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How Could CBS's Programmers Bring Old Christine Back?

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February 3rd, 2009

This is a breakdown of CBS scripted shows and their renewal and cancellation prospects. For the main post containing unscripted shows click here.  For the Renew/Cancel Indexes for the other networks click these links:

CBS moved The New Adventures of Old Christine to a new day/timeslot this season and its results fell and stayed down. After being chastised by Robert earlier in the season, I've given the show somewhat of a break for awhile, but now I ask you, how could CBS programmers justify  returning a show with such bad results? Nostalgia? A great deal next season from the producer, Warner Brothers? The casting of Les Moonves' wife Julie Chen? I give up, you tell me.

Our Renew / Cancel index predicts potential renewal for *next* 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
THE EX LIST CBS  2,443  3,900 0.63 cancelled
NEW ADVS OF OLD CHRISTINE CBS  2,808  3,900 0.72  
FLASHPOINT* CBS  2,864  3,900 0.73  
NUMB3RS* CBS  2,990  3,900 0.77  
GARY UNMARRIED CBS  3,016  3,900 0.77  
THE UNIT CBS  3,193  3,900 0.82  
GHOST WHISPERER* CBS  3,377  3,900 0.87  
WITHOUT A TRACE CBS  3,529  3,900 0.90  
COLD CASE CBS  3,544  3,900 0.91  
WORST WEEK (2) CBS  3,846  3,900 0.99  
ELEVENTH HOUR CBS  3,905  3,900 1.00  
CSI: NY CBS  4,553  3,900 1.17  
Big Bang Theory, THE CBS  4,575  3,900 1.17  
NCIS CBS  4,629  3,900 1.19  
THE Mentalist CBS  4,760  3,900 1.22  
CSI: MIAMI CBS  4,789  3,900 1.23  
Criminal Minds CBS  4,946  3,900 1.27  
How I Met Your Mother CBS  4,968  3,900 1.27  
Two and a Half Men CBS  6,254  3,900 1.60  
CSI CBS  6,699  3,900 1.72  

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*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.

(1) CBS has tried to create a second "comedy block" this season on Wednesday by 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?

(2) Newcomer Worst Week got the best slot in CBS's lineup for a new comedy, but has performed just below 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.

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: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All viewership numbers are Live+SD.

 
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