Scrubs and Better Off Ted: ABC Burning Off Episodes; Cancelled?

Better Off TedLast spring, ABC renewed venerable comedy Scrubs and newbie Better Off Ted, despite their low ratings. Now that they’re back, the network is in a hurry to get rid of them.

Scrubs follows hospital life as seen through the eyes of Dr. J.D. Dorian (Zach Braff). After having left Sacred Heart last season, he’s returned to help teach a new crop of med students. Others in the current cast include Donald Faison, John C. McGinley, Ken Jenkins, Sarah Chalke, Eliza Coupe, Kerry Bishe, Michael Mosley, and Dave Franco.

Better Off Ted follows Ted Crisp (Jay Harrington) and the other employees at Veridian Dynamics, a heartless technology company. The rest of the cast includes Andrea Anders, Jonathan Slavin, Malcolm Barrett, and Portia de Rossi.

Based simply on the ratings, neither ABC sitcom should have been renewed last season. Scrubs had dwindled to an average of 4.97 million viewers and a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic. It was ultimately saved because ABC’s production studio produces the show and another season would bring more money in syndication.

Which should be cancelled?

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Last May, Better Off Ted had only aired half of its completed episodes and was averaging a disappointing 1.76 rating and 4.39 million. Though the ratings were quite low, ABC decided to bring the sitcom back for another season. The network programmers supposedly liked the pairing of Ted and Scrubs and hoped that the ratings would improve. When the network began airing the rest of Ted’s first season during the summer, the ratings dropped much further, to an average of 0.74 in the demo and 2.09 million viewers.

The sitcoms have now both returned for the 2009-10 schedule and the ratings are still terrible. Scrubs kicked off this season with a low 2.0 rating in the demo and only 4.5 million viewers. The numbers have dropped since then and last Tuesday’s episode brought in a 1.8 rating and 4.26 million.

Ted debuted with a 1.5 in the demo and 3.82 million. Last week’s installment attracted just a 1.3 and 3.18 million.

To little surprise, ABC has decided to burn off the unaired episodes of both series as quickly as possible. Single installments of each sitcom will air tomorrow night and on the 29th. On New Year’s Day, two episodes of Ted and one of Scrubs will follow the Rose Bowl Game. Then, beginning on January 5th, two installments of each sitcom will run on Tuesday nights. By the end of the month, both sitcoms are expected to have run through their full 13 episode orders.

While the network hasn’t indicated that either series has been cancelled, the decision to burn through the seasons in 60 days certainly isn’t a vote of confidence. Neither Scrubs nor Ted is expected to return, especially in light of the much better performance from newcomers Modern Family and Cougar Town.

What do you think? Do you think Better Off Ted and Scrubs will be cancelled? Will you be sorry to see either one end?

Canceled and renewed TV show

323 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Summer says

    I had never heard of Better Off Ted, but once we watched it, my husband and I were hooked. It’s one of the funniest sitcoms on TV, which is hard to say with soooo many crappy ones out right now. I am sad to see it go, if they don’t renew it. It was funnier than the network gave it credit for and they should have marketed it better. Porschia DeRossi is brilliant in that show!!! :-(

  2. Guy says

    They need to keep Better Off Ted, it doesn’t need to be better than Modern Family, they’re both abolutely well written. They compliment each other, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep it on the air. Can I get an amen?

  3. Ben says

    Better Off Ted is brilliant, but no one seems to have heard of it. My wife and I (look, two target demographics, men AND women), love this show and have been telling everyone about it. I think an earlier poster had it right, they should put Modern Family and Better Off Ted back to back. ABC would be foolish to get rid of it. It is a fresh concept in an otherwise stale television market.

  4. Tim says

    No Ted no! I completely agree with nearly everyone. Better off Ted is absolutely hilarious, yet no one knows of it. I don’t watch broadcast televison, but I still know about most modern shows and I had never heard of it until I randomly caught one episode of it. I laughed so hard I cried. It would be a shame to a show this great.

  5. Kat says

    Love the characters, especially the two lab scientists and the uptight female exec. Please air more episodes.

  6. Steve says

    I literally NEVER watch broadcast TV any more. I watch Netflix streaming, and Better Off Ted Season 1 is now available. Netflix listed it as 4+ stars “for me” and they were right! I LOVE this show – I flew the the first season in 5 days. It doesn’t surprise me that ABC cancelled it – I have a feeling most people like me never knew about the show.

  7. b davis says

    Better Off Ted is absolutely hilarious! Wow, to cancel such a great program with great actors?!?! I didn’t see ANY ads for it, just stumbled across it- AND LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! How do we support its return?

  8. says

    Better Off Ted is one of the most hilarious comedies I’ve ever watched and yet no-one I know has even heard of it! How is it possible that something so promising has never had even half-decent marketing??? I think ABC – rather than canning a show like this for poor ratings – should spend a little money and time marketing this show and really highlight to people just how right they were to make it in the first place.

  9. Jamie says

    TED is an amazing show! Its hilarious, but exactly right. It’s marketed horribly. I’ve shoved it down the throats of a couple people at work and they love it. I sure hope we get to see new episodes. Hey, maybe another network can pick it up like ABC did with Scrubs.

  10. Shannon says

    I am really mad about scrubs. I love the show. True its not the same this season but I really enjoyed it. I hope it comes back!!

  11. Jenn says

    I agree with everyone else’s comments regarding Better off Ted. GREAT show, but very poorly marketed….no one’s ever heard of it, but everyone I’ve showed it to thinks it’s hilarious!! I think it would be one of ABCs biggest hits if ABC knew what they were doing.

  12. Sam says

    Better off Ted is as good as Modern Family if not better! Problem is they don’t know how to market it, i know tons of people that have never heard of it. Why not air Modern Family and Better off Ted back to back to start?

  13. Brad says

    I liked “Better off Ted”. So it figures it will get cancelled. PdR was just great as the corporate dronette. Doesn’t sound too positive though.

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