When “The Neighbors” first came on TV in the fall, it would probably be an understatement to say that we weren’t fans of the premiere: it was one of the strangest things we’ve ever seen, and we didn’t quite “get it” in the same way that others did. The show has found itself a devoted following, and it one of ABC’s most-popular series in particular when it comes to families. But is this enough for it to be granted another season? That is what we are going to be taking a look at in the latest edition of our ratings debate series.
Note that we are looking to analyze these shows strictly on the same basis that the networks are, and that the 18-49 ratings matter much more than total viewers. (Just as “Harry’s Law” for evidence of that, as it was canceled last season despite being NBC’s most-watched drama.)
Most recent performance – a 1.5 18-49 rating for the season finale on March 27, along with 5,52 million viewers.
Why it should go – Typically, the common TV rule is that the lowest-rated show on any given night is in some danger, and “The Neighbors” is that for ABC on Wednesdays. While it still has better average numbers for anything that aired on either Tuesday or Friday nights in the comedy format, it also had the benefit of following up either “The Middle” or “Modern Family” on established nights of comedy.
In addition to this, we’re really not sure if there are going to be ways for this show to get more viewers to tune in next season. With a comedy, you need to be almost universally loved in order to bring in a larger audience. This show does not have that going for it, sadly.
Why it should stay – ABC prides itself on being a family network, and this is as close of a family show as they can have. It’s a good compliment to “The Middle” when it comes to an audience, and this may actually draw more young boys than most of the network’s other shows just based on the concept alone. While this is a show they you probably either love or hate, it is better to be polarizing than it is to have critical acclaim and a minuscule audience if you want to stay on the air.
The verdict – We feel pretty strongly that “Happy Endings” and “Malibu Country” will join “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23” out the door, and the decision on “The Neighbors” will probably be based on the performance of new comedies “How To Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Live)” and “Family Tools.” If they perform well, it’s probably a goner; however, if they both flop we could feasibly see this joining “Last Man Standing” on a new Friday-night comedy block.
One thing that we are confident about, though, is that this series probably will not stay on Wednesday nights.
What is your take on “The Neighbors”: do you think these aliens should be beamed to a galaxy far, far away? Be sure to vote in our poll below, and you can read some more of our ratings debate pieces over here.