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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 }

brit January 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm



Vickie October 31, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I, too, discovered Better Off Ted on Netflix. I watched both seasons and watched non-stop until I finished them. I just found this page and am very disappointed to hear of possible cancellation. The show is hysterical. Please reconsider and keep the show on. It’s clean comedy which we don’t see much of these days.


Heather October 12, 2010 at 9:40 am

We have recently discovered betBetter of Ted on Netflix and are completely hooked! Its hilarious, and woonderfully entertaining! We would be extremely sad and dissapointed if the show is cancelled!


frank October 2, 2010 at 8:22 am

as it would seem i do not watch enough television to see the advertisement for shows… and recently with netflix i have found 2 shows that i and many of my friends and family have absolutely loved and followed right to the end. one being this and the other being my name is earl.. all suddenly canceled in the middle of an idea… the reason the viewer count is down is due to you solely relying on tv based advertisement. Sure this makes sense, since itr is a TV show after all, but the times are changing and the reason I dont watch tv is because i am usually on the internet browsing for something to watch, ironic i know. The point i am getting at is, i as well as millions of others are always a day late and a dollar short for these shows. Once we watch the entire lineup of them on netflix and find out it has been canceled and we will never learn the end we are very disappointed… if networks would spend HALF the money they do on TV based promotions for tv shows and more on web based promotions their viewer count would grow exponentially, ESPECIALLY if they provided a way to watch the shows on their network website as many popular networks are doing these days. You get the same income from the ads shown during the show but at a much lower overhead. So please, STOP CANCELING THE SHOWS BASED ON TV VIEWER COUNT, AND PROVIDE ONLINE MEANS OF HYPE AND VIEWING!

thank you,


Natasha December 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm



Miguel October 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I hope TBS or some other network picks it up. This is truely a crazy but most times sarcastically accurate portrayal of office life in the U.S.A. I never saw it on TV though, only on Netflix. This show would get more viewership if given the proper promotion, like airing their fake commercials. They are hilarious!


egb September 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

i just got into Better Off Ted its was a hilarious show that i didn’t know showed but when i watched it found out that it was really funny and interesting.


Joey September 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Noooooo! They CANNOT cancel Better Off Ted… I just discovered it through Netflix and I am completely hooked… I love Veronica, she’s my new shero… I will have a total BF and write a letter if they cancel!! Lol


dfd September 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm

NOOOOO, Better Off Ted is best show ever, just got into it, didnt know it existed before


joe graham September 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Better Off Ted is a very good show. Well done all the way around. It would be regretable to have it canceled. Sharp,witty, and then some.


Shawna September 8, 2010 at 10:31 am

PLEASE DONT CANCELLE BETTER OFF TED!! Me and my husband love that show!!


Aysha August 1, 2010 at 7:19 am

I love better off Ted and think it should NOT be cancelled!!! why do all shows that have amazing humour like this show and Arressted Development get cancelled!!!!!


Barbara June 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm

We just discovered this show via Netflix and LOVE it! I hope it’s not canceled, it is a really great show and our family is hooked .


Christina June 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Really enjoying Better off Ted. I don’t like what they’ve done with Scrubs, introducing younger cast and making it far less interesting.. but Better off Ted has a long, long way left to go… hilarious.


amy June 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Don’t cancel Better of Ted! It was an intelligent, fairly PG sort of sit com. How disappointing.


Chefn June 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

PLEASE go to this link and sign the petition to save/put the show on wed!


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