NBC: As NBC Sitcom Ratings Dive, They'll Still Have To Renew Some Of Them

Categories: Cancel/Renew Index,Cancel/Renew NBC Shows

Written By

March 5th, 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- March 3, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Do No Harm* canceled 0.50
Animal Practice* canceled 0.66
Smash :oops: 0.67
The New Normal :oops: 0.77
1600 Penn :oops: 0.80
Guys With Kids :oops: 0.81
Whitney :| :| :| 0.88
Go On :| :| :| 0.90
Deception :cry: :cry: 0.91
Community :| :| :| 0.91
30 Rock* final season complete 0.93
Parenthood* :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.08
Parks & Recreation :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.11
Law & Order: SVU :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.17
Chicago Fire :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.38
The Office final season 1.40
Up All Night :oops: pending
Grimm (F) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending
Revolution :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending


The expression "Catch A Falling Knife" comes to mind when trying to figure out which of NBC's ratings diving sitcoms might survive the season (besides Parks & Recreation which will certainly be renewed).

If (and I think they will) renew more sitcoms than just Parks & Rec, they'll be choosing among shows that have all hit a 1.1 rating or less this season. Yikes. My best guess at this point is that one or more of Community, Go On and Whitney will be renewed, but that's as close as I'm getting to grabbing at the falling knives at this point.

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.

  • Ultima

    so NBC has somewhat of a social responsibility to keep Brian and David up there.

    “Social Responsibility” is definitely going to be my suggestion for next year’s Fan Excuse Bingo card! ;)

  • Masterbreel

    Why cant they cancel all of their comedies? They cannot be that profitable now

  • Jay

    i wouldn’t mind if they cancelled the whole NBC

  • CraveRecords

    At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC stuck jay Leno back in primetime. With football and The Voice taking up so many hours of the schedule, they’ve really put their eggs in two baskets. Just for some overall stabilization, they might want to start holding The Voice for the spring again. Of course, there’s no way they can get the ad revenue from their current shows and can’t launch anything new without The Voice lead-in this fall. Although, Jeff Bader’s scheduling choices have been bizarre…

  • Fake Me Out

    If anyone wonders what the definition of “a dog’s breakfast” is … look at the behind the scenes workings of UAN …

    Inside the Demise of NBC’s Once-Promising Comedy Up All Night

    NBC’s Up All Night should have been a hit. The show came with a strong comedy pedigree: It starred Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph and was produced by Saturday Night Live don Lorne Michaels. At the center was what seemed to be a relatable premise for the young adults watching the network’s upscale comedies: a hip, young couple adjusts to life with a baby… Wallem and the writing staff began brainstorming ideas for the multi-camera version. One pitch placed a portal between the two worlds — the single-cam and multi-cam versions — that only baby Amy could see. Another idea put Wallem and her real-life partner, Etheridge, in front of the camera, perhaps with the action taking place in their living room.

    Ultimately, a script was written in which Applegate, Arnett and Rudolph played actors portraying the characters Reagan, Chris and Ava on a fictional show called Up All Night. Off the show-within-a-show, Arnett’s character would live at home with his mother, and Applegate’s would be dating. Rudolph’s real-life pregnancy was being written into the storyline — and included a “who’s the daddy?” twist.


    Being someone who likes to say ‘wait, it’s not official yet’ I’d say put a fork in it, it’s done. What a dog’s breakfast that show turned into.


    PS: Best wishes go out to Valerie Harper who’s work always kept me laughing.

  • Brian J

    Considering the sheer number of comedy pilots NBC has ordered already (17 or 18, with deals for some big names, like Roseanne and Donald Glover, supposedly in the works), I think it’s clear there’s going to be a lot of carnage. That’s entirely understandable. However, I don’t think this makes it impossible for a few shows to survive. “Parks” is one definite possibility, as it is nearing the sweet spot for syndication and is owned by NBC. “Community” is in the same category, to some degree, but many of its stars are on other pilots or have deals. Hell, NBC itself has Donald Glover signed up to do his own show. “Whitney” as Whitney Cummings, but does anyone care about her show? Does anyone really care about “Guys with Kids”? “What about “Go On” or “The New Normal”? Short of giving a few of them shortened final seasons, I think a bunch of them will be gone. Right now, I’d renew “Parks” even if it’s held until midseason and probably one of “Go On” or “The New Normal,” unless the others have improved a lot creatively and mesh well with other shows.

    The focus will be on MJF’s new show, whatever it is called in the end, and rightly so, as it could probably stand on its own. But instead of having it go on Thursdays, I’d put it on Tuesdays. It’d draw a different sort audience than “New Girl” and the competition is just less fierce in general. Plus, having it on after “The Voice” would probably increase its audience even more, which would then guarantee whatever shows come after it being hits. I’d also put one new comedy on Mondays (to start, anyway) after “The Voice.” The short-term loss of revenue would be worth it to establish another hit. (The goal is to have these shows stand on their own, but lots of them need help at first.)

    That makes three new comedies for the fall (or two and a half, in a way, as MJF’s show promotes itself), and that is probably all NBC should schedule at first. The network might want to leave “Parks” and possibly one other comedy, either a holdover or a new, cult-like show (the DJ Nash one comes to mind), but that’s it at the moment. It should order a bunch, but focus on making three of them certified hits. Making the rest successful will then be far easier.

    As for its dramas, this is harder. I’d probably cancel “SVU” or give it a shortened final season, and while I’d probably never have ordered “Chicago Fire,” it it’s certainly doing well enough to be renewed. But I’d move at least one of them, if not both of them, to Fridays (Saturdays are too much at the moment), as they’d probably do as well there as they are doing on Wednesdays. Plus, neither of them really mesh that well with many of the dramas NBC has ordered, many of which are sci fi or at least not traditional cop and medical shows. And what to do with “Revolution” and “Parenthood”?

    This post is already long enough, so I will just giving a very rough outline:

    Monday: The Voice until 9:30, followed by either the John Mulaney show, the Sean Hayes show Happiness, or some similar new multi cam, followed by Revolution.

    Tuesdays: The Voice until 9:00, followed by the MJF show, followed by Welcome to the Family, followed by I Am Victor.

    This is where it gets tricky, so any sort of combination like this would work, but yes, I think “Grimm” should definitely move, as it could probably surge on another night. The hardest call is “Bloodline,” which if the buzz I am reading is any indication could be HUGE. Right now, let’s say…

    Wednesday: The Sixth Gun, Bloodline, The Blacklist (or, if Bloodline is going to be super violent, have it go at 10:00).

    Thursday: Believe, followed by Grimm, followed by Rock Center if no other drama is ready or Dracula and/or Wonderland when it is ready, or even Hannibal if/when it returns.

    I had originally suggested that “Grimm” lead off the night, but considering I’ve also suggested NBC put “America’s Got Talent” on Thursdays over the summer and “Grimm” after it, leave it there.

    Fridays: Parenthood, followed by Chicago Fire, followed by a final season for SVU, and then After Hours and/or Hatfields and McCoys to finish the night.

    If NBC plays its cards right (putting “AGT” on Thursdays over the summer, following the path I suggest), this sort of schedule could satisfy both the short and long-term.

    It’s light on comedies, yes, but NBC needs to spare no expense in rolling out the MJF show, aiming for something like 30+ million viewers for the initial episode, which will then allow them to have two hit shows. And when that and the comedy on Mondays works, it can make some aggressive moves midseason, like putting two comedies on Mondays, four on Tuesdays, and moving “The Voice” to Sundays to perhaps even launch more new shows.

  • Michael1

    NBC should have milked Chase’s departure from “Community” into a Charlie Sheen-esque spectical. I think people would have tuned in to see how well his replacement worked out, and the lamer the actor the better. Fred Willard would have been fine.

  • timmay!!

    Comcast sure got a real winner there!

  • Don

    Don’t forget NBC has a Series to order for the new Michael J. Fox sitcom. Maybe Thursdays at 9 followed by Go On. I Figure putting the Matthew Perry show after the new Michael J. Fox Comedy might be a good fit together. Maybe the big names of Michael J. Fox and Matthew Perry could bring in an audience?

  • Greg

    That Wednesday comedy block should be cut, as should the Tuesdays. NBC should just stick with Thursdays for sitcoms now and launch all new ones there. Keep Parks and Recreation, Community and Off Their Rockers as back-ups.

    Not sure what to think of Whitney and Go On. I would say the best option is to cancel both, but I don’t think they will.

  • Brian J


    Why not retreat for a moment and then rebuild? What’s better for NBC, s super strong Monday and Tuesday, or a reasonably improved Thursday?

    I don’t think there’s a chance to NBC to beat CBS on Thursdays at the moment–not unless that network moves “TBBT” to 9:00 and everything arounds it sinks. Why not let some niche shows finish out there run or one grow as it works out its initial creative kinks before moving it to a new night, OR, better yet, go after a different audience?

    The reason I made my suggestions above–with MJF on Tuesdays and nicheier shows on Thursdays–is that NBC could have the best of both worlds: a dominant Tuesday and an improved Thursday. If it’s able to successfully launch the MJF show (and again, it shouldn’t hesitate to spend a lot, like four times as much, $100 million, to make it huge), it will have an anchor for its schedule. It could then launch another successful show on that night, and after one season, or maybe even half a season, it could move that show to 8:00 on Tuesdays and put two new shows. It could follow a similar path on Mondays, putting one new comedy on Mondays before adding a second.. Were something like that to happen, that’d be six comedies. It might not need any more, but it probably would. It could then relaunch Thursdays with comedies, or, in my plan, it could leave well enough alone, and let a night of “Grimm,” “Believe,” and “The Sixth Gun,” for instance,” go after a different audience.

  • Joe

    P&R will be renewed…that 1.7 demo is gold for NBC haha

    Go On has a chance but much depends on how it does when the Voice returns…if it stalls than its gone, if it rises to P&R levels than its in

    Whitney IMO must be renewed…facing Idol, Surviver, the Middle and Arrow is a tall order and yet it still performs better than average (average for NBC that is)

    Community is out…sorry but syndication means nothing to NBC as Community isn’t owned by NBC, worse yet community is about as strong as Whitney and NBC owns a slice of Whitney so there is money to be made (albeit small)

    The rest are dead including UAN since Applegate left

  • Greg

    @Brian J

    Why couldn’t NBC have super strong Mondays or Tuesdays with only dramas? With The Voice as a lead in, I think they could. It would be better than launching two comedies in one night where only one of them would be benefited from The Voice’s lead in.

    The niche shows will do even worse next fall. If they keep Community and Parks and Recreation on Thursdays at 8, they would both be rating a 0.9-1.2.

  • Ultima

    Whitney IMO must be renewed…facing Idol, Surviver, the Middle and Arrow is a tall order and yet it still performs better than average (average for NBC that is)

    Whitney is not performing better than average.

    Community is out…sorry but syndication means nothing to NBC

    Community is produced by both Universal and Sony. Also, even if they had no stake in the show, Sony may be willing to license it very cheap knowing they can make the money back later in syndication.

  • Joe

    The Voice
    Ironside (New)

    the Voice Results
    Whitney (New Time)
    Craig Robinson Project (New)

    Sean Hayes Comedy

    Chicago Fire


    Craig Robinson Project

  • Joe

    The Voice
    Ironside (New)

    the Voice Results
    Whitney (New Time)
    Craig Robinson Project (New)

    MJF (New)
    Sean Hayes Comedy (New)
    Wonderland (New)
    SVU (New Time)

    Undateable (New)
    Revolution (New Time)
    Chicago Fire (New Time)

    Go On (New Time)
    Than Came Elvis (New)

  • Matt

    I’m disappointed. I actually really enjoy guys with kids. I think it could do better in a different time slot.

  • RyanCanada

    I hope Whitney gets renewed

  • SPM

    If Go On does get canceled how many canceled shows will that be on Matthew Perrys resume then? lol what a loser, no one cares if he isn’t Chandler Bing.

  • HAPPY!

    Why would you put Whitney after the Voice? That’s one of NBC’s most important slots! It would be idiotic to place a 3rd season show pulling 1’s in that prime slot. NBC is going to launch 2 NEW COMEDIES or a NEW DRAMA after The Voice on Tuesday, not Whitney.

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