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The CW's Show "Bubble" Popped Long Ago

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April 28th, 2009

For the CW, a network that gets maximum mileage out of its PR efforts, you'd think it might be nice to generate a little buzz around its shows on the "bubble". But various announcements (early renewals for 5 shows), pronouncements (getting rid of comedies, goodbye Everybody Hates Chris), and edicts (we only care about women 18-34, goodbye Reaper) popped that bubble long ago.

The only tiny bit of suspense is whether the transformation of The Game into a 1 hour dramedy might happen. Don't hold your breath.

There were more silly  rumors this week about Privileged's renewal. It might be Dawn's baby, but its numbers are so ugly it won't 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, Renewal Announced.


PROGRAM Net  STD 18-49 Rating (LIVE+SD)  Network Avg. STD 18-49 rating Renew/ Cancel index Status
EASY MONEY CW 0.2  0.8 0.25  canceled
VALENTINE CW 0.3  0.8 0.38  canceled
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS CW 0.6  0.8 0.75  
THE GAME CW 0.7  0.8 0.88  
PRIVILEGED CW 0.7  0.8 0.88  
REAPER CW 0.9  0.8 1.13  
90210 CW 1.1  0.8 1.38  returning
Gossip Girl CW 1.1  0.8 1.38  returning
One Tree Hill CW 1.1  0.8 1.38  returning
Supernatural CW 1.2  0.8 1.50  returning
Smallville CW 1.4  0.8 1.75  returning

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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.

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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