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Sit Down, Shut Up; Slow Start, Slim Chance

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April 21st, 2009

Despite being in an ideal premiere timeslot, the animated newcomer Sit Down, Shut Up had ratings slightly below what seems necessary for renewal. Any ratings slippage at all in future episodes and the show is likely to be canceled.

It's all over but the shouting for Dollhouse. Even the shouting's done for Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Starting this week, instead of using the 18-49 viewership for the calculations, I’m going to instead use the 18-49 rating, which simply is the percentage of the US 18-49 TV adults population. (There are an estimated 132 million US adults 18-49 in TV households, so a 1.0 rating is equal to 1.32 million adults 18-49). Since we only get 18-49 demo ratings for each show on an overnight basis, that makes the values in the Renew/Cancel Index easier to compare with the overnight demo ratings results.

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 Rating (LIVE+SD)  Network Avg. STD 18-49 rating Renew/ Cancel index Status
TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (FRI) FOX 1.25  2.7 0.46  
DO NOT DISTURB FOX 1.6  2.7 0.59  canceled
DOLLHOUSE FOX 1.6  2.7 0.59  
TIL DEATH FOX 1.8  2.7 0.67  returning
PRISON BREAK FOX 2.2  2.7 0.81  final season
SIT DOWN, SHUT UP FOX 2.3  2.7 0.85  
KING OF THE HILL FOX 2.8  2.7 1.04  final season
American Dad FOX 2.8  2.7 1.04  returning
BONES FOX 3.0  2.7 1.11  
Simpsons FOX 3.1  2.7 1.15  returning
Fringe FOX 3.5  2.7 1.30  
Family Guy FOX 3.5  2.7 1.30  
Lie To Me FOX 3.7  2.7 1.37  
24 FOX 3.8  2.7 1.41  returning
HOUSE FOX 4.7  2.7 1.74  

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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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