Incredibly, Fox’s ‘Til Death Is Renewed, But There’s Little Hope for Terminator or Prison Break

This is a breakdown of Fox scripted shows and their renewal and cancellation prospects. For the main post and information on other networks as well as unscripted shows, click here.

While ‘Til Death has done terribly, and has been off Fox’s schedule since October, Sony Pictures has reportedly made Fox such a cheap deal for future episodes that Fox has bought another entire season, proving that at a low enough price that even a ratings black hole is worth suffering through.

That shouldn’t provide any hope for the fans of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles or Prison Break. The former’s move to Friday is unlikely to save it, and the latter’s days also seem numbered.

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: Cancelled/Not Returning, Not Likely To Be Renewed, or Renewal Likely for 2009-10.

FOX SHOWS Net  STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000) Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
DO NOT DISTURB FOX  2,097  3,530 0.59 cancelled
‘TIL DEATH FOX  2,364  3,530 0.67  
PRISON BREAK (1) FOX  2,988  3,530 0.85  final season
AMERICAN DAD FOX  3,772  3,530 1.07  
KING OF THE HILL FOX  3,944  3,530 1.12  not renewed
BONES FOX  4,200  3,530 1.19  
FRINGE FOX  4,367  3,530 1.24  
SIMPSONS FOX  4,896  3,530 1.39  
FAMILY GUY FOX  4,944  3,530 1.40  
HOUSE FOX  6,059  3,530 1.72  

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.

(1) Prison Break is in its final season.

How did we come up with our Index? 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.

Remember that plenty can change before the end of the season, particularly for the shows with indexes between 0.80 and last season’s renewal line of 0.92. The list is presented in a (and has to be, since I cannot predict future ratings) “what would happen if the season ended today” mode. Could the renewal line be 0.86 this season? Possibly. It might also be 0.95. Might it be 0.70? No chance.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All viewership numbers are Live+SD.

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