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.

  • Al

    The Neighbors – will canceled. ABC has canceled Better with You in 2011 with same ratings.

    Nashville – will renewed as “save face”.

    How to Live with Your Parents – looks not good, but Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett is great comedic actors, maybe it will renewed like Happy Endings in 2011.

    4 new dramas and one comedy in fall, 3 dramas and Once spin-off miniseries in mid-season.

    My choice for fall dramas:

    Westside – big ABC-type soap, like Dynasty, not Revenge. Nashville not hit and ABC loves soaps.

    S.H.I.E.L.D. – from Marvel’s franchise. Sounds as hit (strong demos in early episodes, will fall in mid-season and canceled after one or 2 seasons)

    Murder in Manhattan – another female procedural like Castle, will gets big audience and old demos.

    Gothica – Once-type show. Maybe will big like Once, or flop like 666.

  • Anthony Powell

    My schedule for ABC
    8p Dancing with the stars
    10p castle
    9pDancing with the stars results
    10pnew drama
    8p The Middle
    830p The neighbors
    9p modern family
    930p how to live with your parents..
    10p new drama
    8p splash or wipeout
    9p gregs anatomy
    10p scandal
    8p last man standing
    830p new sitcom
    9p shark tank
    10p 20-20
    8p sports
    7p afhv
    8p once upon a time
    9p revenge
    10p nashville

    comments are welcome

  • Fred


    BIG THUNDER (based on the Disney theme park ride) is being billed as a family adventure . I doubt ABC will be airing it at 10:00.
    This genre is more suitable for an earlier slot. I originally thought Sunday at 7:00 preceding OUAT , returning the Wonderful World of Disney hour. But ABC is unlikely going to move the very profitable AFHV.

    Not going to be easy for ABC to find proper slots for new shows because of the probability of too many middling performing renewed shows.

    If ABC does renew Malibu Country, Neighbors, Body of Proof and Nashville, there will be very little room left. Unless ABC reduces the airtime for DWTS. Highly unlikely indeed.

  • HAPPY!

    Totally agree. The only hope for a show like that is DVR. I couldn’t find a proper slot for BIG THUNDER, and I think SHIELD should get the 9 o’clock slot because it is more important to the ressurection of ABC.

  • Al


    Big Thunder just Canadian-filmed show. Cast looks bad, not big names, only z-list actors. I think that pilot not looking forward for ABC with this cast. Also show sets in 19th-century not was hits since 1970’s.

  • omabin

    @Fred and Happy,

    As much as I wish/hope/pray that ABC moves the serialized dramas out of Sundays and put DWTS in there, I don’t think it will happen, at least not for OUAT (there is some chance, albeit small, for Revenge, but I think it will end up at 10).

    I think ABC will probably do something like OUAT/Big Thunder and Revenge. I also think they will put Shield on the Thursday at 8 timeslot as much as I don’t want it, and I think they will keep Tuesdays practically as they are… I just don’t know where are they putting their 3rd new drama because I really believe they will have BoP on the fall schedule. Maybe, but this is a big maybe, they let go the idea of comedies on tuesdays, but I don’t think they are ready for defeat yet.

    This is a schedule that I think it is likely for them (note: [b]it is not a schedule I wish to happen at all, it is just a likely one[/b])

    Once Upon a Time
    Big Thunder


    New Comedy or New Drama
    The Neighbours or New Drama
    DWTS Results
    Body of Proof

    Modern Family
    New Comedy

    Grey’s Anatomy

    Last Man Standing
    Malibu Country
    Shark Tank

  • Marc

    Why would you do half seasons of LMS/MC then half of Sub/TN on FRI unless you knew the latter could pull the 1.4-1.5 for the hour? TN pulls in a 1.4 on a much better night. Look how far HE fell when moved.

  • Fred

    ABC FALL 2013:


    BACHELOR-8:00 2hrs

    Bachelor skews fairly young and is likely to be competive vs NFL and TWD. Also provides a solid lead in for Nashville.


    NEW SHOW- 10:00

    Time for DWTS to promote something new, while it still has the abiltiy.


    NBW SHOW- S.H.I.E.L.D.
    NEW SHOW-10:00

    Would love to get rid of the lower rated results show to free up more hours. The show is so padded alreay, they could easily announce results during the very next performance show.Just change the structure a bit. Also Castle deserves the earlier time slot. Might even help a new drama get off the ground.



    SUBURGATORY and NEIGHBORS might work better on low expectation Friday. Would like to see ABC try out some new sitcoms here while MIDDLE and MODERN are still potent enough. Time is running out. Also REVENGE should benefit here. Far less competitive than Sunday at 9:00!



    The proven and very stable SHARK TANK should provide better ratings than the countless expensive failures of the past. Plus its so cheap to produce it doesn’t really need the ratings of a new scripted show.



    My first choice was to go all unscripted here. However this sitcom block has a very strong chance of winning the 8;00-10:00 slots. Although not as profitable short term, sitcoms are very lucrative in syndication . The entire night looks like a win for ABC.

    So 5 new shows (4 hours of new programing) Too early to predict Mid-Season and Spring. But most likely ABC will bring back Wife Swap, The Taste, Splash and/or Prime Time. Or develop some new cheap unscripted programs to fill in for the departing first cycle of Bachelor and DWTS. Also, ABC might bring back BOP again later next season.

  • Fred

    Uh oh , forgot my favorite show OUAT.
    I guess Tuesday at 8:00 followed by S.H.I.E.L.D. 9:00 and CASTLE 10:00.

  • tiffany

    Maybe if ABC did not have such long breaks in between each episode more shows would stay on air. But with all the week long, sometimes month long, breaks people lose interest and stop watching. I am so tired of the on for a week and off for 3, on for 2 weeks off for a month schedule.

  • Randy

    It was weird after watching Revenge on Sunday because usually they say when a particular show on ABC will come back, but they didn’t mention anything. It didn’t make much sense to me why they didn’t say nothing. ???

  • Elijah

    looks like at some website called www . smgo . tv you can vote to save don’t trust the b in apt 23, and than you can donate via paypal or something to help fund it….. I’m so confused.
    How is that going to work? And it only needs 5000 votes? Will 5000 people really be able to donate enough to fund the whole show?

  • James


    8 – Reality show
    9 – Once Upon A Time
    10 – Revenge
    ABC can’t maintain three-hour dramas on Sunday for now, and OUAT and Revenge are declining a lot.

    8 – Dancing With The Stars
    10 – Castle

    8 – Reality show
    9 – SHIELD
    10 – Body of Proof
    Cancel the DWTS result show in fall, just to leave room for SHIELD. If SHIELD doesn’t work, ABC can replace it with DWTS result show in spring.

    8 – The Middle
    830 – Suburgatory
    9 – Modern Family
    930 – New sitcom
    10 – New drama
    With limited time slot for sitcoms, Fridays will be the only home for How To Live With Your Parents next season (if renewed). Nashville can stay on the bench for mid-season as ABC has no good time slots for new dramas.

    8 – Reality show
    9 – Grey’s Anatomy
    10 – Scandal
    Keep Scandal in the same time slot until mid-season, and see how other nights perform first.

    8 – Last Man Standing
    830 – Malibu Country / new sitcoms
    9 – Shark Tank / The Neighbors + new sitcoms
    10 – 20/20

  • omabin


    That may actually be a big point in its favour. I would like to see some C3 numbers for that one. I don’t follow DVR numbers that closely, but I get the feeling that it gets a higher bump than usual, so one would think that it also gets a higher than usual bump in C3, as that usually is how it works.

  • Mark Drei

    Though I never wish it to be moved there, I think that The Middle could do well on Fridays. It’s a family friendly show that just seems to fit TGIF. I would also say that if Body of Proof would ever get another season (I doubt it would), they’d put in on Fridays. Shark Tank is doing very well, I expect them to move it to a better slot

  • Tony JJ

    Sometimes I think I should go into television programming/scheduling/advertising/heading a network, I think I could come up with so many different scheduling options specifically for sunday night serialized dramas. It’s not hard. SERIALIZED DRAMAS need to be aired week after week with a big promotional pushed premiere and big promotional pushed finale (whether it’s a midseason finale or an actual season finale). I never know when shows are on anymore.

    But cable’s got the right idea:

    Hyped Premiere: “Oh Sweet! “show name” returns on the (insert date).
    Each week new episode.
    Hyped Midseason finale or Season Finale: “Oh Can’t wait for the spring finale (or whatever) of “show name”.”
    People know their favorite show is on a break now, with usually a different hyped up show premiering the following week it the time slot.

    and repeat.

    I know broadcast networks have gone ages with these schedules, but in this day and age where ratings are hard to come by and networks/studios want CONTENT to sell to netflix, iTunes, syndication. Why not have a show air 10 episodes. Another show air ten episodes. and then the first show continues with another 10 or so episodes. with people being able to catch up on Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, on Demand, etc.

    that makes every set of 10-13 episodes of a show an “event” that people countdown till and anticipate. Imagine if Revenge ended their midseason finale with their tragic death episode. It would’ve returned with so much hype and higher ratings.

    It’s so easy, but just like everything, the experts never understand it.

  • Ultima

    @Tony JJ
    Why not have a show air 10 episodes. Another show air ten episodes. and then the first show continues with another 10 or so episodes.

    That is what NBC did with Revolution and Deception. Remember the endless complaining for four months about that?

    Just because you like watching TV that way doesn’t mean that everyone does or that it is necessarily the best option.

  • Tony JJ

    @Ultima. That’s not necessarily the way I like to watch television I used to always loved watching broadcast shows that were on all season long. My point is that with dwindling ratings and more Internet viewing, networks need to start doing different things if they want their ratings to increase.

  • Becky Kosher

    Please don’t cancel Body of Proof! That show has a great story line & a wonderful cast! We’ve watched Body of Proof from the first episode and DVR each episode so nothing is missed. It does seem that every time ABC has a new program, they cancel it after viewers really have the chance to get interested & enjoy it! Please keep Body of Proof from cancellation!!!

  • KS

    Anyone think maybe if they showed Nashville and Revenge regularly EVERY week instead of ONCE a MONTH, the ratings would be better???

    Doesn’t take a genius ABC…

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