Ratings debate: Is ABC’s ‘GCB’ worthy of staying past finale?

Good for a season 2?

On Sunday, ABC’s new series “GCB” is going to be closing its first season with a finale that literally involves a trip gone horrendously awry. Now, we just have to wonder whether or not this is going to be the season or the series finale for the show.

Without further ado, let’s dive into our Sunday entry of our ratings debate.

Why it should go – When it comes to its recent numbers, “GCB” has been firmly in the 1.7-2.0 range in the 18-49 demographic — the sort of place that canceled shows often land. Considering that it is a serial, you also have to wonder if it has any potential to build its audience from here.

While we’re also not sure how much of a factor it plays in their decision-making, it’s also possible that since ABC does not have a breakout hit with the show, they may not want to deal with the controversy that it causes with Christian groups.

Why it should stay – If nothing else, “GCB” fans can boast that the show has fared better than “Pan Am” did in the timeslot earlier this season. It is retaining a good 70-75% of its “Desperate Housewives” lead-in, and has routinely been competitive against CBS and even “The Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC (even if it has lost on a number of occasions).

Really, “GCB” could make it through based on some of the network’s other cancellations — and how many new pilots they have. We see “Body of Proof,” “Pan Am,” and “Missing” as shows that are as good as gone, “Private Practice” and “Scandal” are on the bubble, and “Desperate Housewives” are ending.

If they keep the series around, they would only have to replace one show on Sunday night unless they are planning to move something else into the post-“Once Upon a Time” slot. The ratings for this show have also been hurt slightly by the show having to air in lineups containing repeats as lead-ins.

What will happen – While we’re not overly optimistic on the show’s chances of staying put, we would give it about a 50% chance of renewal. Why isn’t it higher? It’s mostly because we could see the network moving one of its other series (like “Scandal”) into the most-“Housewives” timeslot), and they could thus plug in a new series at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Unfortunately, its rating is firmly in on the bubble when you look at the shows that are likely going to be renewed, and the shows that are likely going to be canceled. If the network has some strong pilots, expect “GCB” to be gone — otherwise, it could get another 13-15 episodes as a midseason replacement.

Photo: ABC

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