Chuck, Medium, Law & Order Look Safe; Earl’s Chances Just Got Hammered

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Well, we thought that NBC would make its entire 2009-10 schedule know on May 4, but they weren’t ready. They did renew Southland, and Parks & Recreation, and later let it be known that Life was canceled, but no official announcements on the rest of their schedule. That won’t happen for certain until May 19.

Part of NBC’s May 4 announcement was that they were bringing back Saturday Night Live specials on Thursday night. That news was lethal for the renewal chances for both My Name Is Earl, and Kath & Kim (not that it had much chance anyway).

Robert and I will do another Oddsmakers prior to that date (if wants to chime in now, I’ll add his column back), but in the meantime, I’ll just update my guesses for renewal in the table I set up last week.

Program Renewal Chance

This is a breakdown of NBC 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
CRUSOE NBC 0.9 2.33 0.39  canceled
KINGS NBC 1.2 2.33 0.52  
LIPSTICK JUNGLE NBC 1.5 2.33 0.65  canceled
LIFE (WED) NBC 1.65 2.33 0.71  canceled
KNIGHT RIDER NBC 1.8 2.33 0.77  
MY OWN WORST ENEMY NBC 2.0 2.33 0.86  canceled
KATH & KIM NBC 2.1 2.33 0.90  
LAW AND ORDER NBC 2.1 2.33 0.90  
CHUCK NBC 2.4 2.33 1.03  
MEDIUM NBC 2.4 2.33 1.03  
MY NAME IS EARL NBC 2.4 2.33 1.03  
SOUTHLAND NBC 2.7 2.33 1.16  
30 ROCK NBC 3.2 2.33 1.38  
LAW AND ORDER:SVU NBC 3.3 2.33 1.42  
E.R. NBC 3.4 2.33 1.46  final season
HEROES NBC 3.6 2.33 1.55  
OFFICE NBC 4.0 2.33 1.72  

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. I have adjusted the NBC adults 18-49 season to date average to remove the increase (of 370,000) it received during the Super Bowl week because that increase had nothing to do with the normal viewership of the network or any of its other shows.


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. Because of that, and the recent renewals at other networks of poor rated comedies, I’m indicating renewal for them.

Life moved to Wednesday beginning November 5. This is its Wednesday only STD 18-49 average as calculated by me. For past reference, the 4 Life episodes that aired on Fridays averaged 2.043 million adults 18-49.

Heroes is definitely back for next season.

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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