ABC: Does 'Nashville's' Ratings Decline Spell Cancellation?

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

Written By

March 26th, 2013

Click this link for the latest ABC 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 24, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Don't Trust the B in Apt 23* canceled 0.50
Last Resort* canceled 0.57
Zero Hour* canceled 0.58
Happy Endings :oops: 0.61
Red Widow :oops: 0.62
Private Practice* canceled 0.63
Malibu Country (F) :| :| :| 0.65
Body Of Proof :cry: :cry: 0.66
666 Park Avenue* canceled 0.68
Last Man Standing (F) :) :) :) :) 0.74
The Neighbors :) :) :) :) 0.89
Revenge :) :) :) :) 0.96
Nashville :) :) :) :) 0.97
Suburgatory :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.05
Castle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.06
The Middle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.16
Once Upon A Time :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.25
Scandal :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.40
Grey's Anatomy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.52
Modern Family :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 2.10

The cancellation bear has had Nashville predicted as "likely to be renewed" since mid-February, but the show's recent ratings declines have concerned some fans.

What do the numbers say?

Nashville new episode A18-49 ratings since Jan 1: 2.1, 2.2, 1.9, 1.7, 1.8, 1.6

No doubt about it, that's a decline.

But it's all relative.

ABC weekly scripted show new episode faux-average since Jan 1: 1.7, 2.1, 2.0, 2.2, 1.8, 2.1 2.1, 2.1, 1.9, 1.6, 1.6

Also, a decline.

Nashville has averaged 96% of ABC's scripted average since January 1, and 92% Since March 1.

Nearly the same relative rating, and still within the "likely to be renewed" range. Fans can breathe easily. Anti-fans can gnash their teeth.

Note: My "faux" average weights each show the same, regardless of running length, other errors are always possible.

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, the "old" Fall predictions will carry over.

Want to know what the ABC 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 (ex. 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.

  • Cle

    @ Frodo

    Hope like that… :)

  • SJ


    Oh yeah, Sunday’s episode will likely dip to a 1.5-1.6 (Easter, no lead-in, insane cable competition), but it should rise after that.

    Also, I just learned that the final two episodes of the season are entitled Truth, Part I and Truth, Part II. So it’s not just two random episodes thrown together – it’s a planned two-hour finale. :D

  • CH2164

    I die a little inside every time i come on here and see cancelled near apt23 :(

  • C.S.Strowbridge

    Nashville will be renewed, because they sell CDs as well. That revenue isn’t reflected in the ratings above, but it will matter to the network / studio.

  • Brad

    Original episodes of Nashville really shoot up with DVR if I read these correctly. ABC is the worst for new episodes running for a while. Maybe people DVR it because they don’t know when the new ones are on. I really hope it gets renewed

  • Bookworm

    I doubt Revenge is up for a cancellation and it will probably be renewed but giving it a two hour season finale does not look promising to a lower rated show. I’m sure ABC is nowhere near happy with the rating and this might be a chance for them to pick up some steam but since when does a 2-hour finale help a lower rated show? All they do is drop in the half-hours and Revenge can’t afford to see that considering their last 5 episodes are averaging a 1.76. I can’t imagine that a 2 hour finale won’t drop those numbers considering Revenge has been fairly weak in storyline and the viewers have been shedding steadily.

    A shortened Promo doesn’t mean a they are okay with it, to me it means they’d rather put their money towards other things that might have more potential. ABC doesn’t seem to be promoting Revenge as much and to me, that means it has lost a little faith in it. Grey is a promotion of its own, it can get by on name only and Castle has a very high viewership but the demo leans towards the older people and ABC is clearly fine with that.

    Revenge is not a higher rated show nor is the viewership there so to me, ABC just seems to be putting the money elsewhere and letting Revenge sink or swim on its own. Scandal gets a 30-second promo and as of the new year, this is ABC’s second highest rated Drama behind its lead in; and yet with the continued buzz, it seems to be something ABC is constantly promoting. Which is a great thing because we came back from a month hiatus to have a steady demo (2.7) and an increase in audience.

    Revenge has the same drop as OUAT with a far more steeper demo drop and a worrisome viewership drop (3 million). OUAT is in trouble but Revenge is far from safe.

  • Cle


    Yes.. Happy with that.. maybe ABC was planning for a big promotion to get more viewers for Rv8 next season and @ sunday 9pm.. Dnt think they would change th slot, bt i personally want it to move it and pair it with scandal as both dramas are female orientated….

  • Meliwa

    Nashville is a good show, but I am concerned about the stunt cameos of late (the party episode that aired last week included a number of active country music stars, and this week’s episode features Katie Couric). On one hand featuring real country music stars lends authenticity to what they’re doing, on the other hand that can get gimmicky and can become a sign of creative desperation, and I have a feeling the fans of the show will defect when it starts to become too gimmicky.

  • Bookworm

    I don’t see ABC moving Scandal at this point. It has created a stable audience and it has been dominating its time slot. Grey is also not moving since it works well with Scandal and gives ABC reliable numbers for the night. They need to work on the 8pm to create a more steadier night but Wife Swap and Shark Tank have been decent there. The only way I see a Scandal pairing is if they put Revenge in at 8pm and I think that might make the night a little too heavy in terms of drama.

  • Jared

    Nashville had so much promise going into the season but lately the series just hasn’t delivered or lived up to the high expections critics had for it. I watched every episode up until now,mainly because of Hayden but I’m still up in the air about returning when it comes back from its hiatus. Nothing about this show for me is must see.

  • Tommy M.

    Would anyone have ever thought that Scandal would be ABC’s 3rd highest rated scripted show around this time last year? I’m glad it’s doing so well, and I really don’t think ABC will move it. They have bigger fish to fry, and with the content of the show, they really need to keep it in a 10PM timeslot.

  • frodo

    I would never move Scandal on Sunday, that would destroy the show. It would be a similar situation as to what happened with Revenge.

  • Bee

    WAIT. why does futoncritic say nashville is only gonna have 21 episodes this season?! please tell me that’s a mistake :( cus then another 3 week break is coming up. :(

  • Joseph

    The picture accompanying this story shows a teddy bear too cute to be a Cancellation Bear.

  • Dan

    No cancellation for Nashville, ABC has always renewed at least 1 of their new dramas every season and with 4/5 shows flopping right out of the gate, Nashville is this season’s “Save Face” dramas. Previous save face dramas have included, What About Brian, Castle, V, and Body of Proof. Some “Save Face” dramas get cancelled in their second season when ABC finds better series but others survive.

    Dramas Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Castle, and Nashville will most certainly be back.

    Comedies, Modern Family, The Middle, Suburgatory, and Last Man Standing will be back too.

  • Bee

    i’m glad nashville seems to be safe. but i worry about tomorrow. it’ll get a 1.4-1.5 most likely and recovery is hard for scripted shows. but the DVR numbers for the show are great. it got a 1.6 for its last episode with a 1.3 DVR raise. i hope ABC gives the show a chance and keeps it alive/keeps promoting. it tumbled to a 2.0 for episode 2 and just now hit a 1.6 low. so people are sticking with it. it just needs some help to build viewers like scandal did.

    oh and the red widow promotion needs to STOP.

    revenge and OUAT will be back, but what a shame about their drops. revenge will get a 1.4-1.5 next week probably. and if that episode isnt a knockout, the episode following the 1 month break will be another low. damn it. things were working out so well for revenge last year.

  • Melanie P.

    @Jared. I totally agree with everything you just said.

    I have probably said this before, but I am a little surprised given how popular country music is in general with its devoted and loyal fanbase, and all of the hype and promotion it has gotten, that Nashville would be struggling at all. (I think tomorrow the whole cast will be on the View). I think it will be renewed only because the other shows, Zero Hour and Red Widow have tanked, not because Nashville has been a ratings smash. I have enjoyed the episodes I have seen, but like Jared said, I don’t feel it is must see for me. The music is great, but the storylines run into the same ole same ole. There are other shows that get my attention more and I would rather tune into every week. I just hope that if it gets renewed, it doesn’t turn into horrible ratings slump like Smash has this season. Nope I don’t think moving it to Monday’s behind DWTS would help it either. I feel if people really want to watch and be interested, they are going to watch regardless of which night it is on.

  • SJ


    Both Once Upon a Time and Revenge are safe, but they’re also both in trouble in a way…

    Revenge has the same drop as OUAT with a far more steeper demo drop and a worrisome viewership drop


    Once Upon a Time: season premiere: 3.9, latest episode: 2.2. Demo loss: 1.7

    Revenge: season premiere: 3.2, latest episode: 1.8. Demo loss: 1.4

    Also, in terms of recovery after recent lows, Revenge went as low as 1.4 and as high as 2.0, Once is just stuck in the 2.2-2.3 territory. More worrisome still is the fact that Once was fairly immune to big events last year, and was able to recover after hitting a low against the Grammys (although it went on to hit a new low in mid-April, but that was after a big hiatus).

    I’m not trying to rag on Once Upon a Time here – I’m a fan of both Sunday dramas – but it was the show that was supposed to anchor Sundays and be their next big hit. The possibility of it dropping below a 2.0 rating before the season is over must be terrifying to ABC.

    I’m also not saying that Revenge’s numbers are good. They’re OK. On the lower side of OK, actually. But me saying that ABC is okay with them doesn’t mean that the ratings are good, but that ABC realizes why they’re this low – because of how they choose to broadcast it this season. In other words, they inflicted these ratings upon it and are now getting what they expected when they scheduled it against the Grammys, Golden Globes etc.

    You may not see the benefits of a two-hour finale, but I can’t see how it could hurt it. It’s bound to be ABC’s highest-rated Sunday 10pm telecast excluding special events. I’m counting on it beating the 2.1 rating that 666 Park Avenue premiered to. And dramas that air two hour finales from 9-11 tend to grow, not drop, in the second hour.

  • chrisss

    rv8 is a pretty ridiculous abbreviation for Revenge. R-vate…

  • yusei fudo

    If Malibu Country gets renewed will we see some Friday comedy expansion?

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