NBC: Guesses On Low Rated Sitcoms Can't Wait Much Longer!

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

Written By

April 23rd, 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- April 21, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Do No Harm* canceled 0.50
Smash canceled 0.64
Animal Practice* canceled 0.66
1600 Penn* :oops: 0.74
Guys With Kids* :oops: 0.81
The New Normal* :cry: :cry: 0.82
Whitney* :| :| :| 0.87
Community :| :| :| 0.88
Go On :| :| :| 0.90
Deception* :oops: 0.91
30 Rock* final season complete 0.93
Grimm (F) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: (renewed 4/26) 1.01
Parenthood* :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: (renewed 4/26) 1.08
Hannibal :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.09
Parks & Recreation :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.14
Law & Order: SVU :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: (renewed 4/26) 1.19
Chicago Fire :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: (renewed 4/26) 1.36
The Office final season 1.41
Revolution :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: (renewed 4/26) 1.63
Up All Night :oops: ?

As we approach the end of the season, the cancellation bear is characteristically confident in most of his predictions (in fact, other than a push on The Mentalist the bear is batting 1.000), but there are plenty he's not confident in.

Low rated NBC sitcoms are a group of likely errors in waiting for the bear. The bear guesses that NBC will renew more sitcoms than just Parks & Recreation, but his individual show guesses are almost certain to produce errors, so he's going to do what most would do. Kick the can down the road!

The road ends for the bear on May 7. All up or down guesses on that day, or your money back!

Hannibal ratings tumbled to a 1.4 last week. If it can hold there (no guess) it will still get renewed. If it goes lower, the cancellation bear will adjust his prediction accordingly.

A note to those in denial, there has been no formal announcement that Smash has been canceled, but when a show is sent to Saturday during its run, it has been canceled. There will be no formal announcement.

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.

  • Connor Murdock

    Heres my NBC Schedule:

    8:00 – The Voice / Midseason: The Biggest Loser
    10:00 – Revolution (24)

    NBC needs to Run re-runs of Revolution and run the show all year. Revamp it with a guest star every week, make it more procedural like and give it a 24 episode order.

    8:00 – The Voice / Midseason: Fashion Star
    9:00 – Hannibal / NEW DRAMA (24)
    10:00 – Grimm (24)

    The Voice and Grimm have solid ratings. Placing Hannibal or a NEW DRAMA in the 9PM Slot is almost assured success so long as the shows remain compelling and well written/acted. Also CBS shows are successful because people watch them over and over. Air them throughout the season September-May with plenty of re-runs. NBC needs to give its strong dramas a chance to stand on their own.

    8:00 – Law and Order: SVU (22-24)
    10:00 – Chicago Fire (24)

    Make it a Dick Wolf night of Police Procedurals. L&O SVU is NBC’s only veteran drama. It should start off the night. On wednesday nights NBC needs to go big or go home. Put faith in its shows and air them all season with reruns and a high new episode order count.

    8:00 – Dateline NBC (2 Hour Edition)
    10:00 – Rock Center with Brian Williams

    NBC should give up Thursdays for the next season. Their is no broadcast news competition on Thursdays so they don’t have to worry about truly competing with BBT (CBS) and GA and Scandal (ABC). Rock Center and Dateline have become staples of NBC primetime. Give news the night to shine, without competition from 20/20 and 60 Minutes.

    8:00 – Go On (13-22) / 8:30 – Community (13-22)
    *Possible Midseason: 8:00 – Whitney (13-22) / 8:30 – The New Normal (13-22)
    9:00 – Parks and Rec (22-24) / 9:30 – About A Boy (22-24) / NEW COMEDY
    10:00 – Parenthood (24)

    With ABC struggling to launch a comedy night on Fridays and no other comedy competition, NBC should jump on this and bring a TGIF of sorts to NBC. Again they need to go big and commit. Go On and Community are stronger comedies but keep Whitney and The New Normal on hold for midseason just in case. Keep new comedy episodes at least 2 every week (from Sept-May) and run plenty of re-runs. And negotiate with Parenthood keep the show running all year with a big episode order.

    Fall: Football
    7:00 – NEW REALITY SERIES / Dateline NBC / Game Show
    8:00 – The Apprentice / Celebrity Apprentice
    9:00 – New Sean Hayes Comedy / 9:30 – New Michael J Fox Comedy
    10:00 – NEW DRAMA

    Obviously NBC will win Sundays in the Fall but how about Spring?
    The Apprentice does best in a 1-hour format. Dont water it down as much and people might watch it again. If NBC wants a challenge they should take on 60 Minutes with a Sunday Dateline NBC edition. If their goal isn’t a commitment to take down CBS’ 60 Minutes they would do better with a new game show or reality program. There will be a lot of talk and excitement over a Sean Hayes and Michael J Fox comedy block on Sunday! Build on it! Promote the heck out of it and make it MUST SEE TV! At 10pm put an low-key yet compelling procedural drama (possibly a Medical Drama with dark/Nurse Jackie-esque undertones) that would appeal to the Adults 18-34 demo. and Women 18-34.

  • Ultima

    @Connor Murdock
    obviously COMMUNITY and GO ON will be renewed. NBC has not gone into a new season with fewer than 3 returning comedies.

    Except in 2004 when they only had Will & Grace and Scrubs.

    Of course, that was because their flagship sitcom had just ended, they were coming off of several seasons of failed freshman shows and they had cut all the way down to only two hours of comedy time. Nothing like their current situation.

  • Fred

    NBC FALL 2013




    THE VOICE-8:00- 2 hours
    NEW SHOW-10:00

    While the Voice is still hot, allow it to help out something new.


    THE VOICE-8:00-1Hour
    NEW SITCOM-9:00

    Same reasoning as Monday, allow it to support 2 new comedies.


    NEW SHOW- 10:00

    REVOLUTION benefited from the Voice glow long enough. Time to see if its fan base will follow it.


    COMMUNITY- Final shortened season for syndication purposes only. New sitcom when its done.
    NEW SITCOM-9:00
    LAW & ORDER SUV-10:00- This solid veteran procedural should perform OK here.



    NBC has no room for 2 news magazines. ROCK CENTER can always return later in season to plug a week slot. Hannibal can return later in season. If NBC decides to renew GO ON or WHITNEY they should bring it back later, new sitcoms should be given a chance first.

    5 hours of new programs.3 new 1 hour shows and 4 new sitcoms. NBC really needs a hit sitcom or 2, even a moderate hit for a change.

  • Ultima

    @Connor Murdock
    8:00 – Dateline NBC (2 Hour Edition)
    10:00 – Rock Center with Brian Williams

    NBC should give up Thursdays for the next season.

    Thursday is the most important night of the week and NBC has already said they will be putting a drama at 10pm next season. There’s absolutely no way they just punt with three hours of newsmagazines.

    The Apprentice does best in a 1-hour format.

    The two one hour episodes being this season’s lowest rated episodes doesn’t seem to support that.

    8:00 – The Apprentice / Celebrity Apprentice

    Do you remember the last time they tried the regular version of The Apprentice?

    9:00 – New Sean Hayes Comedy / 9:30 – New Michael J Fox Comedy

    Their midseason Sunday lineup won’t start until 8 March. It’s going to be hard to fit all 22 episodes of MJF in.

  • awp69

    I really, really hope Hannibal gets renewed. It’s soooo much better than that much hyped The Following.

    It kills me that Whitney will likely get renewed. I honestly think that’s the worst of NBC’s sitcoms. Whitney may be okay as a comedian/writer, but she’s a horrible actress IMO. 1600 Penn was much better and it probably would have fared better on a different night.

  • Ultima

    Apparently, NBC has changed their minds again and Smash will remain at 8pm on Saturday. Except for the series finale, which will be on Sunday, 26 May, 9-11pm.

  • Chris J

    @Ted Craig

    Both Whitney and Up All Night had short second seasons. With Go On being such a wild card for the network I would hope if they renew it they would be smart and only renew it for a shortened season, and pull it if it falters as they’ve done to Up All Night.

    @Guys fan

    Well both of your favorite actors from Guys With Kids have already signed up for 2 new NBC pilots, Undateable and Assistance, both of which seem strong enough to be picked up by the network.

    On another note the lead opposite to Whitney, Chris D’Ella, signed up for an NBC pilot as well this season, which gives me reason to believe Whitney is done.

  • Chris J

    @Connor Murdock

    There is no way NBC abandons sitcoms on Thursday and moves them to Friday. No one watches TV on Fridays as it is now, and NBC would TANK further as a network with a move like that

    As Ultima said Thursdays are extremely important to the network, and to waste it on News Magazines that will rate at 1.0 18-49 opposite competing networks’s programing would be terribly shortsighted.


    As far as 1600 Penn, it had the second best lead in on NBC (The Office) and it still floundered. I doubt changing the night for the show would have changed it’s outcome. It was a terrible premise to begin with.

  • Nick

    What NBC should do for 2013-2014:

    8: The Voice
    10: Believe (new) (12 episodes)

    8: The Voice
    9: Untitled Chicago Fire Spinoff (new) (13 episodes)
    10: Chicago Fire (22 episodes)

    8: Parks & Recreation (22 episodes)
    8:30: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (22 episodes)
    9: Law & Order: SVU (22 episodes)
    10: After Hours (new) (14 episodes; 1 behind The Voice Mon)

    8: Parenthood (22 episodes)
    9: Untitled Michael J. Fox project (new) (23 episodes)
    9:30: Welcome to the Family (new) (13 episodes)
    10: Revolution (13 episodes)

    8: Dateline
    9: Grimm (20 episodes; late premiere)
    10: Dracula (new) (13 episodes; late premiere)

    8: Dracula (R)
    9: Law & Order: SVU (R)
    10: Saturday Night Live (R)

    Sun- (midseason)
    7: Dateline NBC
    8: The Biggest Loser
    10: Wonderland (new)

    Midseason – Crossbones (new) (13 episodes), About a Boy (new) (13 episodes), Assistance (new) (13 episodes)

    Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  • Steve


    Thursday line-up should be:

    GO ON

    That’s 5 shows you can renew and not look too pathetic.

  • Steve

    Why isn’t Celebrity Apprentice on this list???????

  • Chris J


    Interesting ideas. First off every time NBC has moved a comedy to Wednesday it tanked (30 Rock, Up All Night, Whitney, GWK, Animal Practice), so I don’t think moving Parks there would be a good idea. Also Betty White would probably be best held off the schedule and only used if another comedy falters.

    Moving Revolution to Thursday could be very bad for the show. Revolution like Smash is a very expensive show and NBC probably can’t afford for it to flounder like Smash did without the Voice. I think Revolution will lose it’s post Voice slot on Monday, but I think it’ll be put on an easier night like Tuesday versus in NBC’s notorious death-slot. Anyway procedural-style dramas have done better there than serial dramas like Revolution.

    Last point airing “Wonderland” right after ABC’s new for next season “Once Upon a Time: Wonderland”, could either be really good or really bad. I personally think NBC should give up on the costly concept, because most people are going to watch ABC’s interpretation while NBC’s version will probably be seen as a sorry step child.

  • Chris J


    That Thursday lineup will give them record low ratings. Here’s probably what the ratings would look like if NBC went through with a schedule like that:

    GO ON 1.1
    HANNIBAL 1.2

    NBC can’t afford terrible ratings like that on Thursday anymore. Time for them to get new shows on the night (at least in the 9-10pm hour).

  • KJ Styles

    LMAO at Ted posing as the cancellation bear!

  • Nick

    @Chris J

    First off every time NBC has moved a comedy to Wednesday it tanked (30 Rock, Up All Night, Whitney, GWK, Animal Practice), so I don’t think moving Parks there would be a good idea.

    Every single one of those examples was a first season-show. Also, Whitney improved after moving to Wednesdays, so I don’t know what you’re talking about there. Since Parks is a veteran that’s also very steady, it could do well away from the carnage that is Must Not-See TV—I mean Thursday. I don’t think it’ll do nearly as bad as the previous examples.

    Also Betty White would probably be best held off the schedule and only used if another comedy falters.

    Why? When it’s not scheduled stupidly, like it was in January, it does better than all of NBC’s comedies except Parks & Rec and The Office. Why ship a flop there or waste promotion on a new comedy that has a better chance in the post-Olympics halo that’s surely coming next spring?

    Revolution like Smash is a very expensive show and NBC probably can’t afford for it to flounder like Smash did without the Voice.

    By that reasoning, it should be cancelled! However, that’s really a moot point, because a schedule has to focus on the network as a whole, not the show itself. Revolution may only be profitable behind The Voice, but it’s taking up valuable real estate there that could be used to launch a big hit. If NBC cancelled Revolution right now, they’d actually save themselves a lot of pain later on. It is better to move the show just in case it can stand on its own. If that’s not the case, let it die silently, and replace it with a new drama (the slot should be better then with MJF in the anchor slot instead of The Office).

    Anyway procedural-style dramas have done better there than serial dramas like Revolution.

    Where did you pull that from? That statement just seems so random. Let’s have a look at the recent occupants of that slot:

    Prime Suspect (Fall 2011): FLOP (Procedural)
    The Firm (Winter 2012): FLOP (Serial)
    Awake (Spring 2012): FLOP (Serial)
    Rock Center (Fall 2012): FLOP (News)
    Hannibal (Spring 2013): Too soon to tell (Serial)

    It looks to me that they all just flopped. Period. No genre flopped more than another.
    (And by the way, if you’re for some reason thinking of ER, you’ve got issues. The slot has changed so much since then)

    Last point airing “Wonderland” right after ABC’s new for next season “Once Upon a Time: Wonderland”, could either be really good or really bad.

    Yeah, I agree. That might not be such a good idea. I’ll switch it and Crossbones.

  • mam61232

    Bubble Shows that will be renewed: Hannibal(13 episodes next season on Friday), Go ON, Community
    Locks with ?:
    Law & Order SVU Will Dann Florek and Mariska Hargitay come back
    Parenthood: Long running show does it have one more season left or will NBC pull the plug.

    I am not sure how I would rate Whitney I think it has the potential to be renewed over Go On just because it is so cheap to produce

  • Chris J


    Whitney premiered with a 3.2 demo on Thursday and only went down to a 1.9. It’s first airing on Wednesday was a 1.7 and it went down from there… (sources: Entertainment Weekly and TVbytheNumbers). Also 30 Rock was a “Veteran” when it was moved to Wednesday October 2012, and it’s already low ratings collapsed even further. Parks might survive on Wednesday, but I don’t think it would do any better there than on Thursday.

    Why was Betty White’s schedule last January stupid? It held up decent ratings, and I agree that it’ll be renewed.

    And as far as procedurals on Thursday nights, Law and Order SVU repeated better than many of the new serialized programming placed on the night, because it’s easier for viewers to jump in at any time especially on Thursday nights where the lead in is always unpredictable.

  • theCroup

    NBC doesn’t need any face-saving comedy renewals. It pretty much has no comedy face to save. Everyone knows all of the new comedy launches have failed. It’s not a secret.

  • Bliss

    @ Connor

    I think that your schedule is a pretty good line up.

    I disagree about Chicago Fire Spin-off though. Despite Chicago Fire’s success for a freshmen drama (its unrealistic that it will occur for awhile). Some great examples of spin offs include Melrose Place (a spin off from Beverly Hills 90210 – created after 2 seasons), Angel (after 3 seasons of Buffy), Private Practice (after 3 seasons of Grey’s anatomy), Frasier (spin off from Cheers after the series completed- 11 seasons), Saved by the bell: the new class (after 4 seasons of saved by the bell), 90210 (aired 8 years post Beverly Hills 90210 was off air). I could probably list a few more examples, but I think this gets the point.

    One potential spin off is the Originals (after 4 years of the vampire diaries) assuming it makes it to pilot.

    Anyway I think that assuming the Chicago Fire is still great for seasons, I think that the spin off could occur.

    I also think that the sixth gun will also be in the schedule

  • Bliss

    @ nick

    I think that community is going to be renewed that way it can get more syndication money. Its 16 episodes short of a 100.

    I also don’t the Chicago Fire Spin- off will occur and instead in your schedule be the sixth gun.

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