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.

  • Ultima

    @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.

    No, they won’t. They can release their schedule (which will mostly likely having it airing through the summer) and then change it based on the show’s performance.

    They obviously won’t announce that they’re holding episodes for 2014-15 without knowing how the show performs (it could be DOA), but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have no choice but to air all of the remaining episodes during the summer if it hits in May.

  • DM

    From the November 12th CW Cancel/Renew index.
    [i]”Only 13 episodes were ordered for The Carrie Diaries this season, putting it in the same “spring show sophomore” situation as Life Unexpected in 2010. Since no more episodes were ordered yesterday, the bear counts the show as defacto canceled and playing out the string, again, just like Life Unexpected in 2010.

    However, after the CW news was out yesterday many messaged the bear claiming that the CW had announced last spring that there would only be 13 episodes of Carrie this season no matter what. If true, the bear missed that announcement, because he certainly would have noted it as nonsensical at the time. It makes no sense for the CBS/WB syndication factory that is the CW to cap veteran shows at 13 episodes/season. But if that is somehow true, yesterday’s CW announcement wasn’t bad news for the show, just no news for the show, and the bear won’t argue with those who’d say the show is simply certain to be canceled in May, instead of already canceled now.” [/i]

    Betrayal was always meant to be 13 episodes and Resurrection was meant to take over after that. The same scenario for Hostages and Intelligence. If Betrayal and Hostages did well, both would get renewed and air at some point. (See Sleepy Hollow and Under The Dome) Is it possible that they would simply get a backorder instead? Maybe. But since both shows’ ratings were pitiful from the get-go, we will literally never know.

    But Betrayal is far more comparable to Hostages than The Carrie Diaries.

  • Shepherd

    “certain” and “de facto” do not mean the same thing. Not even close. Had you said “cancelled” and “de facto cancelled” meant the same thing; you would at least have an argument. ‘Certain’ implies a prediction, “de facto” describes something that is as close to being fact as something can get, and something that has already occurred.

    I disagree that the CW would have given TCD a back order had it done well. S.1 was short because the show premiered late. At the end of season 1, the CW had the option of renewing TCD for a full season (or a possible full season depending on ratings), but instead decided to renew it as a 13 episode limited season. The moment they decided to renew TCD as a limited order, they were, for all intents and purposes, announcing that S.2 would be the final season; hence “de facto cancellation”. I know TCD fans would like to believe otherwise; but the decision to cancel TCD was made last spring. It never had any shot at a S.3; limited or otherwise.

  • Dan

    Suburgatory is in the same boat as Happy Endings. 3 Seasons, 57 episodes, and not owned by ABC (WB owns Suburgatory, Sony owned HE) However HE’s numbers were way lower than Suburgatorys and the series 8:30 numbers are an improvement on Back in the Game, so with limited comedy success I would say ABC is more likely to renew Suburgatory than cancel it. Other comedies I believe will be renewed are Modern Family, The Middle, The Goldbergs, and Last Man Standing.

    With all of ABC’s drama failures (OUAT Wonderland, Lucky 7, Betrayal, The Assets, Killer Women) and likely Resurrection and Mind Games (unless a miraculous turnaround in tough slots) that gives Nashville a good shot at a third season as well as renewal for AOS and Revenge, Castle, OUAT, Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy.

    There has been talk of Thursday Night Football and believe it or not ABC would be most beneficial to getting it.

  • Shepherd


    I’d hardly describe a show with 13 under its belt as a “veteran”. And BTW, the bear didn’t miss the CW announcement that TCD would only get a limited 13 episode season nor did the bear dismiss it as being “nonsensical”; which is why TCD has been listed as “de facto cancelled” for the entire season.

  • Shepherd


    My mistake, you were right. TCD spent one week listed as “likely cancelled” before being listed as “cancelled”. It was changed to “de facto cancelled” after fans complained that there hadn’t been an official announcement.

  • Bill Gorman

    “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.”

    I admit that the proliferation of “limited” series has stretched my classification system, perhaps to the breaking point.

    Off season re-assessment may be in order.

  • Shepherd


    Off season re-assessment may be in order.

    lol, that would work if there was a way of knowing whether or not a network is being completely truthful when they classify a season as “limited”. ;)

  • Shepherd

    I’ll just go ahead a suggest a (L) next to the title a la the (F) for Friday shows. No charge. :)

  • David Howell

    I’d think NBC would benefit at least as much from Thursday Night Football, as it’d allow them to finally blow up the now-ruined comedy block. But ABC could certainly use it too. Presumably they’d use an ESPN commentary team, even if it wasn’t MNF’s?

  • Tony C

    All the articles that came out last week with Paul Lee seemed to lean towards a positive future for Nashville and a 3rd series actually…

  • Jon

    Why not order 9 more episodes of suburgatory getting it to 66 then renew for a final 22 in the fall

  • Tommy M.

    “All the articles that came out last week with Paul Lee seemed to lean towards a positive future for Nashville and a 3rd series actually…”

    There is no incentive for Paul Lee, or any other network executive, to say anything that negative about their show’s future prospects.

  • Pinkle


    It’s too late in the season for that. Suburgatory would probably run through the summer if they did that, with probably lower ratings.

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    The only show I know that had 3 full seasons and not a 4th was 8 Simple Rules, but the death of John Ritter during season 2 made it a special case. Unless the leading lady on Revenge dies or something similar, it will probably have a season 4. Albeit a possible shortened one. It could be a good bridge from December to March if ABC decodes to do the hiatus thing again. Double pump episodes on Sundays.

  • SJ


    All 13 episodes of Suburgatory have already been shot and the production is shut down for the season, so any kind of back order is out of the question.

    I’ll agree that Suburgatory is a firm bubble now, with 50% chance of renewal and an equal chance of cancellation. ABC would have to stomach two more years of subpar ratings in order to get it to syndication and given how they weren’t even ready to do so with a show they partially owned (Happy Endings, which, admittedly, had lower ratings), things are looking dicey for Suburgatory. I will say that it is in a better position than Nashville however, which, similarly, would have to run for two more seasons in order to get to syndication.


    I think “veteran” is used interchangeably with “not a freshman/first-year show” here.

  • catsrule

    “The only show I know that had 3 full seasons and not a 4th was 8 Simple Rules, but the death of John Ritter during season 2 made it a special case.”

    Hope & Faith premiered a year later than 8 Simple Rules and got robbed of a 4th season. So much for the syndication rule helping it :/

  • catsrule

    I really want Suburgatory to be cancelled so The Middle can get a decent companion show for a change.

  • KJ Styles

    How is 1.06 on the index below ABC’s scripted average?

  • KJ Styles

    @Dan- “There has been talk of Thursday Night Football and believe it or not ABC would be most beneficial to getting it.”

    NFL Network already airs Thursday Night Football, I don’t it leaving there for ABC, especially when they gave Monday Night Football to ESPN in 2005.

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