In Bill’s absence, I’m doing some network-by-network summaries.   Yesterday, I took a look at NBC, where, because of the situation with the Jay Leno show, there is quite a bit of uncertainty for quite a few shows.

The situation at ABC is different, where there seems to be a whole lot more certainty, and little left to guess at.  Here’s the rundown of renew and cancel decisions for ABC that have already been made:

Network Already Canceled Already Renewed
ABC According to Jim (final season) Ugly Betty
ABC Eli Stone Brothers & Sisters
ABC Pushing Daisies Grey’s Anatomy
ABC Scrubs (final season) Lost
ABC Dirty Sexy Money Desperate Housewives
ABC Boston Legal
ABC Life on Mars

While there are seven scripted shows where no decision has been announced yet, as sure as the sun rises in the east, you can count on Private Practice coming back.  But how to segment the rest.   Note: there haven’t been any official announcements made on any of these shows, they are merely predictions based on numbers:

Network Won’t be renewed Will be renewed Not Sure Yet
ABC In the Motherhood Private Practice Samantha Who?
ABC Cupid Surviving Suburbia
ABC Castle Better off Ted
ABC The Unusuals

Let’s start with Samantha Who? and Surviving Suburbia which is the only thing to have survived the CW’s ill-fated partnership with MRC for its Sunday night programming.    But first a general disclaimer about 30 minute sitcoms: both the networks and studios seem to play faster and looser with 30 minute comedies than one hour scripted dramas. Studios discount them and networks like them for a variety of reasons ranging from syndication revenue, to something fairly inexpensive to throw under the bus against American Idol.

And now a huge disclaimer, just based on the numbers alone, we would never have predicted According to Jim would be back for another season.  But it was back for another season!

Surviving Suburbia

We only have two data points, but so far, the ratings for  Surviving Suburbia have been pretty decent. But it’s had the benefit of the Dancing With the Stars Lead in.  In its premiere a week ago, Suburbia bowed with a 3.0 rating, good enough to rank 25th with adults 18-49 for the week.   In preliminary number for its second airing last night, it averaged a 2.8 with adults 18-49.   The big question remains whether that will keep eroding and, even if it doesn’t, how does ABC think it would do without the DWTS lead-in.

Update: stripped of its 2 minute-ish DWTS overrun, SS drew a 2.6 adults 18-49 in last night’s fina ratings.  Down 13% from its premiere last week.

Samantha Who?

While much-loved by critics, it’s a show that had always been propped up by its Dancing With the Stars lead-in.  But because of schedule jockeying, ABC won’t have to guess at how Samantha Who does without the DWTS lead-in. Last week airing on Thursday at 8pm, with no lead-in it averaged a 1.4 rating with adults 18-49, ranking 66th among broadcast shows for the week with adults 18-49.  These are normally numbers where we’d definitively guess CANCEL.  But, it’s  sitcom, one with some critical praise and one the network seems to love.  But it doesn’t look like it can stand on its own.

Better off Ted

I was pretty much torn down the middle of sticking this in the “Not Sure Yet” column.  It probably would’ve been the fair thing to do. Bill has been calling for its death, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s the next According to Jim.  Plus, it has received a little critical praise, and it fared much better than Samantha Who? last week, pulling a 1.7 rating with adults 18-49, to finish 59th among all broadcast shows for the week.   In fairness, it should probably be in the “Not Sure Yet” column, but nobody ever said life is fair.   But despite my categorization, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see ABC play fast and loose and bring it back.    Ah, screw it, I’ve talked myself into putting in the “Not Sure Yet” column.

Ok, now on to the list of shows we think ABC will cancel:

In the Motherhood

It did even worse than Sam Who last week, with a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating and 69th among all broadcast shows in the 18-49 demographic for the week.  That’s not really much different than Samantha Who’s numbers, but ABC doesn’t have any history with the shows, it hasn’t gotten any critical praise,  and, ABC already cut its order for the show in half.  Even though it too is a sitcom, it won’t be back.


It appears that the move from NBC to ABC (not surprising after NBC canceled it that ABC would pick it up since its produced by ABC Studios) it looks like ABC just wanted to pad its syndication revenues with some extra shows.  But this looks to be the final season. The show’s creator was quoted in a speech saying this was the last season.  Then he backtracked after the network gave him the “please don’t say crap like that!” speech.  If not for him saying it’s the last season, I’d probably have this in the Not Sure Yet column.


Cupid is toast. It ranked 61st  last week with adults 18-49.  Yes, that’s better than Samantha Who?, but unfortunately for Cupid fans, networks don’t play so fast and loose with more expensive one hour scripted dramas where a 1.6 rating with adults 18-49 means…no renewal.


Over the weekend a friend of mine told me she like this show, and knowing about this blog (but not actually READING it) asked me what I thought would happen.  I winced. She noticed, and her response was “Noooo!”.    I suspect there are many who share that sentiment.   But, I’m wincing even more now.  Last week Castle was 41st  overall with a 2.3 rating.  If it were on NBC,  maybe.  But a.) it’s not on NBC and b.) it keeps going down.  In preliminary numbers for last night it had a 2.0 rating with adults 18-49.  The trend isn’t it’s friend and I don’t think ABC would consider bringing it back if it can’t consistently pull 2.5 ratings.  But at a 2.0, there’s no way the network brings it back.

Update: Monday’s final numbers are in and Castle slipped to a 1.9 with 18-49s

The Unusuals

While one week of data isn’t much to go on, The Unusuals premiered with a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating.  A lot of recent history suggests shows go down from their premieres, not up.   I’m not expecting The Unusuals to buck that trend.  But, we’ll see.

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Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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