ABC: 'Suburgatory' Starts As A "Toss Up" To Be Canceled Or Renewed

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

Written By

January 21st, 2014

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 December 30, 2013 - January 19, 2014):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Lucky 7* canceled 0.44
The Assets* canceled 0.48
Betrayal* :oops: 0.49
Killer Women canceled 0.53
The Neighbors (F) :oops: 0.66
Trophy Wife :oops: 0.73
Nashville :| :| :| 0.86
Back in the Game* canceled 0.90
Last Man Standing (F) :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 0.96
Super Fun Night :oops: 1.04
Revenge :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.04
Suburgatory :| :| :| 1.06
The Goldbergs :) :) :) :) 1.16
Castle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.19
The Middle :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.33
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.46
Modern Family :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 2.22
Once Upon A Time In Wonderland :oops:
Once Upon A Time :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Grey's Anatomy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Scandal :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

The cancellation bear has a soft spot for Suburgatory, the only prime time show to feature him in an episode. But if that caused him to favor the show in his predictions, he'd be no better than the TV media who bend over backwards to not mention the reality about shows to not displease their network handlers.

Suburgatory's première rating last week was below the ABC scripted average for the week (which is itself artificially low because their 3 top dramas aren't on the air). At that level, it's no better than a "toss up" for renewal or cancellation.

Will the syndication gods intervene on Suburgatory's behalf? Fans shouldn't count on it. Its episode order situation is exactly the same as that of the now canceled Happy Endings (57 episodes at the end of its 3rd season). To get renewed, it'll need some combination of good ratings (which the bear will watch) and Warner Brothers license fee "flexibility" (which the bear can only guess at) to survive.

Killer Women's planned eight episode run will end after only six episodes. When something like that happens, the show has been canceled.

The bear likes to get shows into the headline ASAP after they première, but the observant will note that the bear has moved The Goldbergs up to "likely to be renewed" and Revenge and Last Man Standing up to "certain to be renewed". They'll make it into the headlines in the coming weeks.

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 2014. However, until new episodes of a show air in 2014, the "old" Fall predictions will stay in the table.

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

  • Jeff (Canada)

    I would say renew Suburgatory for a final (shortened?) season, on Friday nights. Either that or ship it off to ABC Family, like was mentioned in the Bubble Watch this week. Either way at least 4 sitcoms will be renewed (MF, The Middle, LMS and The Goldbergs are all locks). Could ABC have room for 1-2 more? I guess we’ll see.

  • Dahne

    Love those 4 smileys next to The Goldbergs. It is by far my favorite comedy this year. I can laugh, feel nostalgic, and get a good awww moment every episode.

  • DenverDean

    So if Happy Endings was cancelled after 3 seasons (as well as BOP), why is everyone certain REV, which has even less going for it in terms of syndication value, such a certainty? BOP had international sales and HE, as a comedy, should have more value. ABC, unlike CBS, is not a syndication machine (and they are paying for it). Actually, I hope REV finds its way at 10PM on Sundays since they will be able to take more chances and go darker.

  • Common Anomaly

    At ABC’s 2014 Winter Press Tour, not a single mention was made about The Quest. Also, Paul Lee was not asked and he did not confirm if all 13 episodes of Black Box will run through the summer or if they would be held over to the 2014-2015 season, a la Body of Proof. Reminder, 2014 NBA Finals begin on Thursday, June 5, 2014.

    Wipeout was renewed for Season 5 on 06/16/11.
    Wipeout was renewed for Season 6 on 08/29/12.
    Wipeout – Season 6 – 16 episodes – 18-49 demo – 1.08
    Wipeout has not been renewed for Season 7.

    After Once Upon a Time In Wonderland ends on April 3, options for ABC at Thursday 8 PM:
    1. Celebrity Wife Swap – 13 episodes
    2. The Quest
    3. Repeats of Shark Tank, Grey’s Anatomy
    4. Newsmagazine Show – Nightline Primetime, 20/20

  • Bill Gorman

    @DenverDean, Neither HE nor BOP had 3 full seasons in the can when they were canceled, and both had lower relative ratings (HE, far lower) than Revenge does now.

  • Shepherd

    (which is itself artificially low because their 3 top dramas aren’t on the air)

    The first thing I said to myself when I saw AoS with a 1.46 was “man, ABC’s average is certainly low without Scandal and Grays.”

  • Ultima

    @Common Anomaly
    Also, Paul Lee was not asked and he did not confirm if all 13 episodes of Black Box will run through the summer or if they would be held over to the 2014-2015 season

    Obviously, as the answer to that question is dependant on how the show performs and it hasn’t even premiered yet.

  • Ted Craig

    @Jeff (Canada)

    There would be no point to a final shortened season since the show would come up well short of syndication (only 57). Some folks have floated the idea of the show moving to ABC Family. That makes more sense.

  • Tommy M.

    With ABC dragging Revenge to syndication kicking and screaming I don’t think they will have the stomach to drag Nashville there for two more seasons on top of it. I want to see a few more weeks for of ratings for Suburgatory before I make a call on that one.



    Here, so the bear can indeed be patient w/ Suburgatory, though in the end he’ll more than likely add it to his feast

  • abc

    What is the status difference between Betrayal and the Carrie Diaries? Neither got a backorder. I watch neither of those shows but I still find it annoying that TCD doesn’t have one smilie like every other certain to be cancelled show.

  • Common Anomaly


    ABC has announced their last three summer schedules on 03/25/11, 04/05/12, and 03/21/13, respectively. Black Box premieres on 04/24/14. Obviously, ABC will have to delay their 2014 summer schedule announcement if they intend on waiting to see how Black Box performs.

  • Bradley

    Nashville may benefit from the horrendous flops of The Assets, Killer Women, Betrayal, and Lucky 7. That’s at least enough spaces for 3 22 episode dramas or 2 dramas and 2 limited series.

  • Jays

    Abc has fallen apart this year

  • Tommy M.

    @ Bradley,
    “Nashville may benefit from the horrendous flops of The Assets, Killer Women, Betrayal, and Lucky 7. That’s at least enough spaces for 3 22 episode dramas or 2 dramas and 2 limited series.”

    Killer Women and Lucky 7 both had the same timeslot so there’s one less hour in that for the fall. ABC will need to make a decision on whether or not they are prepared to deal with poor ratings for 2 more seasons. Revenge wouldn’t have been renewed if it’s ratings had collapsed last season like they did this season.

  • Shepherd


    They have TCD listed as “de facto cancelled”. Cancelled shows don’t get smiley faces. Even though Betrayal’s cancellation is all but certain, it has yet to be confirmed so it still has one :oops: listed.

  • DM

    There really isn’t a difference, neither show will be back next season so the smileys or lack thereof next to their titles are virtually meaningless.

    I guess officially the difference is that Betrayal was always pitched as a limited series – Resurrection was always set to take over in the Spring. If Betrayal was renewed it wouldn’t get a backorder, it would get a second season to air next Fall. Since its ratings were terrible, it will just be cancelled instead. It is the same situation as Hostages on CBS.

    Despite what many fans believe, The Carrie Diaries was never meant to be a limited series. It premiered in the Spring, so its first season could not have any more than 13 episodes because there is not enough time. It was renewed for a 13 episode second season to air in the Fall this season. If it had good ratings this season, it would have received a full backorder along with Reign, The Originals, and The Tomorrow People. It didn’t, so it is effectively cancelled. The same exact thing happened on the CW with Life Unexpected in 2010.

  • Tommy M.

    @ DM
    ” If Betrayal was renewed it wouldn’t get a backorder, it would get a second season to air next Fall.”

    I disagree. Had Betrayal done well in the ratings ABC would have ordered a back order, and would have just changed their plans for Resurrection. Not that this matters considering Betrayal didn’t do well, but still ABC isn’t in a position to make a move like that.

  • cc

    Suburgatory along with The Middle and Revenge are the only shows I still tune into abc to see. And GH in the daytime.

  • abc

    Both Betrayal and TCD were announced as limited seasons…but both would have gotten a back order if they had been successful. So there is really no difference and one smiley already means “certain to be cancelled” so why add another status? Then they could as well have 1-6 smiley faces if they really want to differentiate between “certain” and “de facto” which in my book mean the same thing anyway.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures