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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?


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{ 323 comments… read them below or add one }

jesse broughton June 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm

i just started watching better off ted on netflix. i love the fact that they make fun of corporate america. somebody needs to. with everything going on we need laughter. and also some people don’t get to work the normal 9-to-5 i work late 2 in the morning late. we are the ones that miss out. so come on abc give us something to laugh at.


devestated scrubs fan!!! June 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Scrubs was the best show ever created, it honestly brightened my day knowing that when i got home i had scrubs to look forward too (i know that seems like a pritty lame life) but i honestly love this show and it should not be cancelled. I do admitt that season 9 did suck but it was better than nothing. I just hate the way people are so stuborn to say “scrubs died at season 8″. Why though? it has some characters from the origional cast like turk, cox, some guest appearances from J.d, Jordan, Kelso and Elliot. They should totaly make a season 10 with the origional cast. Even though like season 8 finale was exceptional i 100% want more.

Scrubs <3 forever in my heart.


Junebug May 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm

If you want to help save Better Off Ted, try writing ABC. I’m not sure what their physical address is…and I’m sure a real letter would be more influencial…but here is the website address for their contact form:

Let them know you love the show…and maybe they’ll bring it back :)


Bethany May 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Better Off Ted and Scrubs are my fiance’ and my favorite shows to watch together. They are both really funny and more family appropriate than Modern Family or Cougar Town.


Lance May 26, 2010 at 10:19 am

Better Off Ted is an intelligent comedy with a splash of silliness. One of the best sitcoms out there. I feel that it would be a mistake to cancel this show. We have special lunches at work where our whole department gets together and we watch Better off Ted!!! ABC must reconsider their decision….PLEASE!!!


Jack May 26, 2010 at 4:40 am

I can’t believe they took Better Off Ted away. I’m really gonna miss this show! Bring it back please!


Phil May 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm

How does Cougar Town beat Better Off Ted. The world is stupid


Ian May 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Better off Ted was a new and refreshing comedy series, using a funny and bright cast bring their unique view on life, but also at a level that most daily corporate viewers can relate to in so many ways.

Why is it that networks are so keen to scrap the good shows in favour of rolling out the same old dribble that we all have seen before?

Don’t kill this one off, I almost wanted to start watching TV again, but now the networks have little to entice me back..


Anonymous May 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm



Huge Fan May 21, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Better Off Ted is soooooo funny and brilliant! A great substitute for other amazing cancelled shows like Arrested Development and Pushing Daisies. It’s not fair that just because most people are idiots means that the smart shows get cancelled.


Rajni May 21, 2010 at 5:14 am

Today if the viewers average is 4.97 million, Than i don’t think so ABC’s production studio will go to this type of step.


Rob May 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Better Off Ted was awesome, I want it back.


Larry May 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Love Better Off Ted. Hate to lose it!


S. Velasquez May 19, 2010 at 1:21 am

Better Off Ted is SOOO Funny!! Yea, put it before or after The Middle and Modern Family. The whole cast is funny.


Veronica May 15, 2010 at 12:19 am

Is there anything we can do to save Better off Ted? ABC never gave this show a chance. They kept changing the time it was on and moving it around. They could have put it with the Wednesday line up at 8 instead of running re-runs of In the Middle. Better yet, they could sandwich it between In the Middle and Modern Family. I bet it would get outstanding ratings. Well, maybe they will put on another cop show or medical drama. We sure need more of those!


Nick May 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I loved Better Off Ted! I would have been able to follow it if ABC hadn’t kept changing it’s airtime!


Jason May 30, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I just discovered Better Off Ted! It’s one of most hilarious shows I’ve seen in a while. And now I read that it may be cancelled?!


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