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 don’t understand the point of saying that the recent ratings collapses of Go On and The New Normal means that premiering comedies after the voice doesn’t work. They were doing just fine following the voice and go on was actually a hit for fall standards comedy wise. This means, IMO, that it works to use the voice as launching pad because it allows the new comedies to be sampled and to sustain that audience for the first episodes, which is what a big lead-in is supposed to do!

    The fact that both comedies have failed to hold when left on their own only concerns the specific comedies themselves. I actually like Go On very much (I have never seen the new normal), so i don’t want to bash on it, but it is much more an issue of problems of the show itself (too niche, IMO) than the fact that it was launched after the voice.

    I don’t particularly love the idea of comedies following a reality show and I think a drama flows better actually, but the thing is that NBC desperately needs to develop hit comedies and if the voice can’t do it for them, I don’t know what can. Using mondays to develop a new drama and tuesdays to develop a new comedy is the right strategy. The shows just have to be good enough…

    These are just my two cents.

  • omabin


    Really interesting article. I think those saying that NBC will go with an all new comedy night on thursday (or very close to all new at least) may be right. She says that they are going strong on the night next year and strongly implies they are doing so with comedies. I guess I will have to revise my schedule accordingly.

  • KC Alex Smith

    I think the main reason why NBC’s comedy roster has failed on them is not what has the Greenblatt regime done in the past couple of years but what was done before his regime got there. They abandoned the multi-cams way too long and pretty much loss most of that Must See TV era audience they lost as soon as Friends, Fraiser, and Will & Grace left the air.

    Now I heard a few people bring this up in the past couple of weeks that the reason why their current multi-cams might be struggle is because there’s no real multi-cam presence on their network due to the exclusive single-cam route they went with starting in 2007 until 2011. They went around 4 years without a single multi-cam on their roster.

    So now what NBC has to do is expand their multi-cam presence to at least 4 comedies next season in one whole block and put them in a really good slot where the competition won’t bring their numbers way down. They need to get lucky and find a huge hit with a familiar face leading the way. If they do this NBC can be back in the comedy game in a 2-3 years.

  • Oliver

    NBC “abandoned” multicamera comedies for the same reason ABC and Fox have effectively abandoned multicamera comedies. They weren’t working.

    Of course, since nothing is now working, perhaps there’s an argument for going back to the format. On the other hand, it makes sense for them to build around the new single-camera Michael J. Fox show.

    Besides, NBC have incredibly few “really good” timeslots, and certainly no good 2 hour slots with minimal comedy competition.

  • KC Alex Smith

    @ Oliver

    I think back in the mid 2000s there was a legit excuse why networks went away from multi-cams as I do think that was the right decision at the time as the multi-cams needed a rest but once the single-cams wasn’t contributing either with very few hits that got the multi-cams rolling back in a few years ago.

    I think in NBC’s case they need the multi-cams to work more than the multi-cams need them. In order to fix their comedy situation they have to have their multi-cams working for them.

  • Nick


    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.

    I did that because Chicago Fire seemed compatible with After Hours, and it needs the boost from being on the same night as the Voice. Parenthood, on the other hand, does not need The Voice, but could be compatible with Revolution (both twisted “family” dramas). Also, Revolution is going to need a steady anchor. It’s not ready to anchor a night alone, and CF cannot bring that steady lead in.

    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.

    First of all, there’s no rule saying straight-to-order series have to air in the fall. I have Crossbones airing in midseason (I don’t list new midseason shows–its a hassle). However, I do agree that it would work well with Revolution. How about I switch Believe & it? Believe needs to be at an earlier time anyway.

    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.

    I think that Fri@10 is an underutilized hour. Blue Bloods (in early seasons) proved that there’s an audience for a drama there. I think if a show is compatible enough with Grimm (which would be up, thanks to a steadier lead-in) a show could manage ~1.5/1.6 (obviously not including year-to-year declines). That’s a success for NBC anywhere.

    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.

    I’ve definitely thought about moving Grimm to weeknights, and even moved it to Wednesdays for a week in fantasyland until Rock Center’s ratings came crashing back to reality. Also, Friday-to-weeknight moves rarely go well (see Blue Bloods, even Shark Tank didn’t do so well on Tuesday). Supernatural was a rare occurence. I’d rather leave Grimm where it is and launch a drama block.

    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.

    I just don’t see the point of having comedies that are just going to reach new levels of floppiness.

    Seems a bit too drastic for me, so I would put Community or Go On there instead of Betty White

    I don’t think either Go On or Community is strong enough to go against TBBT. Why waste money and potentially harm P&R, which would harm the new comedies?

    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?

    Thursdays from 9-10 is the only weekday hour before 10 pm that does not have comedy competition. Why wouldn’t you exploit that potential by placing NBC’s next big hit there?

    What do you think of mine?

    It’s a great schedule. Just a few points:
    • I don’t think Chicago Fire is ready to be an anchor. I’d just switch it and Law & Order: SVU.
    • I don’t feel an hour of primetime TV should be wasted on Rock Center. Possibly some cheap reality (Celebrity Apprentice?) from 9-11?
    • What are you planning on doing for Sundays in midseason?
    • Why no Whitney? It’s steady enough to come back, albeit as filler.

    NBC’s schedule is the one I change the more often because it is just a whole big mess

    Me too! lol

  • Nick

    ^I forgot to mention that Dracula got a straight-to-series order as well.

  • JustMe

    NBC has had better shows on USA over the past 7 years than anything they have had on NBC during that time. USA is my fav network.

  • Michael

    I hope they give GWK another chance. I mean this finale was really good and… It ended ON A FREAKING CLIFFHANGER AND I WILL BE TICKED IF I DON’T FIND OUT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!

  • Justin121

    NBC tips:

    Monday: intact

    Tuesday: The Voice to 9 pm. Parenthood to 8 pm.

    Wednesday: Chicago Fire to 9pm. Parks and Comm to finish their runs at 8pm.

    Thrursday: Re-start ‘Must-See TV’ with Whtieny and Guys with Kids

    SVU could plug a 10 pm slot on any night (preferrably Thursday, so that The Voice and Chicago could help new arrivals).

  • Justin121

    I would like to hear what everyone thinks of my NBC schedule changes.

  • Justin121

    Another option would be flip-flopping PHood and the Wed comedies to have a one-two punch of PHood and Fire on Wed while the “smart” comedies might benifit from airing in front of The Tuesday Voice.

    So good to see NBC’s schedule with some fresh blood after YEARS of THe Office, 30 Rock, Biggest Loser, SVU, when they’re newer shows failed year after year.

    The ball started rolling with Parenthood, The Voice, Grimm, and now their schedule looks a lot better than it did 2006-2011.

  • kensi

    I cannot believe Deception has low ratings.. it keeps me intrigued!

  • Ultima

    Thrursday: Re-start ‘Must-See TV’ with Whtieny and Guys with Kids

    The comedy block that is averaging a 1.1 rating during February sweeps just screams “MustSeeTV!”

  • L

    Stating the obvious here, but NBC needs to clean the deck. There are too many sitcoms both on their network, and on television, especially in a world where television audiences are becoming much smaller. NBC needs to keep their Thursday night comedy night, but that’s it– keep the strongest (Parks and Recreation, Betty White) and pair them with two new comedies. Renew Whitney or Community for 13 as a back up incase all the new comedies fail. Potentially renew Go On, but only if it’s put as part of the Thursday line up. Adding the extra Friday comedies are pure reliable back ups; niche comedy and family comedy.

    As much as I love Smash, it’s a goner. NBC need to look into investing in big ‘must see’ drama, and some strong bold procedural shows. Monday was a good launcher for Revolution, so NBC needs to use it to launch the next big event drama in that slot. Moving Revolution to Tuesdays at an earlier time, which still behind the Voice in the fall gives it the strong lead in it had, and gives it the chance to keep its audience, then tests it in the new year when it’s lead in is The Biggest Loser.
    Parenthood stays in its strong spot.

    Wednesday night is procedural central– new spin on a procedural at 8pm, followed by a time slot switch for Chicago Fire and SVU. Chicago Fire will draw more eyes earlier on, bringing a better lead in to SVU which goes back to its suitable 10pm slot.
    Thursday’s are shaped around the comedies, followed by a new family/drama orientated show.
    Friday’s start with a comedy hour, either Whitney or Community paired with a new sitcom, followed by Grimm and then a dark horror at 10pm.


    8-10pm – The Voice / The Biggest Loser / The Voice
    10pm – *New Big Event Drama*

    8-9pm – The Voice / The Biggest Loser / The Voice
    9pm – Revolution
    10pm – Parenthood

    8pm – *New Proceedural Drama*
    9pm – Chicago Fire (new time)
    10pm – SVU (new time)

    8pm – Betty White
    8:30pm – *New Multicamera Comedy*
    9pm – Parks and Recreation
    9:30pm – *New single cam Comedy*
    10pm – *New Family/Drama*

    8pm: Whitney / Community
    8:30pm: *New Family-Comedy*
    9pm: Grimm
    10pm *New Horror Drama*

    8pm: R- Monday event drama
    9pm: R- SVU
    10pm: R- Wednesday procedural drama

    Sunday (After Football):
    8pm-10pm: Celebrity Apprentice
    10pm: *New High End Drama*

  • Dude

    I’m really loving Deception and I’m excited that at least all the episodes are going to air.

  • Zachary

    NBC should keep Parks (duh), Community (6S+AM am I right?), and Go On (they’ll put it on after The Voice next month, factor in Cox’s guest appearance and the ratings will skyrocket). I would love to see another season of 1600 Penn, but that won’t ever happen.

    Whitney is one of the worst shows ever. Guys with Kids kid just lame. It’s like Full House. Up All Night was great last season, but season 2 ruined everything (mainly the second half of the season). It used to be irreverent, now it’s tame. Sad. The New Normal is another tame show where everyone learns a lesson. IT’S NOT THE 1980s PEOPLE!

    MJF’s new show is going forward. If The Donor Party signs Rainn Wilson, they get a straight to series order. Brenda Forever is a shoo-in, they might pick up a pair of multi cams(The John Mulaney Show and Happiness), Girlfriend in a Coma, The Craig Robinson Show, the Robert Padnick project has promise, The Gates is a lame idea with an all star cast (Perkins, Marino, Germann, Riva, Grisetti, Guarino), Undateable is a long shot, Joe Joe & Jane has a chance, Welcome to the Family is a lobgshot but it has Mike O’Malley. Holding Patterns is a possibility. About a Boy is just waiting to be ordered.

  • Abraham

    Ryan Murphy was awarded today for his job as a producer and said that he is working on a new series that will show his fears for child parenting. He didn’t give any more details, and he just said that it will be kinda biographical and that it will be also produced with Ali Adler (The New Normal). There are two possible ways to understand this. First: He’s doing a drama-ish The New Normal kind of series while The New Normal continues and remains a comedy. Second: He knows The New Normal might not be renewed so he’s taking TNN season 2 stories (baby raising) to be a new show. After all, TNN season 1 is anticipating the baby. Season 2 should be raising it. So why make a new biographical show about raising gay parenting when you already have one? Smells like TNN is gone. This, or he finally understood that he can’t make comedy-drama at the same time. TNN is catalogued as a comedy but come on. Those were the first episodes. Now it’s more of a gay Parenthood. Anyway, regarding TNN he said they’re writing the “season finale” (which will be the birth). Notice he didn’t mention “series finale” hehe. So, I don’t know…

  • Jonny C…. formerly Jon

    It’s obvious Whitney and Go On are staying ( Whitney has somehow defy the odds and is doing better than Community and is the only stable one out the bunch. Go On ratings will stablize the minute the Voice is back…though it’ll definitely not have the ratings it had in the fall) Guys with Kids is the real tossup. Community has a chance tonight to score big ( especially since BBT and Vampire Diaries are repeats) so I’m pointing likely renewal. Up All Night is dead Bill, it’s just sad we havent gotten a official confirmation on it. 1600 Penn is dead mainly because if it’s failing in the after Office slot, how bad is it gonna be if it’s put on any other spot.

  • HAPPY!

    Tell me your thoughts on this fall schedule for NBC?

    Monday (exactly the same)
    8-The Voice

    8-The Biggest Loser (extended, year long season with hour long episodes airing weekly)
    9-The Voice
    10-NEW DRAMA

    10-Chicago Fire

    8-Parks and Recreation (Full, 24 episode season)
    8:30-NEW COMEDY
    9:30-NEW COMEDY

    8-The Apprentice (will move back to Sundays in the spring for a second cycle)
    10-Rock Center with Brian Williams

    Hold for midseasons:

    Whitney (13 episodes)
    Community (13 episodes)


    The Voice Kids (weekly hour long episodes)
    Dateline NBC
    NEW Reality Show

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