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.

  • Kelby

    The New Normal was really hit or miss. A lot of that show is just stupid and too d..n cheesy at points. Sometimes it really makes me laugh.

  • Jefferson

    NONE of NBC’s new comedies even sound that promising. At best they would be a marginal upgrade in ratings, but they will likely get the same ratings as the current crop of NBC sitcoms. NBC sitcoms are just not mass market anymore. It obviously has NOTHING to do with quality, as Community gets great reviews.

    What they need, is a safe, mass market sitcom led by a relevant and likable cast. 30 Rock had Tina Fey and Baldwin. Parks and Rec had Poehler. Michael J. Fox hasn’t been relevant in 20 years he’s not going to cause people to watch. Whitney? Never heard of her. Matthew Perry has been typecast because of Friends and he was never that likable.

    NBC needs to get Andy Samburg to do a sitcom and I am sure it will the most successful show for them. He’s relevant and likable.

  • Anthony


    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).

    People aren’t just making up an idea that there will be a spin off. NBC is keen on the idea of a spin off for next season. They have commissioned that the season finale of Chicago Fire act as a backdoor pilot for a spin off centered on the Chicago Police Department (similar to how CBS made a backdoor pilot episode of NCIS:LA and CW with the Vampire Diaries/Originals). While YOU personally might not think it is a good idea, it doesn’t mean that the network feels the same. They wouldn’t have ordered that episode if they weren’t seriously considering doing the spin off for the upcoming season. That to me (and most reasonable people) means that there is a high likelihood that the spin off will be picked up, thus why many people have added it to their fantasy schedules for next season.

  • Oliver


    It obviously has NOTHING to do with quality, as Community gets great reviews.

    Not anymore, since they fired the showrunner. More like middling-at-best.

    The show was great in its first three seasons but facing both TBBT and Idol completely killed it.

  • Anthony

    @Chris J

    Also 30 Rock was a “Veteran” when it was moved to Wednesday October 2012, and it’s already low ratings collapsed even further.

    30 Rock didn’t move to Wednesdays in October 2012. It aired ONE episode there (on Halloween I might add), the rest of the season aired on Thursdays.

  • omabin


    1. Even though I want NBC to reduce comedy hours from last fall, you are going too far. You are moving from 8 comedies last fall (10 scheduled, but 8 effectively launched) to 3. That is more than half of a reduction and it won’t happen neither I think it should. NBC will gain more almost for sure from getting a good deal to produce more Community eps for syndication than with OTR. OTR will be a midseason filler again and that is the role it suits it better.

    2. I understand your Revolution reasoning but I think you need something more intermediate. Trowing it to the Thursday at 10 wolves against Scandal and whatever CBS has propped up there (it is their best night of the week at the moment) with two unproven comedies as lead-in is too much. It would collapse. Even qualified hits from last season have showed that they need more support in their sophmore seasons (OUAT, Revenge, New Girl, 2 Broke Girls), so a show that been propped up by a lead-in like the voice all season would collapse if thrown there. I say give it a tuesday spot so it can have an indirect voice lead-in halo effect. Ideally, the bridge between the two would also be a compatible show with it, like Believe (JJ Abrams as well) or even Crossbones or The Sixth Gun.

    3. Parenthood does fine enough Tuesdays at 10pm but I think it would do no better than Community against the likes of BBT and Idol.

  • todd35

    @WoWza I hope TNN isn’t renewed. I have no dought though NBC will push this show for their own agenda.

  • Carmen

    @ Anthony
    Re: your comment on the concept of a Chicago Fire spin-off

    ” That to me (and most reasonable people) means that there is a high likelihood that the spin off will be picked up, thus why many people have added it to their fantasy schedules for next season.”

    I’m a reasonable person and I think it is much too soon to think about a spin off of a show that struggles to reach even a 2.0 demo most of the time.
    Spin offs should be restricted to shows much better received.

    Yes, yes, I know that 2.0 is a great demo for NBC, but they will not build up their scripted audiences overall by striving to emulate low rated shows in comparison to the overall network averages.

    Why do they assume that a spin off of a low marginal show (by industry standards) will be a greater success than its parent? I don’t understand the logic as a “reasonable person”

    With this logic, they (NBC) will stay stuck forever in 1.5 to 2.0 land.

  • Tom K

    Bill, keep it professiona; and the snark to a minimum.

  • Wiye

    Since a lot of people here put out their ideas for an NBC fall lineup, I think I’ll throw in my two cents’ worth. New shows in CAPS.

    7:00 Football Night in America
    8:30 Sunday Night Football

    8:00 The Voice
    10:00 SECRET SERVICE DRAMA (untitled Rand Ravich project)

    8:00 The Voice
    10:00 Revolution

    8:00 MICHAEL J. FOX (untitled)- single cam sitcom
    8:30 HAPPINESS (Sean Hayes)- multi-cam sitcom
    9:00 JOE & JOE & JANE – multi-cam sitcom
    9:30 UNDATEABLE – multi-cam sitcom
    10:00 Chicago Fire

    8:00 THE SIXTH GUN
    9:00 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    10:00 CHICAGO COP DRAMA (untitled Chicago Fire spin-off)

    8:00 BRENDA FOREVER – single-cam sitcom
    8:30 ASSISTANCE – single-cam sitcom
    9:00 Grimm

    8-11 Dateline & Rock Center specials, series encores, movies, sports and other special programming

    Canceled should be: Deception, Go On, The New Normal, Parenthood, Smash, Whitney, Guys with Kids, Community, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, 1600 Penn, The Office, Fashion Star, Ready for Love and Hannibal.

    If NBC is going to establish a credible night of sitcoms again, it’s finally gonna have to give up on Thursday, where sitcoms have been little more than rotting meat on the network for about the last 5 years and especially the last two or three. This leaves only Wednesday where NBC can try to revitalize a full-night comedy slate as, of course, Sunday is all about football, Monday and Tuesday all about The Voice, Thursday needs a complete revamping in a different direction from the one that hasn’t been working for too long now, and Friday shouldn’t go for more than two comedies. The above lineup is the best they can do, none of the other new shows they’ve got in development is of any appeal at all, potential-wise, ratings-wise or otherwise.

  • Tom K

    Sorry, “professional”.

  • Martine

    It seems to me the answer is rather simple. Even if networks lose money, they need to slow down cancellation, and be far more selective about taking on shows in the first place. All you have is a windmill turnaround of show after ahow, and most people have given up on enjoying shows for fear of becoming attached and then being sad when they are cancelled, and not caring, because they have never even heard of half the shows on there. If this keeps going there will be no network tv very soon, so who cares. It may also help if the news stations stopped being terrified of the White House. Most people can’t even distinguish between one network or another. At last HBO has a personality. ABC is the most bland, but seriously, they are all interchangeable. Absolutely no brand loyalty deserved or given.

  • Jan

    I have a general question for someone who knows.

    Do DVR viewings count in the ratings? It seems that I read here once that they do but that On Demand doesn’t because the ads are cut.

    Could somebody just give me a yay or nay on this?

  • Anthony


    I’m a reasonable person and I think it is much too soon to think about a spin off of a show that struggles to reach even a 2.0 demo most of the time.
    Spin offs should be restricted to shows much better received.

    I think you misunderstood my point. I was not trying to say it would be smart of NBC to pick up the spin off. I was merely trying to point out that it is likely to be picked up (spin off’s have a much higher pick up rate than traditional stand alone pilots do). I agree it seems premature to pick up a spin off of this series being that it’s ratings, while solid haven’t been spectacular and also that it hasn’t shown any longevity. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be picked up though, and your nor my feelings change that. The NBC executives opinions are the ones that will determine whether it gets picked up, and they seem to be at the very least moderately interested in it by the fact that they commissioned the spin off pilot.

  • Anthony

    Do DVR viewings count in the ratings? It seems that I read here once that they do but that On Demand doesn’t because the ads are cut.

    Yes DVR viewing does count in the ratings. Any viewing on DVR that is done before 3am is included in the overnight ratings (they are called Live + Same Day viewing). Other ratings include them as well (Live + 3 day; Live + 7 day; etc). Keep in mind though that the point of ratings is to determine how many people are watching the commercials so DVR viewers who skip the commercials, while helping the show ratings, aren’t doing anything for the commercial ratings (which are the ones that REALLY matter to a shows renewal fate).

  • Jan

    Thanks so much for the explanation. I really appreciate it, Anthony!

  • a p garcia

    I wonder why NBC doesn’t air programs from its sister networks that are successful like CBS did several years ago when it aired several episodes of Veronica Mars and, I believe, Dexter. About 20 years ago CBS even aired an episode of All In The Family.

  • Holly

    @a p garcia,

    I wonder why NBC doesn’t air programs from its sister networks that are successful like CBS did several years ago when it aired several episodes of Veronica Mars and, I believe, Dexter.

    CBS airing Veronica Mars (during the summer, btw) wasn’t because VM was successful, it was to try to help VM, and the airings did not fare well. CBS aired one heavily edited episode of Dexter during the strike when they had no originals to air.

    During that same strike NBC tried airing episodes of Psych and Monk (two of USAs most popular shows). The ratings were not very good.

  • Nick

    @Chris J

    I’ll admit I forgot about Whitney. However, you and I are talking about two different things in relation to 30 Rock. I’m talking about when it premiered in 200whatever on Wednesday to very soft ratings but survived. I have no recollection whatsoever of 30 Rock being on Wednesdays this past October, so I’m just a little confused.

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

    It was stupid because they started airing repeats and clip shows at 8 and new shows at 8:30 (abruptly in the middle of the season), making the viewer think that both were repeats and tune into something else. Also, back-to-back episodes are overkill anyway.

    As for Law & Order repeats, they repeat well anywhere they are. I wouldn’t base a statement like that on just those ratings.

  • Chris J


    For some reason I thought 30 Rock was moved to Wednesday last year, but apparently according to @Anthony that wasn’t the case. But it seems you do agree the ratings were softer on Wednesday.

    Honestly Wednesday would seem to be a good day to launch comedies or place current comedies for NBC because although the competition is strong (ABC comedy bloc, American Idol/X-Factor, Survivor) it’s a bit weaker than Thursday. That’s why I’m confused as to why the night has never been strong for NBC comedies, yet dramas are continuing to flourish on Wednesday for them. Maybe if the comedies launched on the night were stronger, but even still they’d be competing head on with ABC’s more established comedy bloc.

    You are correct with Betty White. It’s short 12 episode season could have been scheduled better, but even so, the show is not compatible with Parks (which was your initial placement for it) and would be better as a Friday show (it’s already cheap and holds up great ratings even in repeats), or for the Spring.

    Lastly, the reason L&O repeats well because it’s a show that’s easy to follow and jump in at any episode. That would be better for the Thursday 10pm slot when the shows before it move or get replaced more often than in other time slots.

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