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CBS's Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Worst Week Won't All Survive, But Which One(s) Live(s)?

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January 10th, 2009

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

CBS has tried to create a second "comedy block" this season on Thursday moving The New Adventures of Old Christine from Monday and slotting freshman Gary Unmarried. Both have been among CBS's worst scripted performers, but will Christine be given the benefit of the doubt?

On the other hand, newcomer Worst Week got the best slot in CBS's lineup for a new comedy, but has barely performed above average for the net. Reports are that CBS expected much more in that prime timeslot and that Worst Week will not be coming back next season.

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.


CBS SHOWS Net  STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000) Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
EX LIST, THE CBS  2,443  3,800 0.64 cancelled
THE NEW ADVS OF OLD CHRISTINE CBS  2,831  3,800 0.75  
NUMB3RS CBS  2,953  3,800 0.78  
GARY UNMARRIED CBS  3,061  3,800 0.81  
UNIT, THE CBS  3,172  3,800 0.83  
GHOST WHISPERER CBS  3,445  3,800 0.91  
WITHOUT A TRACE CBS  3,493  3,800 0.92  
COLD CASE CBS  3,526  3,800 0.93  
WORST WEEK CBS  3,968  3,800 1.04  
ELEVENTH HOUR CBS  3,977  3,800 1.05  
Big Bang Theory, THE CBS  4,516  3,800 1.19  
NCIS CBS  4,652  3,800 1.22  
Mentalist, THE CBS  4,773  3,800 1.26  
CSI: NY CBS  4,793  3,800 1.26  
CSI: MIAMI CBS  4,916  3,800 1.29  
How I Met Your Mother CBS  4,981  3,800 1.31  
Criminal Minds CBS  5,198  3,800 1.37  
Two and a Half Men CBS  6,282  3,800 1.65  
CSI CBS  6,779  3,800 1.78  

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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.

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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