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Easy Money, Life, Ex List, Pushing Daisies, 'Til Death Most Likely to Be Cancelled

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October 14th, 2008

The Renew or Cancel Index is updated on a weekly basis, to see the latest list, click here.

The third week of our Renew/Cancel Index finds the shows most likely to be cancelled for each of the broadcast networks being Easy Money (CW), Life (NBC), The Ex List (CBS), Pushing Daisies (ABC) and 'Til Death (Fox). Other shows in danger are Everybody Hates Chris, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Numb3rs, Dirty Sexy Money and Lipstick Jungle.

The two CW scripted shows on Sunday night produced by Media Rights Capital, Valentine and Easy Money, had their production halted this week as the producer evaluates their future. My guess is that evaluation doesn't produce positive results. 10/15 Update: They have now been placed on "hiatus", a nice way of saying "removed from the schedule". The current announcement says it will be temporary until late November / early December. We'll see about that.

The premieres last week of Eleventh Hour, Kath & Kim and Life on Mars were good enough to put them into the safe zone. At least for now.

It is still early in the season and shows continue to shift up and down the list. In our original list, for example, My Name is Earl looked in danger, but now it's edged into the safe zone.  Other shows like Prison Break and Ugly Betty are improving their standing as well. How far from safety is too far to sustain the hope of fans? It's too early to know for sure, but fans of the shows near the top of the list shouldn't be making any long term viewing plans. 

10/15 Update: The first two airings of Friday Night Smackdown! on MyNetworkTV averaged 1.378 million adults 18-49, noticeably better than both Everybody Hates Chris and The Game, which the CW has airing in that timeslot now.

While the Renew / Cancel index is most geared toward predicting potential renewal for *next* season, my color coding of the list are guesses on what might happen this season:

  1. Cancellation in or before January. The networks have a line up of shows ready to go in mid-season to replace poor Fall performers.
  2. Cancellation in May. Fans for the shows just above the "renewal likely" line will likely be in for some anxiety around show renewal time in April/May.
  3. Renewal for 2009-10.

And now, here is the Renew/Cancel Index list of scripted shows for results as of October 12, 2008 ranked from most likely to be cancelled to least likely to be cancelled:


PROGRAM Net STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000) Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
EASY MONEY* CW  463 1,460 0.32 production halted
VALENTINE* CW  507 1,460 0.35 production halted
LIFE** NBC  2,037 3,880 0.53  
DO NOT DISTURB FOX  2,097 3,630 0.58 cancelled
THE EX LIST** CBS  2,560 4,150 0.62  
PUSHING DAISIES ABC  2,653 4,190 0.63  
TIL DEATH FOX  2,367 3,630 0.65  
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS** CW  959 1,460 0.66  
NEW ADVS OF OLD CHRISTINE CBS  2,749 4,150 0.66  
NUMB3RS** CBS  2,811 4,150 0.68  
BOSTON LEGAL ABC  2,903 4,190 0.69  final season
DIRTY SEXY MONEY ABC  2,909 4,190 0.69  
LIPSTICK JUNGLE NBC  2,757 3,880 0.71  
THE GAME** CW  1,073 1,460 0.73  
GARY UNMARRIED CBS  3,060 4,150 0.74  
TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES FOX  2,925 3,630 0.81  
KNIGHT RIDER NBC  3,165 3,880 0.82  
GHOST WHISPERER** CBS  3,438 4,150 0.83  
THE UNIT CBS  3,483 4150 0.84  
CHUCK NBC  3,293 3,880 0.85  
COLD CASE CBS  3,618 4,150 0.87  
WITHOUT A TRACE CBS  3,641 4,150 0.88  
PRISON BREAK FOX  3,186 3,630 0.88  
UGLY BETTY ABC  3,736 4,190 0.89  
RENEWAL LIKELY BELOW THIS LINE        
Private Practice ABC  3,861 4,190 0.92  
PRIVILEGED CW  1,352 1,460 0.93  
MY NAME IS EARL NBC  3,612 3,880 0.93  
WORST WEEK CBS  4,272 4150 1.03  
ELEVENTH HOUR CBS  4,281 4,150 1.03  
KATH & KIM NBC  4,274 3,880 1.10  
Big Bang Theory, THE CBS  4,647 4,150 1.12  
THE Mentalist CBS  4,721 4,150 1.14  
NCIS CBS  4,727 4,150 1.14  
LIFE ON MARS ABC  4,828 4,190 1.15  
BONES FOX  4,228 3,630 1.16  
KING OF THE HILL FOX  4,384 3,630 1.21  
American Dad FOX  4,424 3,630 1.22  
E.R. NBC  4,763 3,880 1.23  final season
How I Met Your Mother CBS  5,186 4,150 1.25  
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC  5,254 4,190 1.25  
Law And Order:SVU NBC  4,983 3,880 1.28  
Supernatural CW  1,909 1,460 1.31  
CSI: NY CBS  5,439 4,150 1.31  
Criminal Minds CBS  5,688 4,150 1.37  
Gossip Girl CW  2,106 1,460 1.44  
CSI: MIAMI CBS  6,007 4,150 1.45  
Fringe FOX  5,328 3,630 1.47  
Simpsons FOX  5,355 3,630 1.48  
Smallville CW  2,217 1,460 1.52  
One Tree Hill CW  2,239 1,460 1.53  
HEROES NBC  6,139 3,880 1.58  
Family Guy FOX  5,769 3,630 1.59  
Two and a Half Men CBS  6,646 4,150 1.60  
OFFICE NBC  6,417 3,880 1.65  
HOUSE FOX  6,181 3,630 1.70  
90210 CW  2,554 1,460 1.75  
Desperate Housewives ABC  8,304 4,190 1.98  
GREY'S ANATOMY ABC  9,005 4,190 2.15  
CSI CBS  9,421 4,150 2.27  

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The Renew/Cancel Index is a show's Season To Date adults 18-49 viewership divided by its networks Season to Date average 18-49 viewership. Note: Only shows that have premiered during the 2008-9 broadcast season are on this list.

*CW MRC Sunday - The CW has leased its entire Sunday night to Media Rights Capital (MRC). We've been told and Mediaweek has reported (correct us if we're wrong) that these shows are contractually in for a minimum of a 13 week run regardless of results.

**Friday night - Friday is quickly becoming an 18-49 wasteland, so these shows may be allowed a lower threshold for success than shows on other nights.

How did we come up with our list? We found that last season, the future of a show was nearly directly related to its adults 18-49 average viewers divided by its networks 18-49 average viewers. Many other factors may matter, but they all seemed to boil down to that one number. Last season, if a show had better than 92% of its network's average 18-49 viewership (0.92 in our index) it was pretty safe, below that level it was in danger. We're not sure what the magic number will be this season, but I'm very confident that our index will still indicate the shows most likely to be cancelled compared to those less likely to be cancelled.

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For unscripted shows, the results from last season were far less cut and dried. A similar relationship did seem to hold between 18-49 averages, but some unscripted shows survived with very low numbers. My conclusion was that some unscripted shows must be so cheap that they are expected to do little more than fill air time and produce little in the way of viewership. However, it's likely that In Harm's WayAmerica's Toughest Jobs, Wife Swap and Supernanny are in significant danger of being cancelled or not returning when their run is completed. Other shows can be judged by their relative position on our list ranked from most likely to be cancelled to least likely to be cancelled.


PROGRAM Net STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000) Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
IN HARM'S WAY* CW  398 1,460 0.27  
AMERICA'S TOUGHEST JOBS NBC  1,451 3,880 0.37  
WIFE SWAP ABC  1,812 4,190 0.43  
SAT NIGHT FTBL PRE-GAME ABC  1,914 4,190 0.46  
Supernanny ABC  2,156 4,190 0.51  
DEAL OR NO DEAL-FRI NBC  2,034 3,880 0.52  
SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER FOX  1,967 3,630 0.54  
DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS FOX  1,990 3,630 0.55  
48 Hours Mystery CBS  2,345 4,150 0.57  
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS ABC  2,404 4,190 0.57  cancelled
COPS FOX  2,100 3,630 0.58  
20/20-FRI ABC  2,458 4,190 0.59  
HOLE IN WALL THU-8P FOX  2,302 3,630 0.63  
AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK FOX  2,388 3,630 0.66  
COPS 2 FOX  2,506 3,630 0.69  
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 2 NBC  2,723 3,880 0.70  
Extreme Makeover:HM ED-7P ABC  2,952 4,190 0.70  
AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS ABC  2,964 4,190 0.71  
SAT NIGHT FOOTBALL ABC  3,137 4,190 0.75  
60 Minutes CBS 3,581 4,150 0.86  
Kitchen Nightmares FOX  3,309 3,630 0.91  
Amazing Race 13 CBS  4,184 4,150 1.01  
Biggest Loser 6 NBC  4,062 3,880 1.05  
DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC  4,928 4,190 1.18  
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 3 NBC  4,725 3,880 1.22  
SURVIVOR: GABON CBS 5,891 4,150 1.42  
Dancing with the Stars ABC  6,182 4,190 1.48  
SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK NBC  6,142 3,880 1.58  
THE OT FOX  6,080 3,630 1.67  
AMERICA'S Top Model-5 CW  2,504 1,460 1.72  
NBC Sunday Night Football NBC  9,033 3,880 2.33  

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

 
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