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.

  • Common Anomaly

    “They can release their schedule (which will mostly likely having it airing through the summer)”

    ABC announced their 2011 summer schedule on 03/25/11, with Body of Proof not included on the summer schedule, even though they knew they would have 4 episodes left in the can by the end of the 2010-2011 season. Combat Hospital, formerly The Hot Zone, was scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, 6/21/11 at 10 PM. Body of Proof premiered on Tuesday, 03/29/11 at 10 PM. Your statement that Black Box will most likely be on the ABC 2014 Summer Schedule announcement and “which will mostly likely having it air through the summer” is pure conjecture on your part and not based on past history of ABC dramas with leftover episodes.

    “They obviously won’t announce that they’re holding episodes for 2014-15 without knowing how the show performs”

    Obviously, Body of Proof is proof that ABC would announce that they are holding episodes for 2011-2012 without knowing how the show performs.

  • Brandy

    CD was announced as a limited series.Pedowitz first said he wanted to try cable length seasons when he picked up CD & Cult.he said then that Ringer should’ve been a 13 episodes to avoid the hiatuses that hurt it ratings and draw the story out too long.When he spoke about CD season two episode order ,he said “we may or may not go more than 13 this time.We looked at it as a limited series last season too”.deadline reported CW eyes CD & 100 for limited runs and in a separate article announcing CD,Nikita’s renewal “Carries renewal is atuomatically a 13 episode order as it was a Midseason show.”Plus,Pedowitz knew full well picking up Seed,Famous in 12Weeks,masters of Illusion,Star-Crossed,The 100,Reign,The Originals,Tommorrow People plus having to air Nikita’s final six episodes that there wouldnt be enough room on the schedule for CD to have a full season.

  • Brandy

    Also, those saying if CD or Betrayal would’ve been sucsessful ,they would’ve gotten backorders.No they wouldn’t.First abc and CW both have too Midseason shows to have enough room.Second,Sleepy Hollow was billed as a limited series and was a hit but didn’t get a backorder and it’s second season episode order is 13 for now.Under the Dome was a hit but didn’t get a backorder( though that was a summer show).

  • Ultima

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

    Because the index uses ABC’s scripted average since 2 January, which is lower than ABC’s scripted average for last week.

  • Ultima

    @KJ Styles
    NFL Network already airs Thursday Night Football, I don’t it leaving there for ABC

    Nevertheless, one of the bids for next season’s Thursday Night Football package was for ABC.

    especially when they gave Monday Night Football to ESPN in 2005.

    Both CBS and NBC weren’t too happy without football and ended up having to get it back on their networks after only a few years each.

    Disney won’t try to move Monday Night Football back to ABC, because it’s far more valuable to them on ESPN, but that doesn’t mean they won’t benefit by having the NFL back on ABC.

  • Shepherd

    @KJ Styles

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

    Can you please clarify your question. Who said that 1.06 is below the average?

  • Shepherd

    @KJ Styles

    NM. I see in the text. At any rate; Bill says “below ABC’s scripted average for the week” not “below ABC’s scripted average.

    The text isn’t even in red; what gives? ;)

  • Ultima

    @Common Anomaly
    Obviously, Body of Proof is proof that ABC would announce that they are holding episodes for 2011-2012 without knowing how the show performs.

    Nonsense. If Body of Proof would have had terrible ratings, those episodes would have been burned off or never aired. Just because they released a schedule in March without knowing how the show would perform doesn’t mean they had already decided to renew it and hold episodes (that would be ridiculous).

    Your original comment said nothing about scheduling, just whether or not the episodes would air. ABC has absolutely no idea if The Black Box will air during the 2014-15 season, so they can’t possibly know if they’re going to hold episodes for it or not.

    Given the late start time, it’s reasonable to assume that The Black Box will air through the summer (based on how ABC scheduled its late spring sitcoms last season… speaking of conjecture, way to ignore their most recent scheduling).

    That doesn’t mean that if does amazing during its first four weeks that ABC can’t end the run short at a convienent plot point, order episdoes for next season, bump something and throw it on the fall schedule. These things do happen, schedules aren’t set in stone.

  • SJ

    Guys, 8 Simple Rules is (or was) in syndication. Not sure about Hope & Faith since I don’t know the show. Either way, both shows aired back when the stripped syndication threshold was 100 episodes, not 88. 88 has pretty much only been the norm for the past five years or so.

  • SJ

    I don’t want to talk about football potentially moving to ABC because it’s far, far from a done deal, but as much as it could help ABC in the short run, it’s more likely to hurt it in the long run: so Grey’s and Scandal move to Tuesdays (because, where else would they move realistically?) and the three-hour drama block on ABC competes with the three-hour drama block on CBS. Grey’s and Scandal get weakened. I’m not even sure if SHIELD lives to see a third season.

    Then, football ends in January and ABC is back to square one with their Thursday schedule. And if you’ve been following NBC’s ratings for the past few years, nothing has even remotely brought big ratings on Sunday nights post-football season. I think that new reality singing competition they ordered recently is a safer bet to bring back some eyeballs to the network.

  • Charlie

    it seems comedies on ABC won’t go beyond a season 3 except for The Middle+Modern Family

    how to live and family tools one season

    apartment 23 two seasons

    happy endings three season’s

    what else am i missing? jump in folks….

  • Ultima

    Then, football ends in January and ABC is back to square one with their Thursday schedule.

    Assuming that the all games but simulcast deal isn’t going to fly with the networks, ABC is only looking at getting ~7 Thursday Night Football games.

    They would probably be the first half of the schedule, so Grey’s and Scandal would premiere during November sweeps and be able to run full seaons with virtually no repeats and only breaking for the holidays.

    Also, in comparison to NBC, it’s much easier to get a midseason lineup going on Thursdays than it is on Sundays during the NFL postseason and awards season.

  • Ultima

    it seems comedies on ABC won’t go beyond a season 3 except for The Middle+Modern Family

    Last Man Standing is in its third season and things look very good for a fourth (maybe a fifth if FOX and ABC agree on 100ish episodes).

  • James

    Once Upon A Time
    Grey’s Anatomy
    Sea of Fire (NEW)


    How To Get Away With Murder (NEW)

    Modern Family
    An American Education (NEW)

    Thursday Night Football

    The Quest
    Secrets and Lies (NEW)

    Strange Calls (NEW)
    Shark Tank

  • Dan S

    I’m very pleased to see Goldbergs moved up to likely renewal. Suburgatory is the wild card & could go either way.

  • Dan

    @SJ – My guess is that Suburgatory and Nashville are both in the same position whic is actually good.

    While Subugatory only has 13 episodes and ABC botched syndication for the show by giving it a 13 episode midseason (Same thing that they did with Cougar Town) it is doing better in the ratings than both Happy Endings and Cougar Town did in their third seasons.

    Plus if you look at it this way ABC has more failed or likely to be comedies than likely to be renewed ones.

    Renewal Likely: The Middle, Modern Family, Last Man Standing, The Goldbergs

    Cancellation Likely or Cancelled already: Back in the Game, The Neighbors, Trophy Wife, Super Fun Night, Mixology (Not axed yet but there’s no way ABC will renew this nor that this show will succeed)

    With 4 definite renewals and ABC cancelling the rest, its feasible that ABC bring back Suburgatory in some form, maybe as midseason again, who knows. The fact that its an improvement on Back in the Game should bode well for the veteran.

    Nashville and AOS are in the same boat. ABC has some certain renewals drama wise;

    Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, OUAT, Revenge, Scandal

    But they also have almost all flops this season

    Lucky 7, Betrayal, The Assets, Killer Women, OUAT Wonderland

    I cant see Resurrection or Mind Games succeeding and even if one of them does I still feel Nashville and AOS have a good chance at renewal.

    @KJ Styles – Given ABC’s current Thursday situation and the fact that they can move the aging Grey’s Anatomy to any timeslot (likely Sundays at 9) and Scandal to any timeslot (likely Tuesdays at 10) and both shows will succeed. I dont see Thursday night football for fall out of the question. That just leaves fewer fall dramas for ABC and more for midseason.


    OK…*WHERE* are all the ‘AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.’-haters THIS WEEK???!!!

    Fact is the matter is that, this show is for ABC this season what ‘GRIMM’ was for NBC when it premiered l: a high-concept genre-friendly drama that may be slightly-below network average but a BIG PAY-OFF in the demo…

    THANK YOU PAUL LEE for making my Tuesdays MARVEL-ous, and for having the COURAGE to stick with it! (Now, when will we see a ‘PEGGY CARTER’ prequel/spin-off, …)

  • Dan

    @Ultima – I think that would be good for the ABC dramas if they had football until November. Less repeats for all of them but ABC still needs to figure out that 8pm slot. However with a November start they could just air specials in the slot or do something with it.

    I see a full fourth season for Last Man Standing and maybe a fifth but if it sinks next season maybe not. If the show gets a full fourth and fifth season that would make 106 episodes, even if a fifth season is only 18 that would make 102. Either way, LMS is making it to syndication.

    If ABC properly scheduled Trophy Wife at 9:30 and didn’t move The Neighbors to Fridays than they could have an inhouse comedy well on its way to syndication too. I would have done this last fall if I were ABC

    8:00 AOS
    9:00 Super Fun Night (Fall) / Mixology (Spring)
    9:30 Suburgatory

    8:00 The Middle
    8:30 The Goldbergs
    9:00 Modern Family
    9:30 Trophy Wife
    10:00 Nashville

    Back in the Game never needed to be picked up or if so maybe as a spring comedy. ABC really screwed their scheduling up.

  • Shepherd


    AoS doesn’t even air a new episode this week. Crazy much?

  • Shepherd

    :oops: My bad. I thought this was Monday’s ratings thread! Sorry Iron Will.

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