Fans of Cold Case and Without A Trace Will Have Some Sleepless Nights

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February 24th, 2009

The Unit will almost certainly be cancelled. Of the three weak comedies New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Worst Week my guess is that at most one will escape being cancelled, and I give the best odds to Christine by a hair over GaryWithout a Trace and Cold Case are both in danger of cancellation, but at this point they could also be renewed. Look for them on the bubble in April.

This is a breakdown of CBS scripted shows and their renewal and cancellation prospects.  Here are the others:

Our Renew / Cancel index predicts potential renewal for *next* season: Cancelled/Not Returning, In Danger, or Renewal Likely for 2009-10.

PROGRAM Net  STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000)  Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
EX LIST, THE CBS  2,443  3,880 0.63  cancelled
FLASHPOINT CBS  2,692  3,880 0.69  
OLD CHRISTINE CBS  2,762  3,880 0.71  
NUMB3RS CBS  2,939  3,880 0.76  
GARY UNMARRIED CBS  2,967  3,880 0.76  
THE UNIT CBS  3,074  3,880 0.79  
GHOST WHISPERER CBS  3,327  3,880 0.86  
COLD CASE CBS  3,439  3,880 0.89  
WITHOUT A TRACE CBS  3,582  3,880 0.92  
ELEVENTH HOUR CBS  3,775  3,880 0.97  
WORST WEEK CBS  3,836  3,880 0.99  
CSI: NY CBS  4,369  3,880 1.13  
NCIS CBS  4,609  3,880 1.19  
THE BIG BANG THEORY CBS  4,641  3,880 1.20  
THE MENTALIST CBS  4,763  3,880 1.23  
CSI: MIAMI CBS  4,798  3,880 1.24  
CRIMINAL MINDS CBS  4,868  3,880 1.25  
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER CBS  4,928  3,880 1.27  
TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS  6,259  3,880 1.61  
CSI CBS  6,455  3,880 1.66  



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.

The New Adventures of Old Christine:  CBS has tried to create a second "comedy block" this season on Wednesday by moving 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?

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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