NBC: Three Sitcoms Could Be Renewed Besides 'Parks & Rec', But The Cancellation Bear Is Still Chicken

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

Written By

March 12th, 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 10, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Do No Harm* canceled 0.50
Smash :oops: 0.65
Animal Practice* canceled 0.66
The New Normal :oops: 0.77
1600 Penn :oops: 0.78
Guys With Kids :oops: 0.82
Go On :| :| :| 0.89
Whitney :| :| :| 0.90
Deception :cry: :cry: 0.91
30 Rock* final season complete 0.93
Community :| :| :| 0.95
Grimm (F) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.03
Parenthood* :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.08
Parks & Recreation :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.13
Law & Order: SVU :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.20
Chicago Fire :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.41
The Office final season 1.43
Up All Night :oops: pending
Revolution :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: pending

The cancellation bear is of the mind that Community, Go On and Whitney are all potential NBC sitcom renewals (Parks & Recreation is certain to be renewed), but he's not making the move yet. Chicken? Cluck! But Community's 1.9 premiere rating said "certain renewal" and two weeks later it hit a series low 1.1 rating. Its recovered since then, but the cancellation bear is still worried about touching that potentially hot stove again.

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

    Don’t forget to factor in the bump that “Go On” and TNN will receive once “The Voice” returns.

    For reference, the ratings for the final fall airings of these shows were 2.4 and 1.7. They had actually dipped as low as 2.1 and 1.5.

    While Go On will certainly get a healthy bump and will easily finish the season at #2 behind The Office, I think the numbers for The New Normal will continue to be disappointing.

    Also, without The Voice, Go On only averages a 1.3 rating. While NBC has a long history of renewing shows with inflated ratings due to their lead-ins (e.g. basically every single 8:30/9:30 Thursday sitcom during the Friends era), they have an equally long history of quickly cancelling those shows the following season. Maybe seeing Go On for a couple months without its big lead-in will make them a bit wiser this time around.

  • Brian J


    But those are the ratings for only two weeks. What about the other weeks? On March 1, for instance, it had a 1.2, and the last two Thursdays in February, it had a 1.1.

    I don’t watch it, so I can’t speak to its quality, but even if there’s more creative promise left in it than some would say, isn’t it better for NBC to move on? It doesn’t own the show, as I keep saying. That’s not the only consideration, but it has to factor in considering NBC owns most if not all of its other comedies. And it’s already at enough episodes for syndication, assuming the difference between 84 and 88 isn’t a big deal for another network.

    There are plenty of other optons for NBC to get better ratings in this time period–if not directly next season, than after next season once its overall line up improves.

  • Ultima

    @Brian J
    I can see the case for renewing one show besides Parks, which will have 90 episodes after this season, but which one would it be?

    Well, there’s only three options…

    Go On – Face saving is stupid, but the networks do it anyways. It would get a 13 episode order and I doubt that they would actually air all of them during the season.

    Whitney – It’s doing better than the certain to be cancelled shows, but I don’t thinkt that matters. Can anyone realistically see NBC airing another 50 episodes of this show? No.

    Community – It’s doing better than Go On and Whitney in a much tougher timeslot and they can probably get the episodes relatively cheap. There’s also no long term commitment involved.

    What I would do is renew Community (~13 episodes) and Parks & Rec (~13-15 episodes) for final seasons and move them to Wednesday 8pm. P&R can have an hour-long finale the first week of February. Then the timeslot is free for new programming after the Olympics.

  • Brian J


    “Both of their fall dramas were hits and all three full season veteran dramas are doing fine (SVU is the weakest, but still better than their comedies). Subsequently, in order to have two more new dramas next fall, they have to cut two hours out of last fall’s lineup.”

    One of the shows you reference is obviously Revolution. Is the other one Parenthood?

    That’s a tricky one for me. I can see why NBC would renew it, but for how many episodes? It’s probably too expensive to do this, but perhaps 26-30 episodes, split between the spring and the fall, is a good idea. I’m not sure if it’s been sold into syndication yet, but if it hasn’t, perhaps NBC could work on that before next season and it could have a few months of promotion that way. Also, NBC could air it after America’s Got Talent on one night this summer (with the other night being used to promote Grimm). That, perhaps combined with some possible overall increase ratings strength across the board next season, could help the show grow some in the fall, and then, once the Olympics go on, even more growth in the spring.

    For me at least, the question is, how many more seasons does NBC want for this show? It could probably last another three, easily. But if NBC wants to give it one more season to finish out its story lines and to drag it to syndication, it might not matter as much where it goes.

  • Holly

    @Brian J,

    Fall dramas were Revolution and Chicago Fire
    Veterans were SVU, Grimm, and Parenthood.

  • Kavyn

    @Brian: “But those are the ratings for only two weeks. What about the other weeks? On March 1, for instance, it had a 1.2, and the last two Thursdays in February, it had a 1.1.”

    Compared to what… Smash’s 0.8? TNN’s 0.9? Go On’s 1.1? I mean, in terms of relativity it’s still at LEAST hitting the average of any other show on NBC on those weeks, while facing off against ratings juggernaut Big Bang (and American Idol). Don’t quote me on this but at the moment I think it’s only behind The Office (which is ending this season), Parks and Rec, and Chicago Fire (along with Revolution and The Voice when they return).

    If you were in control of NBC, would you not renew Community at this point, if its ratings stayed between 1.2-1.5 and everything else stayed relatively the same? Obviously it’s too soon to renew any comedies right now on NBC, but if the ratings stayed the same until the end of the season, Community definitely deserves renewal over a lot of other NBC shows.

  • Kavyn

    Oh, I apologize. I’m not too familiar with the shows on NBC. Yes, there is also Grimm, Parenthood and SVU.

    In terms of comedies though, Community is currently in third place, post The Voice. I’m sure Go On and TNN will rise, but considering it’s only due to The Voice as a lead in, it’s not very fair to compare those with Community.

  • TVDude


    “What I would do is renew Community (~13 episodes) and Parks & Rec (~13-15 episodes) for final seasons and move them to Wednesday 8pm. P&R can have an hour-long finale the first week of February. Then the timeslot is free for new programming after the Olympics.”

    I really like the way you think! I’m not saying that’s what NBC will do, but that is what they should do. As much as fans would love to see these two shows go on forever, NBC would be better of letting them fill a spot while they focus on the rest of their lineup and then replace them after what will probably be a highly rated Olympics.

  • SF Guy

    Just curious, why some people(only very few)think that TNN will be renewed with that pathatic ratings… even lower than Fox or CW.
    Just wasting of sponsors money if any sponsers want to run ads on that show.
    Just Cancel it so we can enjoy some hot new shows…. there are many shows are on the wait list with much better talents and good story line.
    TNN is te mos horrible shows on TV these days! and keep other shows with higher ratings(99.99% shows) than TNN!

  • Brian J


    By the way, you seem to think NBC would have an easier time putting four new comedies on Thursdays and promoting them because of it. One of those would almost certainly be the new MJF show. First, if not the new MJF show, why not? And second, why Thursdays as opposed to some other night?

    I used to think it should go there, and it very well might. NBC has supposedly made promises, which I would assume went into the contracts, about that shows marketing and scheduling, so perhaps it’s already set in stone. But as I’ve said a few times now, I think it might be better if NBC put it on another night.

    For you and others, the suggested goal is for NBC to have a stronger Thursday, and if/when it does, for the network to move Thursday shows to other nights, like it did back in the Must See TV days. But isn’t it better for NBC to have other nights work? I mean, imagine a schedule where it had real strength on Mondays, Tuesdays, and, say, Fridays; wouldn’t that be better than reduced if still improved strength on Thursdays? I think it would be.

    I realize I am rambling now, but bear with me. My guess is that NBC could get a massive initial tune in (30+ million viewers, if enough time and money is spent; yes, I am serious) for the new MJF show on Tuesdays, particularly if The Voice is behind it at first, which would then lift everything around it. Whatever would come after it would be a hit, as would the drama at 10:00, and perhaps even The Voice would gain new viewers. The shows would all need to be good, but assume they are for the moment.

    In this situation, NBC would completely and totally own one night of the week. Even if it didn’t follow my other suggestions, like shortening The Voice by one half hour on Mondays and putting a multi cam comedy there, it’d be in a much, much better situation. It could then use that night to improve its whole schedule–say, by moving whatever comedy that came after the new MJF show to earlier in the night, putting new comedies in between then, or moving the post-MJF comedy to a new night, and/or moving the hypothetical hit drama somewhere else. But as you can see, the MJF show stays put.

    ANYWAY, I guess my question is, considering the position NBC is in and considering the competition on Thursdays, why isn’t this a better move than putting it on Thursdays? That night is more important for ads, or at least it was in the past, but for NBC to gain any ground, it needs something to work. So why not work on building strength elsewhere and then, some other time, work on building up Thursdays?

    Remember the number of times NBC moved a show there only to see it flail after a short while, like what happened with My Name Is Earl. Let’s also remember that NBC could schedule other shows there–like Grimm, paired with similar shows, or two or three entirely new dramas with nothing current from NBC’s schedule–and have it work.

  • Brian J


    But what do you think the average for Community will end up being? Let’s say it’s a 1.3 when all is said and done. That’s better than a lot of other NBC shows, but consider that NBC doesn’t own the show. Also, and probably more importantly, consider this: might it be better than something else?

    I don’t mean for this sound patronizing, but are you familiar with the idea of opportunity cost in economics? If not, look it up. If so, consider it when looking at NBC’s schedule.

    Think of a blank slate, filled with no programming. Then consider the obvious candidates for renewal, like The Voice, Grimm, and Revolution, no matter where the end up going. Then consider adding other shows, like Parks or Community, which may or may not be renewed. Each time NBC adds a show like that back to its line up, something else new–something which might be the hit NBC needs to get out of the basement–can’t go there. Considering Community is older and thus possibly less likely to add new viewers, that it already has enough episodes for syndication, AND that it’s not even owned by NBC, should it renewed? I’d say no–or, if is for some reason, it should be some shortened final season.

    Put another way, NBC needs to try a variety of new programming, however it releases such programs, to get something, anything, to work. Renewing Community makes it less possible for that to happen. Considering the number of pilots NBC has ordered for next season, I suspect Greenblatt, et al feel the same way.

  • Ultima

    @Brian J
    why Thursdays as opposed to some other night?

    Because I think that NBC is stupidly stubborn! ;)

    Thursday night is an important night for advertisers and NBC has said that they will be focusing on it next season.

    Thinking about it some more, Wednesday night might be the better option for a comedy block. Modern Family is intimidating, but the rest of ABC’s lineup is not. They could let P&R et al soak up the brutal 8pm hour on Thursdays, but they would absolutely need a strong, self-starting drama for the 9pm hour. Maybe it’s Revolution or a really buzzed about pilot, but if they don’t have a blockbuster, they will get crushed on the night.

    In any case, I think they need to go with the all-new two hour comedy block. In general, I think previews for a single show are fine, but last fall was a complete disaster for NBC. They need to focus all of their comedy advertising on the singular message of all new, this night, 8-10pm, be there! No previews, no multiple new comedy blocks, no hoping that MJF will magicaly bring ratings to their failing comedies, etc.

  • Kavyn

    @Brian NBC had some many comedy pilots ordered for the 2012-2013 seasons. I think maybe 6-8 of them made the air, with only Go On and TNN being moderately successful due to The Voice. With The Voice gone, TNN and Go On are both getting ratings lower than Community.

    I don’t understand your argument. Every new show NBC has tried this season has failed with the exception of Chicago Fire and Revolution (although Revolution could very easily end up like Smash next season if it does not air with The Voice, which is likely).

    Not to mention, what exactly do you think NBC will air on Thursdays at 8pm if they cancel Community? They’re definitely not going to put a new show in that time slot, and considering it’s their comedy block the only thing that they can put there is Parks and Rec… but why would they put P&R there? If Sony offers them a good deal to give Community another season, why not take it and put it in the most competitive time slot, especially if it’s capable of getting a 1.5?

  • Oliver

    Community is a Sony/NBCUniversal co-production.

  • tvwatcher

    IMO i think comcast is trying to milk as much money from NBC affiliates as possible while spending very little on programming. They realize that Sunday night football + bunch of cheaply made shows = profit (see Sci Fi err SyFy)

  • HAPPY!

    What i think NBC should do for 2013-2014 schedule

    Note: No new programming for 2 weeks in February because of the Olympics

    8:The Voice/The Biggest Loser/The Voice (after Olympics)
    10:NEW DRAMA

    Since there is only 5 weeks in the winter before the Olympics, TBL airs on Monday for 5 weeks, then moves to Sunday after the Olympics.

    8:The Voice/Betty White/The Voice

    Instead of airing new comedies at 9, try airing a new drama

    8:Chicago Fire
    9: NEW DRAMA
    10: Revolution

    I think this 3 hour drama night has the potential to be really strong.

    8:Parks and Recreation (22 episodes, airs all season)
    8:30:Community (13 episodes, airs until January with 1 hour series finale)/NEW COMEDY (Premieres after Closing Ceremony)
    9:Go On (13 episodes, airs until January)/NEW COMEDY “MJF” (premieres after Big Olympic event)
    9:30:Whitney (13 episodes, airs until January)/NEW COMEDY (premieres after Big Olympic event)
    10:Law and Order: SVU (22 episodes)

    Hold all the new comedies until after the Olympics so that they can premiere after big events. By reinventing the Thursday night comedy block in Midseason, NBC can succeed in premiering fewer, but more successful comedies.

    8:Dateline NBC/Burn offs
    10:Rock Center

    Sunday (after Olympics)
    7:Dateline NBC
    8:The Biggest Loser
    10:The Apprentice

    The fall is more focused on dramas, and the spring focus shifts to comedies
    Hold 1 more new drama in case one of the fall dramas fails.

    Please share your thoughts

  • Ultima

    IMO i think comcast is trying to milk as much money from NBC affiliates as possible while spending very little on programming.

    They greenlighted 12 scripted shows last year, the most of any major network. The NFL package costs them $950 million a year. Not sure how you come to the conclusion that their spending very little on programming.

  • marlene

    Deception is a great show so sad that it started off to a slow start and it’s been hurting since it premiered low now it’s too late for NBC to make it attractive since it is a serialized drama no one can ctach on that quick to a show atleast it will complete it’s season run and if by miracle it gets saved I will love NBC wish this show could have aired with the voice as it’s lead in NBC might have had a Scandal type hit on their hands !!

  • tvwatcher


    Correct me if i am wrong but their Fall lineup was done when NBC was still under GE well before Comcast took controlling ownership. Yes the NFL package is expensive but SNF is most profitable nfl programming (expect much heavier bidding war next time around).

  • Tommy Mickens

    Community should really be as “likely renewal” but I guess that wouldn’t get as many views…

    I mean, it’s obvious that despite it’s 1.1, it has better ratings than all the other maybe-renewal/maybe-not sitcoms, and they’re not going to cancel all those sitcoms, and Sony probably will give a deal for one more season and more eps for syndication on top of that. So the show is definitely “likely renewal”. But it’s amazing that Community was always at the bottom of the barrel of renewed sitcoms, and now because of their ratings collapse and the end of The Office, it’s NBC’s #2 sitcom for renewal! LOL.


    Also, The New Normal shouldn’t be “definitely cancelled” but only “more likely cancellation”.

    I agree that at its current ratings it’s in the definite cancellation category, but hasn’t it been scheduled to finish its last episodes with Go On after The Voice? The Voice gave them both a bump in ratings before and presumably will again, which might, in the end, make The New Normal rise up to rival Whitney for the last spot of possible sitcom renewals.

    If all shows predictions were only made by current data, then I’d agree at The New Normal’s definite cancellation designation, but I’ve seen on here other shows’ predictions take into account other factors like this, so it just seems that The New Normal should only be “more likely to be cancelled” until we see its final episodes’ ratings after The Voice.

    Also, just knowing that NBC is still willing to finish The New Normal after The Voice seems like it means NBC wants The New Normal to succeed more than some of the other sitcoms. I mean, from a ratings standpoint, it would seem like NBC should want to put any sitcom BUT The New Normal after The Voice to help one of the other ailing sitcoms with better current ratings than The New Normal. But no, they’re still putting The New Normal there.

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