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Dollhouse Needs To Make A Move Before It's Too Late

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Written By

March 24th, 2009

Dollhouse held its 18-49 demo steady week to week, but it was still below its earlier 18-49 average which pulled the average down yet again. I've been writing all along that the ratings of the later episodes will matter more than the earlier ones. Now, we're getting to the "later episodes". There have been lots of reasons why Dollhouse might have done better, but excuses won't save the show. Don't kid yourself, Dollhouse will not come back with its current numbers. It has to improve and it will soon be running out of time to do it.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles season finale on April 10 will certainly be its series finale on Fox. Whether it might end up somewhere else, I couldn't guess.

Update: Good news, but no surprise. Fox has ordered 6 episodes of Bones for next season.

This is a breakdown of Fox 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, Renewal Announced.


PROGRAM Net  STD 18-49 (LIVE+SD) (000)  Network Avg. STD 18-49 Renew/ Cancel index Status
TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (FRI) FOX  1,624  3,530 0.46  
DO NOT DISTURB FOX  2,097  3,530 0.59  cancelled
DOLLHOUSE FOX  2,189  3,530 0.62  
TIL DEATH FOX  2,364  3,530 0.67  renewed
PRISON BREAK FOX  2,988  3,530 0.85  final season
American Dad FOX  3,612  3,530 1.02  
KING OF THE HILL FOX  3,718  3,530 1.05  final season
BONES FOX  4,013  3,530 1.14  
Simpsons FOX  4,155  3,530 1.18  renewed
Fringe FOX  4,586  3,530 1.30  
Family Guy FOX  4,593  3,530 1.30  
24 FOX  5,051  3,530 1.43  
Lie To Me FOX  5,369  3,530 1.52  
HOUSE FOX  6,231  3,530 1.77  

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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. Note that the Fox average used above is its final Season to Date average prior to American Idol (see below).

Notes:

Prison Break is in its final season.

'Til Death has done terribly, and has been off Fox’s schedule since October, Sony Pictures has reportedly made Fox such a sweet deal for future episodes that Fox has bought another entire season, proving that at a low enough price that even a ratings black hole is worth suffering through.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles: The numbers above are for only its Friday airings that began on February 13, 2009. FYI, It's 13 episode 18-49 average on Monday this season was 2.726 million.

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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