Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through October 11, 2009):

  • 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
Hank 0.64
the forgotten 0.75
Castle (P) 0.77
The Middle 0.81
Eastwick 0.82
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.06
FlashForward (P) 1.23
Cougar Town (P) 1.31
Modern Family 1.31
Private Practice (P) 1.41
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.64
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 2.09

While I don’t think it’s much for Castle fans to cheer about, the forgotten is definitely more likely to be canceled than their favorite show. Not only has its Index fallen below Castle’s, but its ratings are still trending down and even if they stabilize now its Index will continue falling as its average gets pulled down. Any bets on whether Christian Slater will be on a CBS show next season after My Own Worst Enemy on NBC and now the forgotten?

And while Eastwick’s Index is still above Castle’s, its ratings are trending down sharply, and I’d put its chances of being canceled at nearly as high as the forgotten’s.

Among ABC’s comedies, Hank is looking even shakier than it was last week, it’s certain to be canceled before the end of the season. And while The Middle has received an order for a full season from ABC, I’m not sure I’d make any plans to watch it next season just yet.

In response to some comments about color blindness and problems with the colors in the list, the shows in red (the greatest danger) are now also bolded. Does that help?

This is a breakdown of ABC 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 a 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

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