Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through January 3, 2010):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010
  • Some Danger Of Being Canceled By May, 2010
  • Likely to Be Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
Program Renew/ Cancel Index
Numb3rs (F), (P) 0.54
Three Rivers (P) .55*
Medium (F), (P) 0.60
Cold Case (P) 0.65
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.66
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.67
Gary Unmarried 0.71
The Good Wife (P) 0.87
Accidentally On Purpose (P) 0.90
CSI:NY (P) 1.00
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.04
Criminal Minds (P) 1.14
The Mentalist 1.14
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.15
CSI (P) 1.16
CSI: Miami (P) 1.18
NCIS (P) 1.33
Two And A Half Men 1.44
Big Bang Theory 1.54

Since there have been few new episodes aired in the past two weeks, I thought it would be a good time to review CBS’ mid-season scripted show situation this year compared to last year.

Mid-season 2008-9:

  • 1 show canceled (The Ex-List)
  • 4 more shows ultimately canceled (The Unit, Without A Trace, Eleventh Hour, Worst Week)

Mid-season 2009-10:

  • 1 show canceled (Three Rivers)
  • 1 show in significant danger (Cold Case)
  • 5 shows in some danger (Numb3rs, Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Good Wife, Accidentally on Purpose)

This season, as with last, CBS’ relative success will likely put it in a position to cancel one or more shows that have not done that badly, just to free up space for new shows. Last season they canceled three such shows (Without A Trace, Eleventh Hour and Worst Week). Fans of The Unit, don’t kid yourself, its ratings were terrible.

This season, Cold Case will definitely be canceled (although like The Unit, I’m sure we’ll be hearing fan excuses for the next year).

As I wrote before, Accidentally On Purpose looks like this season’s Worst Week.

Numb3rs future looks bleak with this season’s order being reduced. It seems a lot like Without A Trace: older show, costs likely escalated, syndication ready, ratings fading.

I’m leaning towards renewal for Good Wife as things currently stand.

Figuring CBS will continue to stomach bad ratings for a new comedy block, I would be surprised if CBS canceled both Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, but not if they just canceled Christine.

And while Medium has hardly lit up the ratings on Friday, I doubt that CBS would cancel two of its Friday shows.

For shows in the Some Danger category only, I am including short term Index indicators for shows either with either improving :mrgreen: or deteriorating 😳 Indexes, based on 4 week averages instead of season to date Indexes.

This is a breakdown of CBS scripted shows and their renewal and cancellation prospects. Here are links to the other networks:


The Renew/Cancel Index is a show’s Season To Date adults 18-49 rating divided by its network’s Season to Date average 18-49 rating. If a show’s season to date 18-49 ratings average equalled its network’s 18-49 average, the show would have an Index of 1.00. Without special factors, scripted shows that were more than 10% below their network’s average are typically canceled by the end of the broadcast primetime season.

Factors that could cause a show to be renewed with well below average index:

  • (F) -Fridays: Shows airing on Fridays have been renewed with significantly lower than average Indexes.
  • (S) – Syndication: Shows nearing syndication (66-88 episodes), often have economic factors that trump ratings leading to renewal.
  • (T) – Third Party: Shows that have a portion of their cost underwritten by a 3rd party can be renewed with substantially lower ratings.
  • (P) – Produced by the network’s production company – For shows on the bubble, being produced by the network’s corporate production company can be a survival advantage. For real losers, it’s unlikely to help.

While I initially tried to designate shows with “plum” timeslots, I think that’s hard to make that call at this point in the season. It’s likely still a factor, but will have to be an “after the fact” call.

What’s the History of the Index and How Did It Do In the Past? Check out the results from the 2007-8 season and the 2008-9 season.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings used are Live+Same Day viewing.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

blog comments powered by Disqus