If you’re a ratings junkie, then you can probably follow the ratings trends and spot which shows are likely to be renewed for additional seasons, and which are likely to get the sh*tcan. If you’ve never checked it out, you should also look in on TVByTheNumbers, which does the ratings math and keeps up with the trends for you. Each week, they go through each show on the network schedule and assign it a category based on its renewal chances. It’s almost never wrong. During my weekly run-through, I highlighted 10 shows — five likely to be renewed, and five likely to canceled — to discuss below. I will also note that, though it’s only aired one episode, Fox’s new show, The Following (which I had some issues with) had strong ratings in the demo, and if it holds, it’s assured a second season.
Parks and Recreation (NBC) — Parks and Recreation saw a season high last week, and although those ratings were not that high, it’s the only sitcom on NBC with an upward trend, which means that it’s the only sitcom almost certain to be renewed.
Parenthood (NBC) — The season finale was last night, and the ratings have held steady since last year. Unless there’s a unexpectedly huge crop of great pilots with huge ratings potential, Parenthood looks very good for renewal. Even showrunner Jason Katims expects to see it back next year.
Elementary (CBS) — I didn’t like the pilot very much, and stopped watching assuming it would become another procedural, “Sherlock Holmes” in name only. However, ratings have held very high, and I understand from many folks (including Josh) that the show has not only improved, it’s actually good. With the Super Bowl lead in, Elementary is a lock for a second season.
Scandal (ABC) — I know it’s not in the Warming Glow wheelhouse, but Scandal is addictively good, and television viewers are starting to come around to that, as ratings for the show — which stars Kerry Washington and Joshua Malina — have been rising. Barring a late season melt-down, it’s virtually assured renewal.
Raising Hope (Fox) — I’m not really sure why because the ratings have not been that strong, but TVByTheNumbers has Raising Hope in the solid renewal category, in all liklihood because it does well for its time slot and because, at the very least, ratings have held solid. It doesn’t hurt, either, that it’s nearing enough episodes for syndication.
1600 Penn — Bad ratings, no buzz, and the fact that viewers outright loathe the sitcom suggests that 1600 Penn is almost certainly going to be canceled.
Happy Endings (ABC)– As much as we’d like for it not to be true, the ratings are only slightly better than the now canceled Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23, so unless there is a solid trend upwards when the show airs back-to-back episodes in February, it’s probably safe to assume that this season will be its last.
Vegas (CBS) — After a very strong start to the season, the Dennis Quaid drama has been hemorrhaging viewers (I bailed after two episodes), and on a network that expects more from its dramas, Vegas is facing almost certain cancelation.
Ben and Kate (Fox) — Fox has been ordered a lot of comedy pilots, and with Ben and Kate the lowest rated sitcom on the big four networks, there’s almost zero chance that the show will see a second season, which is a damned shame because it’s adorable.
Deception (NBC) — The new drama on Monday nights — filling in during Revolution’s hiatus — has not taken off. Ratings are trending downward, and it doesn’t look good for renewal, which is really not a problem.