After being renewed in January 2011, it was expected that season three of Cougar Town would debut in the fall. ABC delayed it until November, then put it off until mid-season and then, cut the episode order and delayed it again. When Cougar Town finally returned, fewer fans seemed to care.
While never a big hit for the alphabet network, Cougar Town had been a decent performer. Season one averaged a 2.9 rating in the prized 18-49 demographic with 7.0 million total viewers.
Last season started strong but the numbers began to fall by mid-season — about the same time as ABC’s renewal. The last episode of season two aired on May 23rd and registered a 2.0 in the demo with 5.0 million viewers.
It was nine months before the start of season three and, while total viewership remained about the same, the demo rating continued to drop. The season started with a 1.8 rating and has fallen to a low of a 1.4 demo.
This season, Cougar Town has been averaging a 1.6 in the demo with 4.5 million total viewers. On our ABC Ratings Report Card, which measures the network shows’ relative demo performance, the sitcom has a “D” grade. It’s the lowest-rated scripted series on the network and isn’t doing much better than what Charlie’s Angels was getting before it was cancelled.
With ratings like these, Cougar Town would be certain to be cancelled — except for one thing. The show is produced in-house so the company has added incentive to try to keep it going long enough to have enough episodes for syndication. Scrubs, another Bill Lawrence show, was kept alive for two additional seasons because of lucrative syndication deals.
However, at the end of this season, Cougar Town will have just 61 episodes — well short of what’s needed for a syndication package. It seems that ABC would have to renew the show for at least a full season and maybe more. It seems unlikely that they’d do that but it is a possibility.
We’ll know what they’ve decided by mid-May but one thing’s for sure. If Cougar Town is renewed for a fourth season, it will be in spite of the ratings, not because of them.
Wat do you think? Are you still watching Cougar Town or have you given up on it? Do you think that it will be cancelled or renewed for season four?
Image courtesy ABC.