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ABC "On The Bubble" No More

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Written By

April 8th, 2008

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NBC stole whatever thunder I might have had from an "on the bubble" analysis by announcing their new schedule earlier than ever before.

I figure I'd better look at the ABC shows up for renewal before they do the same thing! To the best of my knowledge, the ABC shows with an uncertain futures are According to Jim, Boston Legal, Brothers & Sisters, Eli Stone, Here Come the Newlyweds, Just for Laughs, Men in Trees, Miss Guided, Notes from the Underbelly, October Road, Samantha Who?, Oprah's Big Give, Ugly Betty and Women's Murder Club.

The following shows have been cancelled, although there may or may not have been an announcement: Big Shots, Carpoolers, Cashmere Mafia, Men in Trees, and Cavemen. The following shows have been announced as returning in Fall 2008: Samantha Who?, Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies.

UPDATE: Go here to see the 2008 Fall Schedule for ABC.

On to the analysis:

Selected ABC Shows Ranked by Season to Date Adults 18-49, and Season to Date Viewers

STD Adults 18-49 Rank

Show

STD Adults 18-49, Live+SD (000)

STD Viewers Rank

STD Viewers, Live+SD (000)

8

SAMANTHA WHO? (renewed) 5,730

9

12,092

9

BROTHERS & SISTERS (renewed) 5,548

11

10,211

10

OPRAH'S BIG GIVE (cancelled) 5,437

10

11,670

15

HERE COME THE NEWLYWEDS 4,340

21

7,919

16

BIG SHOTS (cancelled) 4,206

27

7,129

17

UGLY BETTY (renewed) 4,142

16

8,792

18

Supernanny (renewed) 3,932

26

7,269

19

DIRTY SEXY MONEY (renewed) 3,880

25

7,425

21

ELI STONE (renewed) 3,844

23

7,749

24

BOSTON LEGAL (remewed) 3,495

15

9,065

25

CAVEMEN (cancelled) 3,247

30

6,405

28

CASHMERE MAFIA (cancelled) 3,147

35

5,418

30

WIFE SWAP (renewed) 3,092

32

6,053

31

OCTOBER ROAD (cancelled) 2,821

41

4,779

33

NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY 2,653

40

4,833

34

WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB (cancelled) 2,630

18

8,401

36

CARPOOLERS (cancelled) 2,559

37

5,100

37

ACCORDING TO JIM 2,307

36

5,102

40

MEN IN TREES (cancelled) 2,131

34

5,742

43

JUST FOR LAUGHS 1,755

43

4,600

Guaranteed Return

  • Brothers & Sisters [edit: announced as already renewed]
  • Oprah's Big Give Assuming Ms. Winfrey wants it to return. 5/13 Update: Apparently, she did not! It's cancelled.

Likely Return

  • Samantha Who? [edit: announced as already renewed]
  • Here Come the Newlyweds

Toss Up

These shows did *worse* than Big Shots (already cancelled) in 18-49 but better than Dirty Sexy Money (already renewed). Confusing? Indeed.

  • Ugly Betty [edit: announced as already renewed]
  • Supernanny [edit: announced as already renewed]
  • Eli Stone Better in viewers than DSM, and just behind DSM in 18-49 adults. Also, has good DVR (Live+7) numbers. Update: Renewed

These two shows have above average viewership for ABC, but well below average 18-49 viewership.

  • Boston Legal Anecdotally, said to have great numbers with high income HH's. Update: Renewed
  • Women's Murder Club Only 31% of its viewers are in the 18-49 demo. Ouch. Update: Cancelled

Show Me The Money

  • According to Jim On ratings numbers alone, it should be gone, but reports are that its syndication prospects will likely save it.

Stick a Fork In Them, They're Done

  • Wife Swap [edit: announced as already renewed]
  • October Road, Update: Cancelled
  • Notes from the Underbelly, Update: Cancelled
  • Men In Trees [5/4 update: Producers have been told it has been cancelled]
  • Just For Laughs

There's Always A Special Rule For Somebody, Isn't There?

  • Miss Guided Nielsen's rule is that if an episode is designated a "special" then it doesn't accumulate its own season to date numbers. count in the network's weekly or season to date average ratings. Well, every single episode of Miss Guided was designated as a "special", so it doesn't appear in any have its own season to date aggregate numbers. It's almost as if ABC *knew* it wasn't going to do well before it aired and took it just to keep on the good side of director Ashton Kutcher. We've been Punk'd. Update: Cancelled.

Fans, what do you think will happen?

* owing to the vagaries of network show announcements or non announcements, this list may very well be incorrect. Comment with a link if you know better!

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Shakia, I’d disagree. I think of the big English broadcast networks ABC is the one that looks like its going *uphill*. They had the best slate of new shows last fall, admittedly not against the strongest of competition.

  • laurlaur

    October road was a great show very relatable for people from small town or circles. I think it is a shame that it may not return. Yet stupid shows like wife swap or the great oprah marketing media shows. October Road was the only show I looked forward to watching during the strike.

  • laurlaur

    October road was a great show very relatable for people from small town or circles. I think it is a shame that it may not return. Yet stupid shows like wife swap or the great oprah marketing media shows. October Road was the only show I looked forward to watching during the strike.

  • nikki

    are you the same person changing your name asking for October Rd to stay? Even the previews are boring.

    I would like to see Big Shots return. It was clever and fast paced.

  • nikki

    are you the same person changing your name asking for October Rd to stay? Even the previews are boring.

    I would like to see Big Shots return. It was clever and fast paced.

  • nikki

    What difference does it make if an audience is over 49? Doesnt everyone 18-49 fast forward through commercials?

  • nikki

    What difference does it make if an audience is over 49? Doesnt everyone 18-49 fast forward through commercials?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Nikki, it makes a difference to the advertisers, and not everyone 18-49 even has a DVR…yet. ;)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Nikki, it makes a difference to the advertisers, and not everyone 18-49 even has a DVR…yet. ;)

  • Kat

    Men in Trees is the only show that I watch on ABC!!! MIT could develop a huge fan base if ABC stopped moving it around every couple of episodes and stopped giving it huge breaks between the episodes. The writing, music, scenery, acting and plot lines are so wonderful. I don't understand why they might cancel this show and keep absolute crap like According to Jim??

  • Kat

    Men in Trees is the only show that I watch on ABC!!! MIT could develop a huge fan base if ABC stopped moving it around every couple of episodes and stopped giving it huge breaks between the episodes. The writing, music, scenery, acting and plot lines are so wonderful. I don’t understand why they might cancel this show and keep absolute crap like According to Jim??

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