ABC: Why Is 'Back In The Game' "De facto Canceled"?

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

Written By

December 10th, 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-December 8, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Lucky 7* canceled 0.44
Betrayal :oops: 0.49
The Neighbors (F) :oops: 0.49
Once Upon A Time In Wonderland :oops: 0.55
Last Man Standing (F) :) :) :) :) 0.67
Trophy Wife :oops: 0.70
Revenge :) :) :) :) 0.83
Nashville :| :| :| 0.83
Back in the Game de facto canceled 0.90
The Goldbergs :| :| :| 0.93
Castle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.05
Super Fun Night :oops: 1.08
Once Upon A Time :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.13
The Middle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.14
Grey's Anatomy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.40
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.47
Scandal :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.55
Modern Family :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.95

The cancellation bear is just taking the time to clean up a little unfinished business before his upcoming holiday post next week.

Why is Back In The Game de facto canceled?

When a rookie show, with the typical 13 episode order, does not get any follow on episode order at all, it has been de facto canceled. There will be no more news from ABC about the show (unless you consider its absence from the 2014-15 schedule announced in May "news").

“Why is Super Fun Night certain to be canceled, yet sitting beside a bunch of certain to be renewed shows?”

Super Fun Night's position in the list is determined by its ratings average, which has yet to “catch up” to its recent ratings declines.

However, its prediction is based primarily on the fact that it didn’t receive a full season order. There are very isolated instances of Fall premiere rookie shows without full season orders being renewed for a second season, but it’s not even remotely the way to bet.

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.

  • tjw

    I’d be interested to see the audience breakdowns for Back in the Game and Trophy Wife. Back in the Game has had consistently better ratings (though it also has had the better lead-in) and yet Trophy Wife gets the full-season order over Back in the Game. I wonder if Back in the Game’s focus on a poor family skews its median income audience lower than Trophy Wife, which focuses on a wealthy family.

  • Ted Craig

    I still say SFN deserves the nod over TW.

  • Bradley

    Trophy Wife is an ABC owned show.

    Back in the Game is not.

  • Christian

    Back in the Game was cancelled, not just “de facto cancelled”. One of the cast members even tweeted the news of the cancellation.

  • Dan S

    IF ABC wants both Goldbergs & TW to succeed why keep them on Tues ? I know they’re holding up better then HE & Apt 23 did last season. Personally I can’t understand why they schedule comedies on Tues with a drama leading into them. Scandal would be a good move to put as their tentpole show providing a bigger bump for 10pm shows.

  • Ted Craig

    @Dan S

    And what airs instead at 10 on Thursday that delivers Scandal numbers?

  • Babar

    Everyone knows that no back order means cancellation.

  • abc

    Sandwiching half hour comedies between hour long dramas was ridiculous scheduling. ABC should have placed the comedies at 8, Shield at 9 and other drama at 10.
    At this point, I think it’s best to just cancel low rated Goldbergs/Trophy Wife and just have 3 hour hour long shows next season.

  • Andrew21

    I don’t get why stuoid abc gave full orders to the goldbergs and trophy wife and won’t move them to wednesday…

  • Ted Craig


    Because then they would have incurred promotional costs for two nights.


    BITG defecto canceled is pretty much a given & agree that SFN ratings should soon be catching up

    All in all, ABC looks pretty pathetic

  • Scott M

    For Super Fun Night I don’t think it has that much to go to “catch up” to it’s recent ratings. I do a weighted average and I have Super Fun Night at 1.01. It’s only had 2 episodes where it got below average ratings (last week and a month or so ago when Modern Family was a repeat). The main reason it’s getting cancelled is that you need to do better than average when you have the best lead in.

  • Ultima

    @Bill Gorman
    de facto canceled, airing remaining episodes

    I’m not sure that ABC will be airing all of the episodes during the season (if at all, excluding streaming services). After this week’s episode, there are no more on the schedule and ABC has already filled the 8:30pm timeslot up until the premiere of Suburgatory.

    Might as well just change it to “canceled” in the next update!

  • Fake Me Out

    @Bill Gorman

    I’m either blind and/or too lazy to go looking but just curious, when do you start up the R/C Index 2013-2014 v2.0? First post in January or when the first new episodes begin airing … I assume the second … which then leads me to ask what is the R/C Index holiday publishing schedule?


  • Dan

    Back in the Game will have 3 episodes unaired after the christmas episode airs tomorrow. December 18, 25,and January 1 will have specials and January 8 ABC will double up on SFN.

    Not sure why ABC couldn’t simply just air the 3 remaining episodes Janaury 15, 22 and 29, then premiere Suburgatory February 5. That would have been a better idea because its less repeats at 8:30 in general. As bad as ABC would think BITG would do, repeats would always do worse.

  • Pat

    2014-15 Schedule for ABC Prediction
    7:00 – America’s Funniest Home Videos
    8:00 – Once Upon a Time
    9:00 – New Drama
    10:00 – Revenge
    8:00 – Dancing with the Stars
    10:00 – Nashville (if renewed) or New Drama (if Nashville is cancelled)
    8:00 – Castle
    9:00 – Marvel’s Agents of Shield
    10:00 – New Drama
    8:00 – The Middle
    8:30 – New Comedy
    9:00 – Modern Family
    9:30 – New Comedy
    10:00 – New Drama
    8:00 – Grey’s Anatomy
    9:00 – Scandal
    10:00 – New Drama
    8:00 – Last Man Standing
    8:30 – The Goldbergs (if renewed)
    9:00 – Shark Tank
    10:00 – 20/20

  • Ted Craig


    Unlikely they move Castle to 8 or Scandal to 9.

  • Robert Scorpio

    I love the Goldbergs…been funnier recently than Big Bang Theory IMO…

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    I think they should make next year Grey’s Anatomy’s final season. Yes, it still is very renewable (probably could go another 3 years), but I think they should get out before ratings get too bad. It had a 2.4 last week I believe while Scandal had a 3. Announce a final season next year and there will be a nice bounce upward for the final season and could probably break 4 maybe 5 for the series finale. If it goes too much longer it will be like House or Desperate Housewives when they couldn’t break a three for the last episode.

  • CKO

    @Patrick Ausgewahlt

    Creatively, yes, that would be a good idea, but from a business perspective, it obviously makes more sense to keep Grey’s going for as long as it is profitable. It is currently in the top 5 most profitable dramas, there’s no way ABC are going to let Grey’s go when it’s still making a lot of money. Desperate Housewives’ final season ratings were by no means a complete disaster, especially when you consider how well Revenge has been doing in that timeslot.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures