is ridiculous. They need to stick with a schedule of when exactly new episodes of shows are coming back from after Christmas, especially. They need to have a schedule of when all the mid-season shows will premiere. People need to be told this whether it’s on the website, or it’s through commercials. They need to have commercials saying all our NEW types of shows (mid-season shows) are starting the 2nd week of January along with new episodes of every other show.

    For 1600 Penn, whether or not people like the show, look at the first episode it started. It started on Dec 17th, and than the 2nd episode was on Jan 10th. They had to lose a ton of people because of it being so long. What a stupid idea to start a brand NEW show off! What are they thinking? I think they did the same thing with Animal Practice.

    Grimm hasn’t been on for so long. I wonder how many people are going to even watch Grimm because of it being that long. They should have had it on more, but produced more episodes (because they actually started that show with new episodes in August) – Order 26 episodes instead. Fox is doing the same thing with Touch, and Touch is failing. It reminds me why I like syfy, and I hate syfy. They are complete random as to when a new show is going to be on. This makes sense because they are part of nbc.

    NBC needs new management in there. They really don’t know what they are doing.

  • Randy

    Watch, 2 weeks from now you will see Grimm with frowny faces.

  • Dan

    @Omabin – I dont see NBC moving Chicago Fire to Thursdays at 9, Wednesdays at 9 would work better. I highly doubt they will premiere comedies after The Voice after seeing what happened to Go On and The New Normal.

  • Rita

    Glad to see that the index picked up on the type of reasoning that leads me to argue that Deception may be renewed. Deception (like Whitney and Go On) is the embodiment of the idea that you just have to be less bad than alternatives to stick around. Deception (again, like Whitney and Go On) is a mediocre show with poor ratings.

    I grabbed this from Ultima — apparently in 1997-98 ABC had seven new dramas air during the season, all of which were canceled and they averaged only ~7 episodes each before being pulled. That’s a mess. For a more recent example, think of GWK and animal practice — two new shows together is a disaster. To have a coherent drama night, there should be some holdovers, and some midseason replacements will probably be needed. What are NBC’s drama options? Two dramas flopped harder than Deception in the past month. NBC still has Dracula and Hannibal coming up. If both those shows end up south of 1.0 in the demo, NBC probably will have to order more episodes of Deception to pop in somewhere next reason. Given that possibility, if I was NBC, I’d start to promote Deception more — it would do well to build on the steady audience it has now while it has a decent lead-in, which it probably won’t if it comes back.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures