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.

  • HV

    It’s really hard to say how ABC will go regarding Suburgatory, as it did premiere against the Idol premiere. If it doesn’t fall by much throughout the season, I bet it will be back. But, the thing is, to renew Suburgatory for another season would be to renew it for another season and a half, as at the end of this season it will still need 31 episodes for syndication. If it is canceled though, I can almost guarantee it will end up on a cable network, such as TBS, USA, or ABC Family.

  • Matt

    Don’t cancel Nashville please! It’s my favorite show! Add more songs!

  • Ray

    This is what I think ABC should do next season:

    ABC Fall 2014

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

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

    8:00 — The Middle
    8:30 — The Goldbergs
    9:00 — Modern Family
    9:30 — New Comedy
    10:00 – Revenge / New Drama

    8:00 — Grey’s Anatomy
    9:00 — How To Get Away with Murder
    10:00 – Scandal

    8:00 — Last Man Standing
    8:30 — Suburgatory
    9:00 — Shark Tank
    10:00 – 20/20

    7:00 — America’s Funniest Home Videos
    8:00 — Once Upon a Time
    9:00 — New Drama / Resurrection
    10:00 – Revenge (if not on Wednesdays)

  • Rebooted

    ABC should try this next season:

    Once Upon A Time
    Grey’s Anatomy
    NEW DRAMA-Sea of Fire


    NEW DRAMA-The Thirteen (But probably Agent Carter)

    The Middle
    The Goldbergs
    Modern Family
    NEW COMEDY-Modern Family Spinoff (?)
    NEW DRAMA-Secrets and Lies

    Revenge (This will probably be Revenge’s final season anyway and hey it might even improve the ‘death slot.’)
    NEW DRAMA-How To Get Away With Murder

    Last Man Standing
    NEW COMEDY- An American Education
    Shark Tank


  • Isobel

    I think Nashville and Suburgatory are both bubble shows depending on if ABC’s schedule means they need a couple of hours a week filled or not. AoS I think is a definite renewal for another season but probably with a reboot.

  • Tim

    USA should buy Suburgatory and air new episodes (see Cougar Town on TBS) with the Modern Family reruns

  • KJ Styles

    The probably with Suburgatory (besides being short on episodes for syndication) is that it’s not owned by ABC. So I doubt that ABC will attempt to sell it to other networks like it did with Cougar Town. If it can remain steady or slightly above, then I like it’s chances of renewal, especially if Mixology flops.

  • Tony C

    @Tommy M – “There is no incentive for Paul Lee, or any other network executive, to say anything that negative about their show’s future prospects”

    He admitted that a lot of shows were not coming back or had failed actually in many of the pieces I read but on Nashville he stayed positive.

  • Anne

    @rebooted no way should ABC air Sea of Fire on Sunday, that is just asking for trouble with the Christian community not to mention PTC.

  • Dan

    @HV – Well ABC Family would be a good fit for Suburgatory but Happy Endings was a good fit for USA and look how that turned out. I’m actually feeling pretty positive regarding Suburgatory. The thing we need to look at is that its an improvement on Back in the Game and its not a Happy Endings ratings flop. Plus given all the comedy failures this season, Suburgatory could end up being the Rules of Engagement of ABC and return. A show like that could come in handy if other shows fail or to try out on a new night.

    Even if Mixology doesn’t flop, seriously how can they stretch a thin premise like that for 3-4 more seasons. Its a nice 1 season experiment (Like Worst Week, Big Day etc) but its not getting renewed.

    @Isobel – Suburgatory and Nashville are in similar situations as like I’ve said before both shows are on a network where they have as many flops as succeses. Nashville getting renewed comes as ABC has only AOS as of today likely to be renewed from this season. All other dramas have flopped and prospects for Mind Games and Resurrection dont look well so its better for ABC to keep as many veterans as they can (They learned that the hard way last season when they cancelled Body of Proof and regretted it)

    Same with Suburgatory, this season only 1/5 comedies (The Goldbergs) will be renewed but the other veterans (The Middle, Last Man Standing, and Modern Family) are definites so given that basis Suburgatory has a good shot.

    On ABC if you are a bubble veteran performing average but all but 1 new shows in that genre have flopped, that average performing show has a good shot at returning.

  • Dan

    My guess is assuming all midseason shows fail

    Renewed: Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, Revenge, OUAT, Scandal, Nashville, AOS, Modern Family, The Middle, Last Man Standing, Suburgatory, The Goldbergs

    Cancelled: Lucky 7, Betrayal, OUAT Wonderland, Back in the Game, Super Fun Night, Trophy Wife, The Neighbors, Killer Women, The Assets, Mind Games, Resurrection

  • Ashley

    I hope that Suburgatory survives. If not on ABC, I can see it working well with Baby Daddy or Melissa & Joey on ABC Family. They already trimmed the cast, so…

  • Tom

    Why would anyone believe that a creatively damaged program like Suburgatory can succeed on cable when it’s failing OTA? I assume that this is partly based on the theory that cable shows typically draw fewer viewers. However, the notion that the show’s remaining audience would follow it to cable is pretty speculative. It’s just as likely that the poor writing that’s dragging Suburgatory down now would have the same effect on cable. Sorry, guys, but Suburgatory started going off the rails during the first season’s Alicia Silverstone arc. Its decline really accelerated during the second season’s Ryan “the Body” farce. The cast may be terrific, but moving the show to cable won’t help because the storyline simply doesn’t work anymore.

  • Fred

    Ressurection looks intriguing .
    However I despise the way ABC always raises expectations by declaring “From the Creators of Lost”
    Or something similar to that. Nearly every time ABC does that , the show flops. OUAT is the only ABC success I can think of advertised a LOST ad slogan.

    MindGames looks kinda similar to Happy Endibgs ( which I enjoyed) ; so it probably will suffer with low ratings .

  • Rebooted

    @ Fred

    Maybe its just me, but how is Mind Games similar to Happy Endings at ALL?

  • Dan

    Suburgatory will never be a success ratings or creatively however that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have somewhat of a chance to make it to syndication.

    So for both bubble shows Suburgatory and Nashville I would say in upcoming weeks both are more likely to be renewed then cancelled just because ABC has more flops in each genre than success. Also neither sow s an outright flop itself.

  • Fred


    The humor seemed similar to me when I watched the first preview .
    Then I watched another and it looked more dramatic and cinematic in scope.
    Either way I hope it succeeds because it does look promising and ABC could use a new hit this season.
    I’m also going to give Reasurection a shot ; not expecting LOST like greatness but I would like to try and fit a new mysterious drama in my packed schedule.

  • Fred


    MIXOLOGY was the show that seemed a bit similar to Happy Endings. I really miss the humor of HE and hope this new show can tap into that well .
    Although I plan on watching Mind Games as well, it seems intriguing .

  • Cle

    lately ABC is doing bad moving shows so I think they won’t move shows.. The only possibility I see is Nashville moving out of Wed 10pm for a new show if it gets renewed… OUAT and Revenge won’t move from its timeslots.. ABC is done moving Revenge…

  • Rebooted

    @ Fred

    Okay you originally said Mind Games is similar to Happy Endings so I was confused but I get it now!!! And your right Mixology kinda does look similar to Happy Endings! I plan on watching Mixology and Resurrection. Mind Games looks okay, but I’ll pass. Not my cup of tea.

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