Surviving Suburbia: Truly Great Ratings? Keep It or Cancel It?

Surviving SuburbiaThe popular Full House sitcom left ABC in 1995 after eight seasons. Flash forward 14 years later and House star Bob Saget has returned to the world of sitcoms and the alphabet network. Surviving Suburbia has certainly had a rocky journey to primetime but now that it’s here, will it stick around?

Surviving Suburbia revolves around the Pattersons, Steve (Bob Saget) and Anne (Cynthia Stevenson), a normal couple that has been married for 20 years, have two children and live in a typical suburb. Unlike the sitcom dads of the past, Steve has a cynical view of everything around him. Others in the cast include Jared Kusnitz, G. Hannelius, Jere Burns, Dan Cortese, and Lorna Scott.

The sitcom was originally slated to start airing on Sunday nights last Fall, as part of Media Rights Capital’s deal to lease the CW’s Sunday night airtime. During the Summer, MRC made some changes and decided to hold Suburbia until midseason. While that didn’t seem like good news for the sitcom at the time, the delay ultimately turned out to be a good thing. Few people knew or cared about the MRC shows (In Harm’s Way, Valentine, and Easy Money) once they started airing, the shows tanked in the ratings, and the CW network took back Sunday nights.

Should Suburbia be cancelled?

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Early this year, ABC was looking for some inexpensive programming and decided to pick up the series. Then, they gave it the enviable post-Dancing with the Stars timeslot. That stroke of luck gave Suburbia far more exposure than it ever would have gotten on the CW.

Last week, Suburbia debuted to 12.16 million viewers and a 3.2/8 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic. While that seems impressive, it’s less so when you consider that the ratings for its lead-in (the last half hour of Stars) was 21.37 million and a 5.2/12. That means that Suburbia lost 43% of its lead-in in total viewers and 38% in the demo.

Last night, the final half hour of Stars attracted 20.56 million viewers and a 5/12 in the demographic. Suburbia’s numbers were lower than last week with 11.25 million viewers and a 3/7 in the demo. That represents a 44% drop off in both total viewers and those who are 18-49.

If you watch television ratings, this scenario likely sounds a little familiar. Suburbia’s performance is essentially a repeat of last year’s Samantha Who?. This year, Samantha is airing on Thursday nights and has been tanking. Without the Stars lead-in, will Suburbia suffer the same fate?

We’ll find out in May when Stars has completed its run. The sitcom is scheduled to move to Wednesdays at 9pm starting May 27th. The 13 episode season is scheduled to conclude on July 1st.

If all goes as expected and Suburbia’s ratings significantly drop off, it seems doubtful that ABC will order a second season of the sitcom. However, if Suburbia performs well on Wednesday nights and/or the production of new episodes is cost effective, anything can happen.

What do you think? Is the sitcom worth keeping or should it be cancelled?

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22 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. W.M. Engle says

    The writers need to put more time in on the story lines. There are bright spots and then parts that are real turn-offs. The most recent show had the wife’s parents visit and the new characters were terrible! The writers’ parents/in-laws/grandparents must have been real losers. In real life out here in the “normal people’s” world the parents/grandparents bend over backwards to be helpful and supportive of their kids and grandkids. I had mentioned the show to a friend and she watched this show and BOY! was she upset. She call to ask how I could watch such a terrible show much less tell others that it was pretty good. I had to say that I had watched the show last night and I hated it also but that if the writers would get off their hateful mean sprited butts and put real human thought into the story line it could be a great show. The character of the dentist is such a sleaze that you would not want him around you kids and the fat lady with the wild daughter is terrible also so write them out and get some new folks in the neighborhood!

  2. JDintheOC says

    It’s possible that the pilot wasn’t fully fleshed out enough and might have prevented viewers from watching further episodes. I was chosen to watch a preview of a new series and it was pretty bad. When the show actually did make it on the air, it was very different from the pilot I saw and in actuality it was the second episode that was finally aired…not the first. But who knows why ABC chose not to air the first episode…maybe we’ll never know. And I agree that Dr. Jim should be put out of our misery. I really can’t stand the actor Jere Burns so I probably already have my mind made up that I’m not going to like anything he’s in. Anyway…I hope the show makes it. Even I Love Lucy wasn’t very popular for the first few episodes.

  3. JDintheOC says

    Hey…SkySoldier….If you don’t like it don’t watch it. But don’t ruin it for the others who might like it to continue. You have a Remote…use it.

  4. jake says

    I really like the show!! The family itself needs to be on more and forget some of the neighbors. The kids are great, the parents are great and the more I watch, the more I want to see. Sitcoms are about growth. Most take at least one season to get off the ground. So, I hope they keep this around. We need it.

  5. JDintheOC says

    I think the main fault here is with the writers. Look at other great past shows like Home Improvement and The Cosby Show or Friends which all had great writers. Surviving Surburbias writers are just run of the mill. It doesn’t matter if you have a great cast of people or not…if the writer are crap,,,so is the show.

  6. Honesty says

    but it has serious potential
    get rid of the stupid neighbors (premise of the whole show)
    and focus more on The dad OFFENDING people and saying and doing off colour things.
    thats what we want to see. they can get away with anything now we dont want to see lame nice family comedy

  7. Jeramie says

    I’d give it a chance, its a change from the crap thats on TV now a days. Theres enough drama and crappy reality shows. What happened to traditional family sitcoms, there almost non-existent now a days. Id atleast give it another season and just see what happens. There are worse shows out there and hey there still around, I guess a lot of people have bad taste now a days.

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