If NBC “Rebuilds Its Schedule” It’ll Do More Than Just Cancel Trauma & Mercy

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Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through January 3, 2010):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010
  • Some Danger Of Being Canceled By May, 2010
  • Likely to Be Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
Program Renew/ Cancel Index
Law & Order (F), (P) 0.54
Mercy (P) 0.67
Trauma (P) 0.67
Parks & Recreation (P) 0.76
Community 0.82
Heroes (P) 0.90
Law & Order: SVU (P) 0.94
30 Rock (P) 1.13
The Office (P) 1.54

Since there have been few new episodes aired in the past two weeks, I thought it would be a good time to review NBC’s mid-season scripted show situation this year compared to last year.

Mid-season 2008-9:

  • 3 shows canceled (My Own Worst Enemy, Lipstick Jungle, Crusoe)
  • 4 more shows ultimately canceled (Life, Knight Rider, Kath & Kim, My Name is Earl; plus ER which finished its run)

Mid-season 2009-10:

  • 1 show canceled before it aired (Southland)
  • 1 show canceled, and then received an order for 3 more episodes, yet certainly doomed (Trauma)
  • 1 show in significant danger (Mercy)
  • 3 shows in some danger (Parks & Recreation, Community, Heroes)

NBC President of Primetime Entertainment Angela Bromstad indicated in the past week that she’s looking to “essentially rebuild the schedule“, but that Law & Order fans can rest easy, its coming back, and it seems likely that The Jay Leno Show is too.

“Rebuild the schedule” sounds like a lot more than just “cancel Trauma and Mercy“, particularly with the Law & Order news and Leno hint. Although I wrote this post headline to provoke people, I may have been more right than I thought!

For shows in the Some Danger category only, I am including short term Index indicators for shows either with either improving:mrgreen: or deterioratingđŸ˜³ Indexes, based on 4 week averages instead of season to date Indexes.

This is a breakdown of NBC scripted shows and their renewal and cancellation prospects. Here are links to the other networks:


The Renew/Cancel Index is a show’s Season To Date adults 18-49 rating divided by its network’s Season to Date average 18-49 rating. If a show’s season to date 18-49 ratings average equalled its network’s 18-49 average, the show would have an Index of 1.00. Without special factors, scripted shows that were more than 10% below their network’s average are typically canceled by the end of the broadcast primetime season.

Factors that could cause a show to be renewed with a well below average Index:

  • (F) -Fridays: Shows airing on Fridays have been renewed with significantly lower than average Indexes.
  • (S) – Syndication: Shows nearing syndication (66-88 episodes), often have economic factors that trump ratings leading to renewal.
  • (T) – Third Party: Shows that have a portion of their cost underwritten by a 3rd party can be renewed with substantially lower ratings.
  • (P) – Produced by the network’s production company – For shows on the bubble, being produced by the network’s corporate production company can be a survival advantage. For real losers, it’s unlikely to help.

What’s the History of the Index and How Did It Do In the Past? Check out the results from the 2007-8 season and the 2008-9 season.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings used are Live+Same Day viewing.

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