Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through October 25, 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
The Beautiful Life: TBL (P) 0.49*
Melrose Place (P) 0.65
Smallville (F), (P) 0.83
90210 (P) 0.88
One Tree Hill (P) 0.92
Gossip Girl (P) 0.93
Supernatural (S), (P) 0.93
Vampire Diaries (P) 1.28

Smallville fans wary of the motives of CW Chief Dawn Ostroff should be sleeping easily. With the relatively good ratings its getting on Friday (relatively better for its network than any other Friday scripted show on any network), she’s not going to be able to cancel it. Of course, if the producers or stars don’t want to continue that’s another story.

The Renew / Cancel Index for CW shows is likely to look pretty much as it does now for several months, with Melrose Place the only show certain to be canceled and all the rest in good shape. That being the case, just like last season with  Privileged I’m certain that there are entertainment bloggers out there that will raise the (false) hopes of fans (and their pageviews) with ridiculous “There’s Hope For Melrose Place!” stories.

Who do you think will be first?

*I have frozen The Beautiful Life’s Index at its value the week of cancellation.

This is a breakdown of CW 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

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