Cancellation Clock Is Ticking for a Handful of New Series

After just a few weeks, 'Betrayal,' 'Welcome to the Family' and others are in real trouble

It’s only three weeks into the new season, but the gap between the “hits” and “busts” among the rookie class has grown pretty large.

Dramas “The Blacklist” (NBC), “Sleepy Hollow” (Fox) and “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” (ABC) have all impressed, while CBS is doing reasonably well with new Robin Williams comedy “The Crazy Ones.”

On the other hand, it’s already over for a pair of newbies — ABC’s “Lucky 7” and CBS’ “We Are Men” were axed after just two airings — and the clock is ticking for a handful more.

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The networks like to put their best foot forward in November for the sweep, so mid-to-late October is typically when decisions are made to shore up the schedule. DVR playback can certainly help keep a struggling series stay on the air longer, but most times the networks don’t need to wait for that data to know that a show simply isn’t clicking.

The rookie series that would seem to be the most in danger — and in dire need of a ratings uptick — are NBC’s Thursday comedy “Welcome to the Family” and ABC’s Sunday drama “Betrayal.” Both did a mere 0.8 rating/2 share in adults 18-49 in their timeslots last week, according to Nielsen.

Fairing only a bit better, with a 3 share, were CBS’ “Hostages” and NBC’s “Ironside” and “Sean Saves the World.” Another show that would be on this list based on its performance, NBC’s “The Michael J. Fox Show,” isn’t going anywhere because the Peacock has made a full-season commitment.

NBC’s entire Thursday lineup is generating tiny numbers, and some change is expected soon.

CBS has similarly struggled with some new shows on Monday, and is doing what it can to provide a stronger lead-in for “Hostages” at 10. The net canceled the ineffective “We Are Men” after two episodes, changed timeslots for “2 Broke Girls” and has slotted the return of “Mike & Molly” for the night starting Nov. 4. Another first-year show, “Mom,” continues to do OK in the 9:30 slot.

Looking at the third week of the season, “The Voice,” “Sunday Night Football” and hot new drama “The Blacklist” proved too much for the competition as NBC led in adults 18-49 for a third straight week. The net is off to its highest-rated start in three seasons, and its advantage over runner-up CBS (0.6) is the largest for any network at this point in 10 years.

Last week, NBC averaged a 2.7/8 in the demo, followed in the rankings by Fox (2.4/8), CBS (1.9/5) and ABC (1.8/5). NBC also won in adults 25-54, while CBS was on top as usual in total viewers.

NBC’s “The Voice” was the week’s No. 3-rated entertainment series in 18-49 (4.6/13), and is teaming with “The Blacklist” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 11.18m) to win Monday.

But while NBC beat its rivals in every half-hour on its “Voice” nights of Monday and Tuesday, it trailed them in every half-hour on Wednesday and Thursday. NBC should benefit next week from the debut of its Friday lineup, featuring “Grimm” and newcomer “Dracula.”

Elsewhere, Fox was led by Thursday’s “Glee” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 7.39m), whose tribute to Corey Montieth produced the show’s top same-night rating since its year-ago season premiere. Also for the net, “Junior MasterChef” continues to perform well on Friday (1.4/5 in 18-49, 3.92m), up a bit from the prior week.

At ABC, “Super Fun Night” held up OK on Wednesday in its second week (2.5/7 in 18-49, 6.64m), retaining 64% of the same-night demo rating of “Modern Family” (3.9/11 in 18-49, 10.64m) after holding 76% in its premiere a week earlier.

It was a lethargic bow, meanwhile, for Thursday’s “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.82m),

Second-year half-hour “The Neighbors” is looking shaky on Friday (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.12m), and it’s certainly making life more difficult for the shows it sandwiches on the schedule (“Last Man Standing” and “Shark Tank”). Still, “Shark Tank” is the night’s No. 1 show in 18-49.

CBS could be pleased with the second week of “The Millers” on Thursday (3.0/9 in 18-49, 11.73m), retaining 91% of its premiere — the best 18-49 hold of any new series this fall.

There were three notable cable performers last week, led by “The Walking Dead” (8.2/19 in 18-49, 16.11 million viewers overall), which shattered its previous record for the top-rated basic cable series telecast of all time. It was the week’s No. 2 program in 18-49, behind “Sunday Night Football” (8.4/22), but will easily overtake the game with DVR playback.

There was also FX’s “American Horror Story” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 5.54m), which opened its third season with record numbers and led its hour in 18-49, and “Sons of Anarchy” (2.5/7), 4.46m), which beat the broadcast series in its timeslot as well.

And of course, A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” continues to score big (3.2/10 in 18-49, 7.40m).


Adults 18-49

NBC             2.7/8
Fox              2.4/7
CBS              1.9/5
ABC              1.8/5
UNI              1.2/4
CW               0.7/2
TEL               0.5/1

Total Viewers

CBS            9.23 million
NBC           8.44 million
Fox            7.49 million
ABC           6.99 million
UNI           3.19 million
CW            1.70 million
TEL            1.14 million


Adults 18-49
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 8.4/22
2.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 8.2/19
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 5.1/17
4.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 4.6/13
5.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 4.4/13
6.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.9/11
7.  Duck Dynasty (A&E), 3.2/10
8.  The Blacklist (NBC), 3.1/9
8.  Scandal (ABC), 3.1/9
8.  Thursday Night Football (NFLN), 3.1/9
8.  American Horror Story (FX), 3.1/9
12.  The Millers (CBS), 3.0/9
12.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.0/9
12.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 3.0/9
15.  Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC), 2.9/9
15.  Glee (Fox), 2.9/8
17.  NCIS (CBS), 2.8/9
17.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.8/8
17.  Sleepy Hollow (Fox), 2.8/7
20.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 2.6/7
20.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.6/7

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 22.07
2.  NCIS (CBS), 18.33
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 17.64
4.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 16.11
5.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 14.84
6.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 14.64
7.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.00
8.  The Millers (CBS), 11.73
9.  Person of Interest (CBS), 11.65
10.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 11.45
11.  The Blacklist (NBC), 11.18
12.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 10.98
13.  Modern Family (ABC), 10.64
14.  60 Minutes (CBS), 10.62
15.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 10.56
16.  Castle (ABC), 10.51
17.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 10.20
18.  The Crazy Ones (CBS), 9.69
19.  Survivor (CBS), 9.60
20.  The Mentalist (CBS), 9.39

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  1. colleen rieco says:

    I love Betrayal. Its my favoite show and i hope they dont cancel it.

  2. mary says:

    so glad you voted and wrote abc. Yes…I love the show also. When Jack said…we’ll be ok…hope this is true. They will go thru some rough times…but…hope end up together.

  3. vswolf says:

    I have voted and written a message to ABC, Mary.
    Thank you so much for posting the links.
    I love this show so much.
    Valerie xx

  4. vswolf says:

    Please don’t stop Betrayal.I love it.We are so many loving it.It’sa great show.

  5. mary says:

    glad you enjoy Betrayal fave….always look forward to Sunday at nine :)
    happy to share the voting link….keep voting…many times..I have for sure.
    Hope that Jack and Sara can work things out.
    After Drew and Jack looked at each other….during Jack’s call…..what did they do after ? they must
    have just walked away.
    Will be eager to see what Sara and Jack discuss the night they stay together.

  6. brenda Cooper says:

    I love love love Betrayal. Please DO NOT TAKE IT OFF THE AIR. The actors are great.

  7. Riza says:

    Betrayal is an awesome show! I had my routine from Walking dead to this awesome show Betrayal. The story is intense and the actors are great..

  8. mary says:

    Drew …glad you enjoy the show as so many of us do. does keep getting better each week.
    You and others might want to vote for it as the best new tv drama on the People’s Choice awards voting…here is the link……you can vote many times…I did.

  9. Drew says:

    Don,t cancell betrayal. I love this show. It keeps getting better each week.

  10. Lyn Stiles says:

    Love Betrayal tv series. Please don’t cancel. Can’t wait every Sunday to see what will happen next. Love it

  11. Fenna says:

    i Love the show!! It’s the story of my live, at least it was! I’m a photografer, fell in love with a guy who looks just like Townsend, but then i moved to the US and never see him again!! Well, thats just another story. Do NOT cancel this show, love love love it!!!!

  12. TIANA says:


  13. Cindy says:

    I watch every Sunday…please don’t cancel Betrayal…LOVE this show!!!

    • I truly hope that ABC does NOT cancel Betrayal. It’s a really good show and I’d like to see it renewed. With all the “junk” that’s on these days, and all the “Reality” shows, it’s nice to watch a TV series that has some content and keeps you ‘watching’! Don’t make a mistake and cancel this show, it’s good and it deserve at least one renewal before you make that dreaded decision to cancel.

      • mary says:

        great comments……it is up some in the ratings according to what I saw this a m. Hard to believe it is not one of the top shows. Hang in there. Things are really getting interesting esp that last scene with both men on the cells.

  14. Gina says:


  15. Gina says:

    Please don’t cancel this show. This show is the only show I look forward to watch every Sunday. Everybody at my office is so hooked! There are hardly any shows out there that are that good and by canceling this show it will be very disappointing! I will for sure stop watching ABC!

  16. Hillary says:

    Betrayal is awesome!!!!!!!!!!

    • brenda Cooper says:

      Me too. Hate for it to end at end of the hour. It is so good and my husband knows not to bother me while I am watching it.

  17. Sandra Larosa says:


  18. Ray says:

    Rather depressed to read that Betreyal is on the ‘Blacklist’. It really is a beautifully structured and casted TV show. Possibly the writers can take a new direction soon to keep the show alive.

  19. Joanne says:

    I’m so sorry to hear the possibility of Betrayal being cancelled. This is the 1st true love story with a great story line in a really long time. The chemistry between the two is amazing, not just on their secret meetings but the spark when they just look at each other. Me & my friends really had to see this go.

    • mary says:

      I too would hate to see it go. I agree with you totally. The lead couple are fantastic together !! those looks…and their smiles. So good !!
      I watch the episodes online a LOT !!!
      When Jack texted he loved her……don’t know why she got to crying…..I assumed that is what
      she wanted to see…as she told him. . the same. Maybe they are both rethinking the situation…
      just really hope they end up together…and that she does not die. I would like to see him set
      up his own practice…get away from Carsten.
      I hope they realize they love each other…and that is the most important thing.

  20. mary says:

    Debbie……..I totally agree with you two. It is an awesome show. Stuart Townsend and Hannah Ware are so great together. Just hope all works out for them. Wish he had thought to delete the picture he took.
    and who shot Sara???? you can write abc and let them know how you like the show….

  21. Debbie says:

    my boyfriend and i love Betrayal we are hooked.

  22. Jana says:

    Please keep Betrayal it actually gets better with each episode..

  23. Dori says:

    If you love Scandal, then Betrayal is a must see definitely hooked. Don’t cancel give it a chance

  24. I really hope that Betrayal gets a second chance because it’s my favourite new show of the season! It’s a compelling drama with a strong cast and it isn’t like anything else that’s currently on the air. I’ll be so pissed off if it gets cancelled!! But then again the American public’s taste in television is questionable at best. I also like Sleepy Hollow & Hostages a lot, and yes, I have a college education & am 49 years old.

  25. roe says:

    Betrayal was moving a little slow in the beginning,
    but it’s picking up now they should not cancel give a some more time.

  26. Sara says:

    Also those of you who like the show like someone mentioned in a previous comment go to ABC site click contact us and request Betrayal NOT be cancelled.

  27. Sara says:

    Don’t cancel Betrayal. I just started watching it and many of us would like ABC to give the show a chance. The show is on pretty late and I don’t know if that has any baring. I like the drama and the steamy scenes are welcomed. C’mon ABC give the show some time and consider changing the day it’s aired!

  28. Frank W says:

    I actually liked We are Men. I watched it On Demand and it reminded me of everything good and bad about being single and male and hanging out with only guys. Most of my friends are women because hanging out with single guys is really gross sometimes, as seen in that end of the world movie with Seth Rogan and James Franco.

  29. Mona says:

    I love betrayal the series and watch it on demand.

  30. mary says:

    my thoughts exactly….love the show… goes by tooooo fast !!!!!

  31. Angela Lowe says:


    • Kimberly Aiello says:

      Please Please don’t cancel it is the best new show. The chemistry between the actors is amazing……I will boycott ABC I swear to god if it is cancelled give it a chance.

  32. mtra11 says:

    yes…….good point made. I am retired and older than you no doubt…but who cannot enjoy Stuart Townsend….have enjoyed him in movies for a long time……with Hannah Ware…steaming up the screen….:)and.I saw this today…….

    . At 10, rookie drama “Betrayal” (1.0/2 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) remains low but appears to have grown slightly in young adults for a second straight week

    and even with football and World Series competition Go Betrayal !!!!

  33. jess says:

    I love betrayal… Being married and with kids it good to watch something steamy for a wife and a mother of four… awesome show don’t cancel

  34. I love watching Betrayal. I think they are doing a great job. I would be very disappointed if they cancelled that show. I love watching it every Sunday night and look forward to it all week long. Please don’t cancel the show. It is way better than some of the shows that aren’t up for cancellation.

  35. Kate says:

    Hmmm, I think the positive comments for Betrayal are mostly from females of a certain demographic. They basically love eye candy Stuart and will forgive an awful script to watch him, especially shirtless. ABC made a dreadful mistake debuting the first ep of Betrayal against the finale of Breaking Bad, dumb decision. The plot of the show is too derivate of other shows BUT my main problem is the script! The actors look embarrassed to me because they have to say these things with straight face. I have watched the episodes upto now but I am giving it away. Sunday night has too many other goodies to watch. Loving The Blacklist (also derivative of other shows but done so well, I don’t care) James Spader is so well cast.

  36. kimberly johnston says:

    I’m disappointed to see that “we are men is being cancelled I found “super fun night not as impressive as I had hoped and I do like mom and “Sean saves the world I do hope they stick around

  37. mary says:

    I totally agree….!!! will have to get that Queen movie soon…just to see his look.
    looking forward to nine tonight……The Packers will have to wait for breaks lol.
    just saw a clip of the show tonight…wow !!!! more chemistry.!!!!!

  38. samantha says:

    Hope BETRAYAL doesn’t get cancel because its a very entertaining show , not only me look forward to on SUNDAY…PLEASE!!!DON”T CANCEL BETRAYAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Loren says:

    You know a show is good when your heart is beating fast, your eyes wide open and the feeling of disappointment- because the hour went by so quick. That is what ‘Betrayal’ did. Intense stuff most definitely.

  40. Betrayal is actually pretty good. Hope they hang in there.

  41. Cheryl says:

    I absolutely love this show to death. Please keep.

  42. Jennifer says:

    Betrayal is horrible. How is this crap getting on the air?

    • Loren says:

      What the hay are you talking about? I’m married, it’s only entertainment. I’ve been married long enough (13 yrs) to know that these things happen in real life unfortunately but, that doesnt mean im gonna go out and start cheating on my husband.
      Unless of course it’s Jack. Lol ;)

    • mary says:

      hmmmm….you seem to be among the very few who do not enjoy Betrayal. Note the positive
      comments ! I hope it is not canceled…..and if it least we got to see Stuart Townsend and James

    • fixxin2 says:

      Totally agree! The manufactured chemistry between the two leads is laughable. Scandal this is NOT!

  43. shelly says:

    I absolutly love betrayl. Please dont canel. I know alot of others that like it as well. Give it a chance. Its hot!!!!

  44. Carrie says:

    I agree- do NOT cancel Betrayal! It’s my favorite show!

  45. mary says:

    hi…….there are so many of us who LOVE this show… sure to write to abc…use this link…

  46. Mary says:

    Please please please please don’t cancel betrayal. I think it was a bad choice to air in on a Sunday. But I love love love this show.

  47. tomeka jones says:

    Don’t cancel betrayal I like it… was kind of slow at first but it’s starting to get good….

  48. me says:


    • Mary says:

      I and many others agree…. it is my favorite show !! love the cast and the story line…and Sara and Jack.
      we have to know who killed Lou..and shot Sara.

  49. Lori says:

    The worst part is that Mary McCormack is so talented, she deserves something truly worthy and this wasn’t it – and the same could and should be said for Allison Janey in Moms.

  50. SuperDave says:

    Are timeslots still relevant in the days of DVRs and web-viewable Flash replays? If I watch “The Neighbors” it no longer means that I’m going to stick around for “Shark Tank”

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