TVbytheNumbers Cancellation Index

Categories: TV Ratings

Written By

May 18th, 2008

Why Did Your Favorite Prime-Time Show Get Cancelled?

Last Fall we tried to handicap the new show race in a variety of ways, but we always struggled to rank the shows from different networks as a group with the data we had available. Because a 6m viewer show would be headed for a quick cancellation at CBS, but for the CW it would be their top show. After trying a few metrics, I think we've found something we'll use next Fall that, at least for now, I'll call the TVbytheNumbers Cancellation Index.

Applying the Cancellation Index to shows from this season's results showed a pretty definitive line above which a show was renewed and below which a show was very vulnerable to cancellation. To get the Index value for each show, I took its season to date adults 18-49 viewership for its standard timeslot airings only and divided it by the season to date average adults 18-49 viewership for the show's own network.

If the show was at or above 93% of its networks average results for adults 18-49 it was pretty safe. Only 3 shows above that level were cancelled, and one, Oprah's Big Give, was only cancelled because Ms. Winfrey wanted it gone, ABC would have welcomed it back.

A number of shows stand out, particularly Bionic Woman. Minus the hype, it didn't perform that badly. Maybe if it had entered the season with modest expectations instead of being the hope to save NBC it might have survived. Big Shots fans might also cry foul. However, one thing it's hard for our data to take into account is the implied benefits of a good lead-in that were squandered. That might be a reason for Big Shots, Moonlight & Jericho demise. Moonlight fans note that your show had the lowest Index of any scripted show in the CBS line up (and Dexter, brought in to fill strike holes).

PROGRAMS

Network

Show 18-49 (000)

Network Average 18-49

Cancel index

Fate

American Idol-TUESDAY

FOX

14,111

5,290

2.67  
American Idol-WEDNESDAY

FOX

13,347

5,290

2.52  
AMERICA'S Top Model-3

CW

3,032

1,270

2.39  
NBC Sunday Night Football

NBC

8,291

3,500

2.37  
Desperate Housewives

ABC

8,514

3,710

2.29  
GREY'S ANATOMY-THU 9PM

ABC

7,457

3,710

2.01  
HEROES

NBC

6,958

3,500

1.99  
AMERICA'S Top Model-4

CW

2,418

1,270

1.90  
DANCING W/THE STARS-MON

ABC

6,922

3,710

1.87  
LOST

ABC

6,389

3,710

1.72  
Dancing with the Stars

ABC

6,225

3,710

1.68  
DANCING W/STARS RESULT-TU

ABC

6,200

3,710

1.67  
SURVIVOR: CHINA

CBS

6,083

3,670

1.66  
CSI

CBS

5,902

3,670

1.61  
Two and a Half Men

CBS

5,890

3,670

1.60  
Extreme Makeover:HOME ED.

ABC

5,913

3,710

1.59  
HOUSE

FOX

8,405

5,290

1.59  
SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK

NBC

5,551

3,500

1.59  
AMERICAN GLADIATORS

NBC

5,321

3,500

1.52  
SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA

CBS

5,507

3,670

1.50  
MOMENT OF TRUTH

FOX

7,797

5,290

1.47  
BEAUTY AND THE GEEK-2

CW

1,870

1,270

1.47  
Friday Night Smackdown

CW

1,836

1,270

1.45  
Smallville

CW

1,824

1,270

1.44  
Law And Order:SVU

NBC

4,983

3,500

1.42  
DANCING W/STARS RESULTS

ABC

5,215

3,710

1.41  
One Tree Hill

CW

1,767

1,270

1.39  
OFFICE

NBC

4,789

3,500

1.37  
CSI: MIAMI

CBS

5,020

3,670

1.37  
APPRENTICE 7

NBC

4,749

3,500

1.36  
BROTHERS & SISTERS

ABC

5,033

3,710

1.36  
Rules of Engagement

CBS

4,968

3,670

1.35  
OPRAH'S BIG GIVE

ABC

4,848

3,710

1.31 cancelled
BIONIC WOMAN

NBC

4,560

3,500

1.30 cancelled
SAMANTHA WHO?

ABC

4,805

3,710

1.30  
Biggest Loser 5

NBC

4,512

3,500

1.29  
DEAL OR NO DEAL-MON

NBC

4,468

3,500

1.28  
HELL'S KITCHEN

FOX

6,750

5,290

1.28  
OLD CHRISTINE

CBS

4,653

3,670

1.27  
Amazing Race 12

CBS

4,642

3,670

1.26  
Private Practice

ABC

4,651

3,710

1.25  
E.R.

NBC

4,368

3,500

1.25  
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 3

NBC

4,329

3,500

1.24  
BACHELOR, THE

ABC

4,544

3,710

1.22  
Biggest Loser 4

NBC

4,280

3,500

1.22  
MEDIUM

NBC

4,098

3,500

1.17  
WITHOUT A TRACE

CBS

4,270

3,670

1.16  
CHUCK

NBC

4,061

3,500

1.16  
HERE COME THE NEWLYWEDS

ABC

4,236

3,710

1.14  
GAME, THE

CW

1,422

1,270

1.12  
SCRUBS

NBC

3,899

3,500

1.11  
Law And Order

NBC

3,896

3,500

1.11  
Big Bang Theory, THE

CBS

4,050

3,670

1.10  
CSI: NY

CBS

4,019

3,670

1.10  
Criminal Minds

CBS

4,009

3,670

1.09  
How I Met Your Mother

CBS

4,006

3,670

1.09  
OT, THE

FOX

5,727

5,290

1.08  
MY NAME IS EARL

NBC

3,723

3,500

1.06  
REAPER

CW

1,342

1,270

1.06  
Gossip Girl

CW

1,338

1,270

1.05  
PUSHING DAISIES

ABC

3,892

3,710

1.05  
Supernatural

CW

1,323

1,270

1.04  
30 ROCK

NBC

3,634

3,500

1.04  
BIG SHOTS

ABC

3,807

3,710

1.03 cancelled
LIFE

NBC

3,496

3,500

1.00  
UNIT, THE

CBS

3,662

3,670

1.00  
NCIS

CBS

3,655

3,670

1.00  
DEAL OR NO DEAL-WED

NBC

3,443

3,500

0.98  
TERMINATOR: SRH CNR CHRON

FOX

5,189

5,290

0.98  
UGLY BETTY

ABC

3,639

3,710

0.98  
Family Guy

FOX

5,135

5,290

0.97  
Supernanny

ABC

3,487

3,710

0.94  
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS

CW

1,192

1,270

0.94  
BACHELOR: LONDON CALLING

ABC

3,466

3,710

0.93  
LIPSTICK JUNGLE

NBC

3,269

3,500

0.93  
60 Minutes

CBS

3,416

3,670

0.93  
GIRLFRIENDS

CW

1,178

1,270

0.93  
COLD CASE

CBS

3,396

3,670

0.93  
DANCE WAR:BRUNO/CARRIEANN

ABC

3,426

3,710

0.92  
DIRTY SEXY MONEY

ABC

3,420

3,710

0.92  
Simpsons

FOX

4,872

5,290

0.92  
JOURNEYMAN

NBC

3,204

3,500

0.92 cancelled
PUSSYCAT DOLLS:GIRLICIOUS

CW

1,098

1,270

0.86 cancelled
ELI STONE

ABC

3,190

3,710

0.86  
PHENOMENON

NBC

2,982

3,500

0.85 cancelled
AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS

ABC

3,155

3,710

0.85  
CAVEMEN

ABC

3,097

3,710

0.83 cancelled
Big Brother 9-SUN

CBS

3,060

3,670

0.83  
BOSTON LEGAL

ABC

3,058

3,710

0.82  
Big Brother 9-TUE

CBS

3,021

3,670

0.82  
DEAL OR NO DEAL-FRI

NBC

2,851

3,500

0.81 cancelled
KID NATION

CBS

2,944

3,670

0.80 cancelled
SHARK

CBS

2,939

3,670

0.80 cancelled
LAS VEGAS

NBC

2,796

3,500

0.80 cancelled
GHOST WHISPERER

CBS

2,907

3,670

0.79  
WIFE SWAP

ABC

2,924

3,710

0.79  
BEAUTY AND THE GEEK-3

CW

993

1,270

0.78 cancelled
PRISON BREAK

FOX

4,117

5,290

0.78  
CROWNED

CW

984

1,270

0.77 cancelled
American Dad

FOX

4,085

5,290

0.77  
KING OF THE HILL

FOX

4,084

5,290

0.77  
WELCOME TO THE CAPTAIN

CBS

2,822

3,670

0.77 cancelled
NUMB3RS

CBS

2,789

3,670

0.76  
1 VS 100

NBC

2,653

3,500

0.76 cancelled
Big Brother 9-WED

CBS

2,774

3,670

0.76  
CANE

CBS

2,752

3,670

0.75 cancelled
MY DAD IS BETR THN YR DAD

NBC

2,622

3,500

0.75 cancelled
Dateline FRI

NBC

2,615

3,500

0.75  
PRICE IS RIGHT PRIMETIME

CBS

2,730

3,670

0.74  
ALIENS IN AMERICA

CW

927

1,270

0.73 cancelled
JERICHO

CBS

2,666

3,670

0.73 cancelled
SAT NIGHT FOOTBALL

ABC

2,689

3,710

0.72  
Law And Order:CRIM INTENT

NBC

2,530

3,500

0.72  
BONES

FOX

3,822

5,290

0.72  
CASHMERE MAFIA

ABC

2,667

3,710

0.72 cancelled
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 2

NBC

2,487

3,500

0.71  
MOONLIGHT

CBS

2,602

3,670

0.71 cancelled
DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS

FOX

3,694

5,290

0.70  
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

NBC

2,442

3,500

0.70  
Dexter

CBS

2,479

3,670

0.68  
Kitchen Nightmares

FOX

3,571

5,290

0.68  
20/20-FRI

ABC

2,469

3,710

0.67  
OCTOBER ROAD

ABC

2,455

3,710

0.66 cancelled
NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY

ABC

2,434

3,710

0.66 cancelled
CARPOOLERS

ABC

2,408

3,710

0.65 cancelled
WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB

ABC

2,365

3,710

0.64 cancelled
NEW AMSTERDAM

FOX

3,332

5,290

0.63 cancelled
SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER

FOX

3,305

5,290

0.62  
48 Hours Mystery

CBS

2,149

3,670

0.59  
COPS 2

FOX

2,918

5,290

0.55  
UNHITCHED

FOX

2,873

5,290

0.54 cancelled
BACK TO YOU

FOX

2,872

5,290

0.54 cancelled
TIL DEATH

FOX

2,845

5,290

0.54  
AMNESIA

NBC

1,861

3,500

0.53 cancelled
MEN IN TREES

ABC

1,968

3,710

0.53 cancelled
ABC SAT MOVIE OF THE WEEK

ABC

1,944

3,710

0.52  
AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK

FOX

2,756

5,290

0.52  
CRIMETIME SATURDAY

CBS

1,830

3,670

0.50  
COPS

FOX

2,509

5,290

0.47  
JUST FOR LAUGHS

ABC

1,757

3,710

0.47 cancelled
CBS MOVIE SATURDAY

CBS

1,709

3,670

0.47  
K-VILLE

FOX

2,444

5,290

0.46 cancelled
SAT NIGHT FTBL PRE-GAME

ABC

1,666

3,710

0.45  
LIFE IS WILD

CW

460

1,270

0.36 cancelled
DUEL

ABC

1,319

3,710

0.36 cancelled
CANTERBURY'S LAW

FOX

1,764

5,290

0.33 cancelled
CW NOW

CW

366

1,270

0.29 cancelled
NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND

FOX

1,509

5,290

0.29 cancelled

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

 
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