3/5 Update: In an interview with James Hibberd, ABC Entertainment chief says, "Ugly Betty will return"
With Life on Mars canceled, Ugly Betty sits alone on ABC's renewal bubble at the moment. That will certainly change as a raft of new shows hit the beach for ABC in the next few weeks. If those new shows fail, Betty is safe. If they don't, it's going to produce some tense times for Betty fans. Given the recent track record of new ABC shows, I'll give the edge to Betty renewal at this point.
This is a breakdown of ABC scripted shows and their renewal and cancelation prospects. Here are the others:
Our Renew / Cancel index predicts potential renewal for *next* season: Canceled/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|
|ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9:30P||ABC||2,183||3,590||0.61||final season|
|ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9PM||ABC||2,460||3,590||0.69||final season|
|DIRTY SEXY MONEY||ABC||2,549||3,590||0.71||cancelled|
|SCRUBS-TU 9PM||ABC||2,781||3,590||0.77||final season|
|BOSTON LEGAL||ABC||2,856||3,590||0.80||final season|
|SCRUBS-TU 9:30PM||ABC||2,868||3,590||0.80||final season|
|LIFE ON MARS||ABC||3,160||3,590||0.88||cancelled|
|BROTHERS & SISTERS||ABC||4,702||3,590||1.31|
According to Jim: 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.
Scrubs: Eight seasons is the end for Scrubs as well. Update: Or perhaps not. I am doubting that retraction, I believe he spoke the truth initially and then got his hand slapped and tried to backtrack.
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.