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.

  • HAPPY!

    Sorry I made a mistake on my schedule above
    It should look like this:

    8:00-DWTS: Results/The Bachelor/DWTS: Results
    9:00-Revenge/The Bachelor/Revenge

  • omabin


    That is essentially my schedule. I am in agreement with it. There are a few minor things I would change though:
    – I think they should stick to 4 comedies on Wednesday the entire year, unless one of them totally bombs and needs to be pulled. The block needs stability and this thing of airing originals in a night of repeats is just annoying for the shows.
    – If you want to timeshare Fridays, that is fine, but it would be better to have LMS/MC in the fall and Suburgatory/TN in spring as these pairs are more compatible IMO. In any case, since the goal of friday comedies is basically syndication, I am not sure if this would be worth it. I think the neighbours is too weak for fridays, I would just can it.
    – Betrayal seems an odd fit for Tuesdays from what I’ve see of it, especially considering you have the highly compatible Big Thunder in contention.
    – Regarding Thurdays, I wouldn’t split up the Grey’s/Scandal block. It is now one of the highest rated drama blocks on TV, only behind the NCIS twins. I would either slide them both back an hour, so that Scanda can launch the new thing or simply keep them where they are and put a self starter, female skewing drama at 8 for the sake of stability of schedule (since we are changing so much Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays already)
    – Not sure if there is need to put a filler for Bop at midseason. Wife Swap is likely better used to replace a failed drama elsewhere or to replace a serialized drama that they don’t want to repeat in midseason (like OUAT or Shield). Bop shouldn’t repeat too badly IMO.

  • Esaul

    Still a little too early to guess their fall schedule. But I also don’t see them moving Castle from Monday nights. The shows that have been on for four or more seasons are pretty much staying put, I’d imagine.

  • Fred

    It’s not easy coming up with a suitable schedule for ABC, because:

    1. Too many average rated scripted shows are performing too well to be axed, but not winning their slots. NASHVILLE fits the description perfectly.
    2. DWTS takes up 3 hours and does very well with the overall audience but skews way too old.
    3. BACHELOR takes up 2 hours. Skews younger than DWTS, but still not a massive hit like The Voice or even the now declining Idol.
    4. Newer shows like REVENGE, OUAT and SCANDAL are not performing on the same level as the way past its ratings peak GREY’S ANATOMY.
    5. ABC’s highest rated comedy and scripted show MODERN FAMILY is losing viewers at a rapid pace. MIDDLE is ABC’s second highest rated sitcom and still far behind in the ratings.
    6. One of ABC’s most stable nights is low rated Friday. The sitcoms have been winning the 8:00-9:00 hour but still well under a 2.0.

    So in the end, ABC will most likely leave all of the above shows on the air and remain in 4th place next season. Not much room for new shows.

  • HAPPY!

    Everything you said is so true. I completely agree

  • HV

    The one thing with your schedule is Friday. ABC doesn’t like to start a show the first week of September, which 37 weeks of new episodes requires, unless you plan on the shows going into June or taking only a one week break around Christmas.

  • Tony JJ

    ABC really needs to stop ending comedies early (The Neighbors, Happy Endings, Suburgatory (coming up in April), they force their comedies to air in a slew of repeats and to only be replaced by failures. (We’ll see how “How to live…” does which could do okay, and “Family Tools” which is sure to be DOA!) ABC needs to pick a four comedy block on Wednesday next season and stick with it all season unless one completely arrives dead.

    I also think ABC should go back to trying a comedy after Dancing with the Stars on Mondays. It’s a VERY RISKY move, but with Dancing with the Stars declining, if they have multiple promising comedy pilots, they should air one at 9:30 on Mondays.

  • HAPPY!

    Updated version of my schedule

    8:00-DWTS/The Taste/DWTS
    10:00-Body of Proof (repeats run through award season)

    8:00-DWTS: Results/The Bachelor/DWTS: Results
    9:00-Revenge/The Bachelor/Revenge

    8:00-Once Upon A Time
    9:00-S.H.I.E.L.D (NEW)
    10:00-Big Thunder (NEW)

    8:00-The Middle
    8:30-Bad Management
    9:00-Modern Family
    10:00-Nashville (12 eps)/Gothia (NEW)

    8:00-Grey’s Anatomy
    10:00-Reckless (NEW)

    8:00-Last Man Standing (18 episodes)/Suburgatory (18 episodes)
    8:30-Malibu Country (13 episodes)/Trophy Wife (NEW) (10 episodes)/The Neighbors (13 episodes)
    9:00-Shark Tank

    Extra shows/replacements: Lucky7 (NEW), Betrayal (NEW), Celebrity Wife Swap

  • HAPPY!

    I have 2 ideas on how to fix Friday.
    I guess the shows could start in the normal season (not the 1st week of September), air until Christmas and take a 2 week break, air for another bunch of months, with the shows airing into early June.
    That isn’t ideal, so you could have an episode of each of the comedies air after MF or The Middle or DWTS/The Bachelor (on a special day and time), and if that happened once to each of the shows, with Friday episodes also airing on the same week as the special day episode, the shows could finale end of May. This would also be used to attract to viewers to the TGIF comedy block… But I am getting ahead of myself with this complicated idea.

  • Ultima

    Not much room for new shows.

    Even if ABC renews Nashville, The Neighbors and Malibu Country, they would still be able to premiere four hours of new programming in the fall, the same as this season.

  • Cle

    I would love Thursday’s ABC schedule like this..

    8pm- Greys
    9pm- Scandal
    10pm- Revenge

    It would be a night of ladies… High drama block…

  • Cle

    bt dnt think ABC will move Greys frm 8 to 9…

  • Cle

    sorry.. 9 to 8…

  • tobes

    Just looked at airings for this weekend and saw the episode of Revenge is airing against the finales of the bible and the walking dead. Oh and the premiere of game of thrones. I sense a new series low for Revenge :(

  • Cle

    yh.. Revenge will definitely fall a bit harder this time….

  • omabin


    It is also possible that Body of Proof is renewed, in which case I believe it would get a fall spot since the goal would be syndication. If that was the case and Nashville, Malibu Country and the Neighbours are renewed, assuming HE is canceled, ABC would be looking at just 3 hours of new shows, which seems less than what they are used to do. I don’t follow it that closely, but just on the back of my head, this year they had 4 new hours and last year they had 5.5 new hours. If the season had been a huge success for them, maybe three would be likely, but that is not the case. There is also How to Live with Your Parents waiting in the wings, and I think there is some chance (although maybe not very high judging by the way the MF lead-in has been falling lately) it comes back. I think we will see only 1 out of MC/TN/HTLWYP in the fall schedule (and my guess would be MC for the sake of stability on Fridays) although I would think they would renew one of the other two for spackle purposes. Still, that would be 3.5 new hours, which is still not much for ABC standards, which is why I think people are being too optimistc about Nashville’s chances of renewal… I think it will be renewed yes, but it is not as much of a sure thing as people around here make it look like (and I won’t even begin with the neighbours)

  • aw

    considering the ratings decline because the past 4 weeks (not 3-27-2013) were repeats no wonder the ratings were down. since its new shows hit this past wed night they should climb back up, afterall its almost season finale time.

  • Sal

    If they provided some consistency in airing new episodes, perhaps their viewership wouldn’t be so iffy..

  • Charmed

    Could CD sales help Nashville’s chances?

  • Al


    Nashville gets big DVR numbers.

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