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.

  • Ray

    Desperate Housewives broke a 3 for its series finale (I believe it was a 3.4) or something like that. For a show as big as DH, it should have been above a 4.0, but oh well, it still did decent for ABC. And if it was still around, it would likely be doing decent as well (1.9-2.5 range)

  • Dan

    @Ted Craig – Actually Castle is more likely to air at 10pm Tuesday if it movs, never 8. And A lot of people have suggested the Grey’s to 8 and Scandal to 9 scenario. And that might honestly not be a bad idea. Thursday at 8 will always be a death slot for ABC so by moving their successful shows up one hour, any drama airing 10pm Thursday would have a better shot at succeeding. Scandal airing at 10pm is a waste of its lead out potential.

    ABC really screwed up this season by not having THe Goldbergs and Trophy Wife air Wednesdays. They had a chance at a compatible successful night and they wasted it on Back in the Game which would have worked better midseason when most kids actually play baseball. And airing Super Fun Night post Modern Family is just like airing Apartment 23 or Hapy Endings in the slot. ABC should have aired Super Fun Night and Mixology Tuesdays then brought BITG and Suburgatory in those slots.

    Oh well there’s always next season.

  • 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?”

    Jan 7, 2014. That info will be in all the posts next week.

    Next Tuesday’s posts will be the last until Jan 7.

  • Fred



    7:00- AFHV-
    8:00- DWTS- 2 Hours- If possible- Better than wasting expensive scripted shows here.
    10:00- Nashville- Loyal fan base should follow it here.


    8:00- OUAT- A bit risky, but should do OK.
    9:00- New family oriented show (fantasy)
    10;00- Castle


    8:00- MAOS
    9:00- New male skewing show (preferably an adventure)
    10:00- New Drama- mass appeal


    8:00- Middle
    8:30- Goldbergs (if renewed, if not new sitcom)
    9:00- Modern
    9:30- Trophy Wife (if renewed, if not new sitcom)
    10:00- Revenge- Back where it belongs


    8:00- Grey’s- This move should help ABC’s death slot
    9:00-Scandal- May become an even bigger monster here.
    10:00- New female drama- same show runners as previous shows.


    8:00- LMS
    8:30- Suburgatory (if renewed, if not a new sitcom)
    9:00-Shark Tank
    10:00- 20/20

  • Ted Craig


    Lots of people have made a lot of stupid suggestions. And as for the “death slot,” are you also expecting Santa to bring your presents this year? Because neither exist.

  • Adam S

    So Sleepy Hollow is the very rare exception that didn’t extend the season beyond 13 episodes AND is being renewed? Is this because they wrote a 13-episode arc and didn’t have a way to extend it? Something more complicated?

    Not arguing against the “de facto” cancelled for BITG just curious about a clear exception to the rule.

  • Sleepy

    Scandal sometimes airs a content advisory…or at least they did this week. Same with blacklist. Don’t those shows need to air at 10?

  • Scooter

    I think abc should play with moving Wednesday comedies…I know they never will, but still. Comedies would be good Tuesday. counter programming to the older skewing cbs crime fare, would eat the fox comedies for lunch, and modern family would more than hold it’s own against the voice. Then you free up Wednesday for male centric fare like shield..which doesn’t jive well on Tuesday with the procedural competition or rest of the abc lineup. You can’t go all in on male centric programming on Monday and to a lesser extent Thursday because of football. I just think that the comedies could survive on another night and hold their own

  • Fred

    Yes Scandal is a bit too mature for 9:00. But ABC should make the bold move. They’ll get some backlash early in the season then all will be forgotten . Especially if Scandal grows its audience . But AbC will need to find a suitable 10:00 drama replacement . Not gonna be that easy, but hopefully most of Scandal’s fans will stick around for a good 10:00 PM show .

  • Fred

    @Ted Craig

    True there is no such thing as a Death Slot. But you have to admit ABC, NBC and now FOX are having a very tough time Thursday 8-9. CBS is mostly to blame, and the right show could turn things around . That’s why I suggest Grey’s., while it still has some life left in it. I know Grey’s should air later but…..z

  • Ray

    2014 – 2015 Fall & Spring Broadcast Season

    8:00 — Dancing with the Stars / The Bachelor
    10:00 – New Drama

    8:00 — Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    9:00 — New Drama
    10:00 – Castle

    8:00 — The Middle
    8:30 — Suburgatory / 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 / New Comedy
    9:00 — Shark Tank
    10:00 – 20/20

    8:00 — Once Upon a Time
    9:00 — Resurrection / New Drama
    10:00 – Revenge

  • Brad


    Please post your 2016-2017 schedule next.

  • Devin

    2014 – 2015 Fall & Spring Broadcast Season

    8:00 -Dancing with the Stars / The Bachelor
    10:00 -Nashville

    8:00 – Once Upon a Time/Wonderland
    9:00 -New Female Drama

    8:00 – Last Man Standing
    8:30 – The Goldbergs
    9:00 – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    10:00 -Resurrection or New Male Drama

    8:00 -The Middle
    8:30 – Suburgatory
    9:00 – Modern Family
    9:30 – Trophy Wife
    10:00 -Revenge

    8:00 – New Female Drama
    9:00 – Grey’s Anatomy
    10:00 – Scandal

    8:00 – The Taste/Reality
    9:00 – Shark Tank
    10:00 – 20/20

  • Dan

    @ Fred & Ted Craig – Its a death slot for all new shows. If DWTS, Grey’s, Castle, Modern Family, even Shark Tank or any established show moved to Thursday at 8, it would have a chance but any new show airing THursdays at 8 will flop. Lets check the list of failures since Ugly Betty moved from the slot.

    Thursday 8pm Flops
    Samantha Who? / In the Motherhood
    The Deep End
    My Generation
    Charlie’s Angels
    Last Resort
    Zero Hour
    OUAT Wonderland

    This is undoubtedly the worst slot for ABC, they have Grey’s and Scandal at 9 & 10 yet they cant seem to find a starter for the night. Peanuts Specials and Wipeout seem to work best to fill the gap but ABC really needs a good drama to start the night.

    Sunday 10pm
    Pan Am
    666 Park Avenue
    Red Widow

    Ever since Brothers & Sisters was cancelled in 2011, ABC has had trouble with this slot too. To be fair most shows airing 10pm sundays (especially on CBS, were low rated. Matters were made worse when DH ended and Revenge anchored 9pm. Maybe with Revenge moving to 10pm, Resurrection has a chance at 9 but I doubt it.

    Tuesday at 10
    Eli Stone
    The Forgotten
    Detroit 1-8-7
    Lucky 7

    Private Practice dropped in its final season in that slot and Body of Proof did the best in that slot but not good enough apparently. My guess is Killer Women & Mind Games will do just as worse.

    There are such things as Death Slots, and for these 3 ABC slots, it seems every season 2 dramas will share the slot Fall & Winter/ Spring and both will fail. A new show has yet to succeed in any of these slots for ABC.

  • JJF

    But death slots can be broken. Wasn’t Mondays @ 10 a death slot for ABC for a long time? I know several shows died there. Then ABC premiered Castle and broke the curse. It only takes the right show.

  • Ted Craig

    There is no such thing as a death slot. Please, will somebody explain IN DETAIL why 8 at Thursday is a “death slot.” Gypsy curse? Because it ain’t the competition. Oh, I know, “What do you mean? What about The Big Bang Theory?” Yes, and what about the fact the rest of that hour consists of The Millers, MBC’s weak comedies and The X Factor. Really, ABC can’t beat those with a new show? Let’s look at shows ABc has scheduled there since 2009-2010:
    Flash Forward, My Generation, Charlie’s Angels, Last Resort, OUATIW.

    Something tells me it’s the shows, not the slot.

  • Brandy

    I hope Nashville gets renewed.Thats my only abc bubble show(Betrayals cancelled & Wonderland will be soon too).OUAT!Revenge,Scandal are safe

  • CLE

    One thing is sure that next season if Nashville is renewed, it will be moved out of wednesday 10pm slot…

  • CLE

    This year’s ABC drama slate is really weak only potential winners were Shield, OUAT in wonderland & Ressurection and all others just flops, last season’s drama slate was even better than this as Last Resort, 666 park avenue & Nashville was good pilots… Why did ABC pass the Big thunder pilot and Murder in Manhattan…

  • HeadlessHorseman

    Big Thunder definitely would have been a better pick up than Lucky 7. It sounded pretty good actually. Since it was based on the Disney ride and ABC is owned by Disney, I thought Big Thunder was lock. Oh well.

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