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Reaper's A Keeper If It Can Hold Its Premiere Audience

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March 10th, 2009

As badly as Reaper was drubbed by American Idol last Tuesday, the CW collectively has fallen so far that if Reaper can hold onto its premiere audience it's coming back next season. Even with that beating, it was 9% above the CW season average for adults 18-49. Also, it won't air any repeat episodes, boosting its average over shows that do. That might make things tricky if it's a close call. Interestingly, I believe it will air episodes past the end of American Idol this season, so while it has the opportunity to improve late under less competition, the CW will already have announced its fall schedule by then . However, a late charge could boost Reaper into mid-season replacement status.

I have no idea what the CW is thinking about its Friday shows Everybody Hates Chris and The Game. They could both be back or both be cancelled because of the schedule holes the network has to fill. If only one survives, it'll be The Game. Not much to say about Privileged,  other than it's not going to be coming back.

This is a breakdown of CW 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
EASY MONEY CW  288  1,030 0.28  cancelled
VALENTINE CW  345  1,030 0.33  cancelled
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS CW  805  1,030 0.78  
THE GAME CW  887  1,030 0.86  
PRIVILEGED CW  918  1,030 0.89  
REAPER CW  1,124  1,030 1.09  
90210 CW  1,534  1,030 1.49  
Supernatural CW  1,550  1,030 1.50  
One Tree Hill CW  1,568  1,030 1.52  
Gossip Girl CW  1,590  1,030 1.54  
Smallville CW  1,817  1,030 1.76  

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Notes:

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. I honestly have no idea what criteria the CW will use in keeping or not keeping Everybody Hates Chris and The Game

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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