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ABC's Scrubs Didn't Start Badly, But Look Out Below

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January 21st, 2009

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

The Scrubs debut on ABC was pretty good, but it fell noticeably on its second airdate. My guess is that it won't last in "Renewal Likely" territory for long.

ABC has the most new scripted shows set to enter its schedule this spring in the coming weeks and months. They should prove interesting fodder going forward for our Renew/Cancel Index.

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.


PROGRAM Net STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000) Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9:30P (1) ABC 2,183 3,540 0.62 final season
ELI STONE ABC 2,264 3,540 0.64 cancelled
PUSHING DAISIES ABC 2,365 3,540 0.67 cancelled
ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9PM (1) ABC 2,460 3,540 0.69 final season
DIRTY SEXY MONEY ABC 2,549 3,540 0.72 cancelled
BOSTON LEGAL ABC 2,856 3,540 0.81 finished
UGLY BETTY ABC 3,260 3,540 0.92
SCRUBS-TU 9PM ABC 3,435 3,540 0.97
SCRUBS-TU 9:30PM ABC 3,521 3,540 0.99
SAMANTHA WHO? ABC 3,589 3,540 1.01
LIFE ON MARS ABC 3,626 3,540 1.02
Private Practice ABC 3,661 3,540 1.03
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 4,679 3,540 1.32
GREY'S ANATOMY ABC 7,142 3,540 2.02
Desperate Housewives ABC 7,620 3,540 2.15

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Indexes for the other networks:

(1) After 8 seasons, and recent horrible ratings, but presumably great sydication profits, ABC's According to Jim looks like its prime-time run is coming to an end this season as one of the stars says the stage has been bulldozed. That seems pretty final to me.

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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