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May 19: Renewals & Cancellations For Fall 2009-10 So Far

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May 19th, 2009

The Renew or Cancel Index is updated on a weekly basis, if you're reading this after May 26, 2009 click here to see the latest post.

The objective of today's post is to begin to lay out where/why shows might have "broken" our analysis framework and try and start building some new/additional rules for next season.

My categorizations as "unusual" are completely based on the Renew/Cancel Index numbers, not any "extra" knowledge we may have had or our actual expectations in our final guesses. Moreover, "unusual" doesn't necessarily mean unexpected.

The "likely" reasons are what I believe to be the conventional wisdom today, that may or may not be the *actual* reason that may come to light in the future. This is where I really would like to see some intelligent discussion as I try and figure out some rules for next season. I will definitely be using this post as a work in progress over the next week.

Unusual Renewals, Possible/Likely Reason(s)

  • Dollhouse, Friday, cheap license fee?, desire to prevent Firefly II?
  • Friday Night Lights, DirecTV fee for temporary exclusivity
  • 'Til Death, cheap license fee, 30 min comedy nearing syndication
  • Better Off Ted, cheap license fee?, including 6+ episodes already purchased but unaired?, studio/network ownership
  • New Adventures of Old Christine, cheap license fee?, 30 min comedy nearing syndication
  • Scrubs, cheap license fee?, 30 min comedy in/ nearing syndication
  • Gary Unmarried, cheap license fee?
  • Numb3rs, Friday
  • Ghost Whisperer, Friday

Unusual Cancellations, Possible/Likely Reason(s)

  • Worst Week, prime lead-in position, average ratings
  • King of The Hill, producer fatigue?
  • Medium, Leno time grab
  • My Name is Earl, Leno time grab
  • Reaper, doesn't fit network target demo, artificially low network average

Shows so close to last year's Renew/Cancel line I don't consider their fate "unusual"

  • My Own Worst Enemy
  • Privileged, although a special situation with CW's average
  • Cold Case
  • Castle
  • Kath & Kim
  • Without A Trace
  • Eleventh Hour
  • Surviving Suburbia
  • Samantha Who?
  • Ugly Betty

Here is the a composite list of all broadcast primetime scripted shows with the latest numbers. I have tried to keep up with the status of the CBS and CW show announcements today, but there may be ? in their status incorrectly. I will fix as my errors appear.

For reference, last seasons scripted show cancel line was an Index of 0.92.


PROGRAM Net STD 18-49 rating (LIVE+SD) Network Avg. STD 18-49 rating Renew/ Cancel index Status
EASY MONEY CW 0.2 0.79 0.25 canceled
VALENTINE CW 0.3 0.79 0.38 canceled
CRUSOE NBC 0.9 2.29 0.39 finished
TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (FRI) FOX 1.25 2.67 0.47 canceled
SIT DOWN SHUT UP FOX 1.4 2.67 0.52 canceled
KINGS NBC 1.2 2.29 0.52 canceled
DOLLHOUSE FOX 1.5 2.67 0.56 renewed
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS NBC 1.3 2.29 0.57 renewed
DO NOT DISTURB FOX 1.6 2.67 0.60 canceled
IN THE MOTHERHOOD ABC 1.6 2.66 0.60 canceled
ACCORDING TO JIM-TU 9:30P ABC 1.7 2.66 0.64 final season
CUPID ABC 1.7 2.66 0.64 canceled
ELI STONE ABC 1.7 2.66 0.64 canceled
UNUSUALS, THE ABC 1.7 2.66 0.64 canceled
EX LIST, THE CBS 1.9 2.90 0.65 canceled
FLASHPOINT CBS 1.9 2.90 0.65 summer?
LIPSTICK JUNGLE NBC 1.5 2.29 0.65 canceled
TIL DEATH FOX 1.8 2.67 0.67 renewed
BETTER OFF TED ABC 1.8 2.66 0.68 renewed
PUSHING DAISIES ABC 1.8 2.66 0.68 canceled
OLD CHRISTINE CBS 2.0 2.90 0.69 renewed
PRISON BREAK FOX 1.9 2.67 0.71 final season
DIRTY SEXY MONEY ABC 1.9 2.66 0.72 canceled
SCRUBS-WED 8PM ABC 1.9 2.66 0.72 renewed
LIFE (WED) NBC 1.65 2.29 0.72 canceled
GARY UNMARRIED CBS 2.1 2.90 0.72 renewed
NUMB3RS CBS 2.1 2.90 0.72 renewed
HARPER'S ISLAND CBS 2.2 2.90 0.76 canceled
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS CW 0.6 0.79 0.76 canceled
KNIGHT RIDER NBC 1.8 2.29 0.79 canceled
UNIT, THE CBS 2.3 2.90 0.79 canceled
GHOST WHISPERER CBS 2.4 2.90 0.83 renewed
BOSTON LEGAL ABC 2.2 2.66 0.83 canceled
LIFE ON MARS ABC 2.2 2.66 0.83 canceled
UGLY BETTY ABC 2.3 2.66 0.87 renewed
MY OWN WORST ENEMY NBC 2.0 2.29 0.87 canceled
GAME, THE CW 0.7 0.79 0.89 canceled
PRIVILEGED CW 0.7 0.79 0.89 canceled
COLD CASE CBS 2.6 2.90 0.90 renewed
Castle ABC 2.4 2.66 0.90 renewed
SAMANTHA WHO? ABC 2.4 2.66 0.90 canceled
KATH & KIM NBC 2.1 2.29 0.92 canceled
Law And Order NBC 2.1 2.29 0.92 renewed
WITHOUT A TRACE CBS 2.7 2.90 0.93 canceled
ELEVENTH HOUR CBS 2.8 2.90 0.97 canceled
SURVIVING SUBURBIA ABC 2.6 2.66 0.98 canceled
WORST WEEK CBS 2.9 2.90 1.00 canceled
American Dad FOX 2.7 2.67 1.01 renewed
KING OF THE HILL FOX 2.7 2.67 1.01 canceled
CHUCK NBC 2.4 2.29 1.05 renewed
MEDIUM NBC 2.4 2.29 1.05 NBC canceled, CBS pickup
MY NAME IS EARL NBC 2.4 2.29 1.05 canceled

PARKS AND RECREATION NBC 2.4 2.29 1.05 renewed
Southland NBC 2.4 2.29 1.05 renewed
BONES FOX 2.9 2.67 1.08 renewed
Private Practice ABC 2.9 2.66 1.09 renewed
CSI: NY CBS 3.2 2.90 1.10 renewed
REAPER CW 0.9 0.79 1.14 canceled
Simpsons FOX 3.1 2.67 1.16 renewed
Criminal Minds CBS 3.4 2.90 1.17 renewed
NCIS CBS 3.4 2.90 1.17 renewed
Big Bang Theory, THE CBS 3.5 2.90 1.21 renewed
Mentalist, THE CBS 3.5 2.90 1.21 renewed
How I Met Your Mother CBS 3.6 2.90 1.24 renewed
Lie To Me FOX 3.4 2.67 1.27 renewed
CSI: MIAMI CBS 3.7 2.90 1.28 renewed
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 3.4 2.66 1.28 renewed
Family Guy FOX 3.5 2.67 1.31 renewed
Rules of Engagement CBS 3.9 2.90 1.34 renewed
Fringe FOX 3.6 2.67 1.35 renewed
24 FOX 3.7 2.67 1.38 renewed
90210 CW 1.1 0.79 1.39 renewed
Gossip Girl CW 1.1 0.79 1.39 renewed
One Tree Hill CW 1.1 0.79 1.39 renewed
30 ROCK NBC 3.2 2.29 1.40 renewed
Law And Order:SVU NBC 3.3 2.29 1.44 renewed
E.R. NBC 3.4 2.29 1.48 final season
Supernatural CW 1.2 0.79 1.52 renewed
CSI CBS 4.5 2.90 1.55 renewed
HEROES NBC 3.6 2.29 1.57 renewed
LOST ABC 4.2 2.66 1.58 renewed
Two and a Half Men CBS 4.7 2.90 1.62 renewed
OFFICE NBC 4.0 2.29 1.75 renewed
HOUSE FOX 4.7 2.67 1.76 renewed
Smallville CW 1.4 0.79 1.77 renewed
GREY'S ANATOMY ABC 4.8 2.66 1.81 renewed
Desperate Housewives ABC 5.2 2.66 1.96 renewed

The links to last weeks individual network posts are below, they have not been updated.

I've broken each network's data for scripted shows out into its own separate post to keep the discussions more on topic, find them at the links below.

CLICK THESE LINKS TO SEE EACH NETWORK'S SCRIPTED SHOWS:

ABC:  Renewal Chances For Castle, Cupid, Ted, Samantha

CBS:  Renewal Chances For Christine, Cold Case, Gary, The Unit

CW: Renewal Chances For Reaper, The Game, Chris, Privileged

Fox: Renewal Chances For Dollhouse, Terminator, Sit Down

NBC: Renewal Chances for Chuck, Medium, Law & Order, Earl ·

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UNSCRIPTED SHOWS FOR ALL NETWORKS

For unscripted shows, the results from last season were far less cut and dried. A similar relationship did seem to hold between 18-49 averages, but some unscripted shows survived with very low numbers. My conclusion was that some unscripted shows must be so cheap that they are expected to do little more than fill air time and produce little in the way of viewership. Since we, and you, don't care much about unscripted shows, and the Index isn't all that good in predicting their future, I don't worry about predictions, but here is the data for reference.

The Index now uses 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.


PROGRAM Net STD 18-49 Rating (LIVE+SD) Network Avg. STD 18-49 rating Renew/ Cancel index
HOLE IN WALL-SUN 7P FOX 1.0 2.67 0.37
IN HARM'S WAY CW 0.3 0.79 0.38
GAME SHOW IN MY HEAD 830P CBS 1.3 2.90 0.45
HOLE IN WALL-SUN 7:30P FOX 1.2 2.67 0.45
ABC SAT MOVIE OF THE WEEK ABC 1.2 2.66 0.45
AMERICA'S TOUGHEST JOBS NBC 1.1 2.29 0.48
DEAL OR NO DEAL-MON NBC 1.1 2.29 0.48
GAME SHOW IN MY HEAD CBS 1.4 2.90 0.48
SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER FOX 1.3 2.67 0.49
CHOPPING BLOCK NBC 1.2 2.29 0.52
HOWIE DO IT 8:30 NBC 1.2 2.29 0.52
HOWIE DO IT 8P NBC 1.2 2.29 0.52
48 Hours Mystery CBS 1.6 2.90 0.55
DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS FOX 1.5 2.67 0.56
SAT NIGHT FTBL PRE-GAME ABC 1.5 2.66 0.56
WIFE SWAP ABC 1.5 2.66 0.56
Dateline SUN-7PM NBC 1.3 2.29 0.57
DEAL OR NO DEAL-FRI NBC 1.3 2.29 0.57
COPS FOX 1.6 2.67 0.60
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS ABC 1.6 2.66 0.60
13 - FEAR IS REAL CW 0.5 0.79 0.63
HOLE IN WALL THU-8P FOX 1.7 2.67 0.64
HOMELAND SECURITY USA ABC 1.7 2.66 0.64
Supernanny ABC 1.7 2.66 0.64
MILLION DOLLAR PASSWORD CBS 1.9 2.90 0.65
Dateline FRI NBC 1.5 2.29 0.65
AMW: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK FOX 1.8 2.67 0.67
COPS 2 FOX 1.9 2.67 0.71
20/20-FRI ABC 1.9 2.66 0.72
HOLE IN WALL THU-8:30P FOX 2.0 2.67 0.75
Kitchen Nightmares FOX 2.1 2.67 0.79
MOMMA'S BOYS NBC 1.8 2.29 0.79
Extreme Makeover:HM ED-7P ABC 2.1 2.66 0.79
AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS ABC 2.2 2.66 0.83
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 2 NBC 1.9 2.29 0.83
PRIMETIME:WHAT WOULD U DO ABC 2.3 2.66 0.87
DEAL OR NO DEAL-WED NBC 2.0 2.29 0.87
STYLISTA CW 0.7 0.79 0.89
60 Minutes CBS 2.7 2.90 0.93
SUPERSTARS OF DANCE NBC 2.2 2.29 0.96
FOX NASCAR SPRINT CUP PST FOX 2.7 2.67 1.01
SAT NIGHT FOOTBALL ABC 2.7 2.66 1.02
Amazing Race 14 CBS 3.1 2.90 1.07
Amazing Race 13 CBS 3.2 2.90 1.10
TRUE BEAUTY ABC 3.0 2.66 1.13
Extreme Makeover:HM ED-8P ABC 3.3 2.66 1.24
SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS CBS 3.8 2.90 1.31
HELL'S KITCHEN FOX 3.6 2.67 1.35
DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC 3.6 2.66 1.35
FOX NASCAR SPRINT CUP FOX 3.7 2.67 1.38
APPRENTICE 8 NBC 3.2 2.29 1.40
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 3 NBC 3.2 2.29 1.40
Biggest Loser 6 NBC 3.3 2.29 1.44
SURVIVOR: GABON CBS 4.2 2.90 1.45
BACHELOR, THE ABC 4.0 2.66 1.51
OT, THE FOX 4.4 2.67 1.65
Biggest Loser 7 NBC 3.8 2.29 1.66
Dancing with the Stars ABC 4.7 2.66 1.77
SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK NBC 4.2 2.29 1.83
AMERICA'S Top Model - 6 CW 1.8 0.79 2.28
AMERICA'S Top Model-5 CW 1.9 0.79 2.40
NBC Sunday Night Football NBC 6.5 2.29 2.84
American Idol-TUESDAY FOX 9.2 2.67 3.44
American Idol-WEDNESDAY FOX 9.2 2.67 3.44

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Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

All ratings are Live+SD.

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. 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.

 
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