ABC: 'Once Upon A Time In Wonderland' Is Likely To Be Canceled

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

Written By

October 15th, 2013

Click this link for the latest ABC renewal / cancellation information:


Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows by the end of the 2013-14 season in May, 2014. (includes results from September 16-October 13, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Lucky 7* canceled 0.44
The Neighbors (F) :oops: 0.47
Betrayal :oops: 0.52
Last Man Standing (F) :| :| :| 0.60
Trophy Wife :oops: 0.78
Once Upon A Time In Wonderland :cry: :cry: 0.78
Nashville :| :| :| 0.84
Revenge :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 0.88
Back in the Game :| :| :| 0.90
Castle :) :) :) :) 0.96
The Middle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.06
The Goldbergs :) :) :) :) 1.09
Once Upon A Time :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.16
Super Fun Night :) :) :) :) 1.30
Grey's Anatomy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.41
Scandal :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.53
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.66
Modern Family :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.87

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland premiered to a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating on Thursday at 8pm, 23% below the premiere of also canceled Last Resort last season, tapping it as certain to be canceled. The cancellation bear will dine on Alice and friends by the end of the season, maybe sooner.

Back In The Game was moved down to "toss up". Trophy Wife and The Neighbors are now both certain to be canceled. These changes will likely make their way to the post headlines over the next few weeks.

Is the bear feeling nervous about his pre-season call that the ABC syndication gods will demand that  Revenge be renewed for a fourth season? Just a bit. Will the syndication gods have the mojo to save the show if its ratings keep sinking? Stay tuned.

Better to Follow The Bear, Than Be Chased By Him. 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.


  • :oops: - certain to be cancelled by May, 2014
  • :cry: :cry:- more likely to be cancelled than renewed by May, 2014
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2014
  • :) :) :) :) - more likely to be renewed than cancelled by May, 2014
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2014

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 have the Renew / Cancel Index Worked Out In Past Seasons? See all the Renew / Cancel Index predicted renewals and cancellations from recent past television seasons.

  • KJ Styles

    I hope Trophy Wife gets cancelled early so Suburgatory can air in that spot.

    The Neighbors is a bad show and will get cancelled, but I don’t want Suburgatory airing there. It would be bearchow for sure if it does.

    As for OUATIW, I knew it was dead as soon as the fall schedule for ABC was released. ABC needs to stop scheduling new shows against TBBT and just put Grey’s Anatomy Thursdays at 8. Grey’s is aging and it’s audience will follow it regardless so that would solve it’s Thursday 8pm deathslot issue. It won’t beat TBBT, but it will do well enough in that spot to stay on the air, and would also provide a good lead in for a new show, or they can move Scandal to 9pm and it’d be an even bigger powerhouse.

  • Mori

    I for one think ABC will work with this show because its theirs. With any hope they will more this show from Thursday. It just doesn’t fit with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.

  • nexttodads

    queeneeuq+troll=Goldbergs PR Flack

  • FRED

    The OUAT WONDERLAND pilot was well acted and produced, however it did seem a bit juvenile. That’s why SUNDAY at 7 preceding the more violent original might be ideal.
    ABC can’t seem to find suitable companions for The Middle and Modern. For now shuffling the best of the new sitcoms they have now is the best idea. Unless ABC has better sitcoms up its sleeve.

  • jenna

    I love The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife and I think they need to be saved but if Super Fun Night and Back in the Game are out I wouldn’t be so heart broken..

  • Spencer

    Just wondering…why don’t TV networks put their a well-established show in one of their so-called ‘death slots’? (like 8 on thursdays on ABC). I mean, if they tried many new shows and they all fail, how bad could moving a well-established show with a decent fan base be? I mean…it should keep most of its audience. That would make sense to me… Also Sundays at 10 on ABC:(Pan Am, GCB, 666, Red Widow, Betryal, The Gates (in the summer) ). I mean if that many shows die in one time slot something needs to change instead of just putting new shows there to eventually die.

  • JJF

    ^^^^CBS did just that this year by moving POI to Tuesday @ 10PM. It’s not exactly working out for them. ;) lol Although the show might be stabler than the failed dramas, it’s lost a lot of the momentum it had in it’s old slot.

    I think the only thing you need to break a death slot is a good show. Death slots seem to come not from exceptionally bad timeslots, but rather the fact that networks premiere so many flops year after year. Monday @ 10PM was like this for ABC for a few years if I remember correctly. But then Castle came along and has held the slot for over 5 seasons.

  • David Howell

    Maybe the Thursday 8pm solution for next season is a Thursday lineup of Grey’s / Scandal / new drama? Scandal is the biggest 10pm show on TV now that Blacklist and Duck Dynasty are fading, and clearly deserves the higher-HUT hour; Grey’s is fading out but is good counterprogramming to TBBT (more overlap with TVD and the Fox singing shows, but it’s destroyed Glee already); and the new drama would get a fantastic lead-in.

    Would need the right new drama to pull that off, though.

  • Matt M.

    If Revenge can stay in the 1.6-2.2 vicinity, it should be safe. I expect it to tick up a few tenths to maybe about a 1.8 or 1.9 next week. Really hope for it to find its way back to low 2’s and 7 million viewers by Spring. I guess we shall see…

    I think SHIELD as finally stabilized in the 3.0 range. If it drops again, it will only be a tenth or two. BUT, I fully expect it to tick up this week.

    Castle is completely safe. It is very stable and steady in the 18-49 demo and it is ABC’s most-watched scripted program (that must mean something to ABC.) I think ABC will give Castle a 2-season renewal at the end of this season.

    Scandal is an absolute powerhouse. I also expect it to tick up this week and probably settle in the 3.0-3.3 range for the rest of the season. It’s demo ratings are better than both parenthood and elementary combined. It has become Thursdays #1 Drama and #2 show overall.

    Greys is also rather stable and safe. For being in its 10th season and still being able to garner 9 million viewers and a 3.0 in the demo is rather impressing.

    Last Man Standing is almost definitely safe, due to syndication purposes. I can easily see it being syndicated on networks such as ABCFamily, CMT, and TVLand. It also does OK for a Friday show and has found its audience finally.

    Super Fun Night had a reasonable 2nd week drop this past week. It had MUCH better week 2 retention than The Neighbors had last year in the same slot. I expect one more drop to about a 2.3 this week and for it to finally settle there.

    Back in the Game and Nashville are OK, hopefully both will go up in the coming weeks. ABC really seems to love Nashville, maybe a second season miracle will occur, a la Scandal.

  • Midnight

    I think it is worth noting that the nature of a spin-off of a serialized show is such that ABC probably didn’t expect Wonderland to debut to large numbers. Did anything actually think Wonderland would premiere better than OUAT did this season? That’s already building a 2.6 ceiling whereas something like Last Resort COULD have premiered well north of 3.0. But since it is a spin-off, Wonderland should also have much more stable numbers than the average freshman drama.

    I still think it is one season and done, but if it consistently pulls 1.5 to 17 for the entire season, ABC will be pleased enough. It won’t be renewed, but Wonderland will have managed to somewhat shore up a death slot while generating buzz for the mother show.

  • FRED


    Too risky. ABC wouldn’t want to risk losing the fan base of an established show. But it could work if they try it.

  • Reprise

    @but if it consistently pulls 1.5 to 17 for the entire season, ABC will be pleased enough.

    In no way shape or form would ABC be happy with OUATIW pulling that level of viewership. This isn’t NBC, you can’t premiere with a 1.7 and expect to live a long life on ABC lol

  • aciel

    i really think that they should just end revenge this season because the premise is so thin or if it does indeed get a fourth season then abc should give them like 13 episodes to wrap the show up. i am getting worried about the show and sadly i’m loosing faith due to its recent ratings, i used to be so hopeful that the show will get better but now i’m not so sure, if it keeps sinking i don’t think syndication could even save it. sadly i do agree with shepeard i do see it going to a 1.1 or below in the spring.

  • Ultima

    @The Old Man
    Agree with post & think it will be most interesting if the syndication gods are unable to save Revenge.

    If ABC’s new fall dramas had performed better, I think Revenge might have been an interesting case study. However, with three DOA premieres and Revenge pulling the same numbers as Nashville, it’s very hard to imagine it being canceled at this point. I don’t think there’s any chance it remains in its current timeslot next year though (maybe not even in the spring).

  • Ultima

    Looks like it’s a race between Nashville and Revenge this season.

    Barring a drastic shift in ratings, I don’t think that’s a race Nashville can win. Everything else being equal, Revenge being in its third season has to be good for at least a 20-25% cushion against Nashville.

  • Ultima

    It seems to me that Bill & co. are deliberately slowly increasing renew/cancel index for Castle. And last week the index was .97 and this week is .96 (with an increase in viewership, smh)

    The renew/cancel index is based off of Adults 18-49 ratings; total viewership is completely meaningless when it comes to a show’s renewal prospects.

    Also, the index is based off of final ratings through Sunday. So even though the preliminary ratings for Monday are released before the index, they are not included in it.

    Since Castle was down last week with a 1.9 rating, a small dip in the index was expected.

  • Dan

    If Shield is the only renewed drama from this season and Nashville does better than every cancelled freshman show, I expect ABC to renew Nashville for a full third season along with Grey’s Castle, Scandal, OUAT, and Revenge. That’s what saved Castle in its second and third season. A veteran drama on ABC getting renewed depends relatively on how many hits they have that season. For example 2011-2012 saw 3 breakout dramas but Desperate Housewives was vacating so Body of Proof and Private Practice was renewed for a 13 episode season each that they both shared Tuesday at 10. Last season ABC only had Nashville as a renewal, if it does decently and ABC has nothing else, they will renew it.

    @Shepherd – Actually Thefutoncritic reported on August 4 that ABC said at TCA, OUAT Wonderland only has 13 episodes that will air around The Quest which inherits the slot in January. 6 episodes of OUAT Wonderland will air this fall and the remaining 7 will air in Spring. It probably wont get a second season but it will likely air all 13 eps.

    Also I don’t think Nashville and Revenge are competing against each other. If anything Revenge is definitely getting a fourth season and Nashville will probably get a third. Syndication will save Revenge.

    @KJ Styles – I hope Suburgatory replaces Back in the Game rather than Neighbors. Suburgatory will die on Fridays.

    The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife while lower rated then Back in the Game and Super Fun Night are in better shape because they are doing better than the Happy Endings/Apartment 23 combo that aired at 9 and 9:30 last season.

    However Back in the Game is doing worse at 8:30 then The Neighbors did last year. The retention is worse too, it should be getting at least a 2.0 in the hour and their is less competition than Tuesdays at 9. Same with Super Fun Night, it keeps dropping and squandering the Modern Family lead in, Suburgatory did better post Modern Family, Happy Endings did too.

    @Spencer – What well established show could ABC put at 8 on Thursdays? OUAT in Wonderland was a good idea but airing Shield in that slot and keeping the DWTS results show was safer. Also ABC should have moved Nashville to Sundays at 10, but its too late now.

  • Ultima

    GREY’s- 9:00

    While I think it’s an interesting idea to pair up Wonderland and Once Upon a Time like that (instead of the usual 8p/9p), I don’t think Sunday 7pm is a viable timeslot for scripted programming.

    Remember, the networks were bailing out of that timeslot before they were bailing out of Saturday! Granted, part of that was due to the issues created by sports overruns (ABC used to have NASCAR there and NBC had NBA basketball), so it might actually be more viable now than it was 10-15 years ago, but it’s still a huge risk.

    In any case, I think the ship has sailed on Wonderland. If ABC was going to pair it with Once Upon a Time, they would have done so out of the gate.

    Also, there’s no chance of Grey’s Anatomy moving to Sunday this season. I could see a swap with Scandal (probably only for a week, but maybe more), but that’s it.


    Sanity! Thank you.

    NEW DRAMA-9-ABC should just give up on sitcoms here

    I agree. Even CBS is barely pulling off four hours of comedy; FOX and ABC are making fools of themselves.


    I understand the urge to want to bail on a difficult timeslot, but it’s Thursday and ABC has two hit dramas on the night. There’s nothing stopping them from getting a show to work in that timeslot except bad decisions.

    I would like to see AFHV return to Friday at 8pm. It was very successful there when it was un-canceled and AFHV, Shark Tank, 20/20 would be a very solid, relatively cheap, long-term line-up for Friday nights.

    All that said, don’t expect any significant changes to ABC’s schedule until midseason. Suburgatory might be back soon and repeats may be replacing underperforming dramas (i.e. Betrayal), but that’s probably it.

  • Ultima

    why don’t TV networks put their a well-established show in one of their so-called ‘death slots’?

    They do; some of the more notable examples are CBS moving Survivor and CSI against NBC’s MustSeeTV; ABC moving Grey’s Anatomy against CSI; CBS moving Survivor after a decade to fix their broken Wednesday 8pm timeslot.

    However, most of the time, you don’t want to throw your hit shows into the meat-grinder unless you’re convinced that you’re going to come out on top.

    Also, there aren’t that many death slots on TV, some people here just like to use the term excessively. ;)

  • aciel

    they really need to move revenge out of that timeslot pronto, its just not the type of that could handle stiff competition. perhaps they should move revenge back to wendesdays at 10 and put scandal on the sunday 9 pm timeslot because its a stronger show and i’m pretty sure it could stiff competition and cancel betrayal and put nashville on its timeslot. this is the only way that both nashville and revenge benefit in their ratings. nashville will have a huge lead in from scandal and revenge will pretty much do better without competition.

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