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Renewal Likely Now For Chuck, Prison Break and Ugly Betty

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October 22nd, 2008

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

The fourth week of our Renew/Cancel Index finds the shows most likely to be cancelled for each of the broadcast networks the same as they were last week: Easy Money (CW), Life (NBC), The Ex List (CBS), Pushing Daisies (ABC) and 'Til Death (Fox). Other shows in the greatest danger are NBC's just premiered Crusoe, CBS's The New Adventures of Old Christine, and CBS's Gary Unmarried.

10/24 Update: NBC has announced that Life will move to Wednesday and Lipstick Jungle will move to Friday in late October/early November. This indicates both that Life will be given extra time and that Lipstick Jungle is a dead show walking. The status of both in our list is updated.

On the other hand, because either their own results are improving or their network results are slipping (it doesn't matter which since it's the show's relative performance that matters), several shows moved from the Cancellation in May zone into the Renewal for 2009-10 Likely zone this week including: Chuck, Prison Break, and Ugly Betty. Others getting close to the renewal zone are Knight Rider and Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, both of which got full season (2008-9) orders from their networks this week.

I'll Go On record now as predicting that Pushing Daisies will be this season's Moonlight (which was sort of last season's Jericho) in terms of the volume of fans wailing and moaning about the injustice and conspiracies of the television networks and vowing never to watch ABC again if the show is cancelled. If you're emotionally fragile and a fan of Pushing Daisies, prepare yourself! As far as all those Moonlight fans vowing never to watch CBS again, it seems that even more fans have vowed not to watch the other networks.

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

  • Cancellation by January
  • Cancellation by May
  • Renewal Likely for 2009-10

 

PROGRAM Net  STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000)  Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
EASY MONEY* CW  395  1,210 0.33 production halted
VALENTINE* CW  440  1,210 0.36 production halted
LIFE** NBC  2,028  3,500 0.58  moving to Wed
CRUSOE** NBC  2,145  3,500 0.61  13 ep. mini-series
THE EX-LIST** CBS  2,586  4,180 0.62  pulled from schedule 10/27
DO NOT DISTURB FOX  2,097  3,290 0.64 cancelled
NEW ADVS OF OLD CHRISTINE CBS  2,772  4,180 0.66  
NUMB3RS** CBS  2,800  4,180 0.67  
TIL DEATH FOX  2,363  3,290 0.72  
PUSHING DAISIES ABC  2,619  3,640 0.72  
GARY UNMARRIED CBS  3,050  4,180 0.73  
BOSTON LEGAL ABC  2,860  3,640 0.79 final season
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS** CW  951  1,210 0.79  
ELI STONE ABC  2,865  3,640 0.79  
LIPSTICK JUNGLE NBC  2,763  3,500 0.79   moving to Friday
DIRTY SEXY MONEY ABC  2,920  3,640 0.80  
THE UNIT CBS  3,365  4,180 0.81  
GHOST WHISPERER** CBS  3,418  4,180 0.82  
WITHOUT A TRACE CBS  3,547  4,180 0.85  
COLD CASE CBS  3,618  4,180 0.87  
THE GAME** CW  1,066  1,210 0.88  
TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES FOX  2,924  3,290 0.89  
KNIGHT RIDER NBC  3,133  3,500 0.90  
RENEWAL LIKELY BELOW THIS LINE          
CHUCK NBC  3,279  3,500 0.94  
PRISON BREAK FOX  3,182  3,290 0.97  
ELEVENTH HOUR CBS  4,237  4,180 1.01  
UGLY BETTY ABC  3,693  3,640 1.01  
WORST WEEK CBS  4,263  4,180 1.02  
MY NAME IS EARL NBC  3,588  3,500 1.03  
PRIVILEGED CW  1,255  1,210 1.04  
Private Practice ABC  3,867  3,640 1.06  
KATH & KIM NBC  3,795  3,500 1.08  
SAMANTHA WHO? ABC  4,000  3,640 1.10  
THE Mentalist CBS  4,649  4,180 1.11  
MY OWN WORST ENEMY NBC  3,909  3,500 1.12  
The Big Bang Theory CBS  4,674  4,180 1.12  
LIFE ON MARS ABC  4,085  3,640 1.12  
NCIS CBS  4,823  4,180 1.15  
How I Met Your Mother CBS  5,183  4,180 1.24  
BONES FOX  4,225  3,290 1.28  
CSI: NY CBS  5,429  4,180 1.30  
American Dad FOX  4,396  3,290 1.34  
E.R. NBC  4,744  3,500 1.36 final season
Criminal Minds CBS  5,675  4,180 1.36  
KING OF THE HILL FOX  4,471  3,290 1.36  
CSI: MIAMI CBS  5,806  4,180 1.39  
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC  5,064  3,640 1.39  
Law And Order:SVU NBC  4,950  3,500 1.41  
Supernatural CW  1,839  1,210 1.52  
Simpsons FOX  5,277  3,290 1.60  
Two and a Half Men CBS  6,746  4,180 1.61  
Fringe FOX  5,315  3,290 1.62  
HEROES NBC  6,044  3,500 1.73  
Gossip Girl CW  2,113  1,210 1.75  
OFFICE NBC  6,219  3,500 1.78  
Family Guy FOX  5,895  3,290 1.79  
Smallville CW  2,221  1,210 1.84  
One Tree Hill CW  2,247  1,210 1.86  
HOUSE FOX  6,342  3,290 1.93  
CSI CBS  8,147  4,180 1.95  
90210 CW  2,373  1,210 1.96  
Desperate Housewives ABC  8,102  3,640 2.23  
GREY'S ANATOMY ABC  8,705  3,640 2.39  

 -
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). The two scripted shows have now had their production halted, but are still airing their completed episodes. Althought, we've been told and Mediaweek has reported that these shows are contractually in for a minimum of a 13 week run regardless, we think their dreadful results may cause that to change. And MRC's President just resigned. Coincidence?

**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. My grading technique on shows with histories on Friday (only Numb3rs and Ghost Whisperer) is that until they reach their Index values from last season they still are at risk of non-renewal.

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. Because American Idol so skewed Fox's 18-49 average, and would make nearly all Fox shows fall into the "cancel" range, for Fox, I used the last STD 18-49 average *before* Idol. 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 The Closer a show is to the top of the list the more danger it's in of being cancelled or not returning when it's 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  370  1,210 0.31  
AMERICA'S TOUGHEST JOBS NBC  1,452  3,500 0.41  
SAT NIGHT FTBL PRE-GAME ABC  1,913  3,640 0.53  
48 Hours Mystery CBS  2,206  4,180 0.53  
WIFE SWAP ABC  1,977  3,640 0.54  
DEAL OR NO DEAL-FRI NBC  2,038  3,500 0.58  
SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER FOX  1,952  3,290 0.59  
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS ABC  2,175  3,640 0.60 cancelled
DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS FOX  1,991  3,290 0.61  
Supernanny ABC  2,228  3,640 0.61  
COPS FOX  2,087  3,290 0.63  
HOLE IN WALL THU-8P FOX  2,183  3,290 0.66  
20/20-FRI ABC  2,511  3,640 0.69  
AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK FOX  2,388  3,290 0.73  
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 2 NBC  2,634  3,500 0.75  
COPS 2 FOX  2,479  3,290 0.75  
AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS ABC  2,874  3,640 0.79  
Extreme Makeover:HM ED-7P ABC  2,952  3,640 0.81  
SAT NIGHT FOOTBALL ABC  2,999  3,640 0.82  
60 Minutes CBS  3,788  4,180 0.91  
Kitchen Nightmares FOX  3,052  3,290 0.93  
Amazing Race 13 CBS  4,161  4,180 1.00  
Biggest Loser 6 NBC  4,074  3,500 1.16  
DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC  4,626  3,640 1.27  
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 3 NBC  4,511  3,500 1.29  
Extreme Makeover:HM ED-8P ABC  4,967  3,640 1.36  
SURVIVOR: GABON CBS  5,825  4,180 1.39  
SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK NBC  5,772  3,500 1.65  
Dancing with the Stars ABC  6,017  3,640 1.65  
THE OT FOX  6,080  3,290 1.85  
AMERICA'S Top Model-5 CW  2,441  1,210 2.02  
NBC Sunday Night Football NBC  8,517  3,500 2.43  

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

 
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