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NBC's Season of Woe Likely to Claim Life, Knight Rider, Law & Order, Kath & Kim

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January 10th, 2009

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

NBC newcomers Life, Knight Rider and Kath & Kim have all performed badly enough this season to make them unlikely to be renewed. Graybeard Law & Order also finds itself in position to not return next year. Add to that the fact that Jay Leno will be taking over the 10pm hour from Monday-Friday next season, and NBC will not likely be giving marginal shows aother chance.

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.


NBC SHOWS Net  STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000) Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
CRUSOE NBC  1,332  3,590 0.37 finishing on Sat
LIPSTICK JUNGLE NBC  1,976  3,590 0.55 cancelled
LIFE - WED ONLY (1) NBC  2,553  3,590 0.71  
MY OWN WORST ENEMY NBC  2,636  3,590 0.73 cancelled
KNIGHT RIDER NBC  2,696  3,590 0.75  
Law And Order NBC  2,916  3,590 0.81  
KATH & KIM NBC  3,108  3,590 0.87  
CHUCK NBC  3,348  3,590 0.93  
MY NAME IS EARL NBC  3,434  3,590 0.96  
Law And Order:SVU NBC  4,506  3,590 1.26  
E.R. NBC  4,552  3,590 1.27  final season
30 ROCK NBC  4,616  3,590 1.29  
HEROES NBC  5,343  3,590 1.49  
OFFICE NBC  5,735  3,590 1.60  

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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.

(1) Life moved to Wednesday beginning November 5. This is its Wednesday only STD 18-49 average as calculated by me. For past reference, the 4 Life episodes that aired on Fridays averaged 2.043 million adults 18-49.

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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