New & Improved! The Renew / Cancel Index Is Back!

Categories: Cancel/Renew Index,Featured

Written By

September 7th, 2010

With the CW's  season premieres of Hellcats, Nikita, and Vampire Diaries this week, that can mean only one thing…

The Renew / Cancel Index returns next Tuesday!

A boon to fans* not wanting to get invested in shows destined for the dustbin, the Renew / Cancel Index predicts the renewal and cancellation prospects for every primetime scripted show on the English broadcast networks. (*and a bane to fans wishing to ignore reality)

This season the Index will be New & Improved!

  • The numerator of the Index will be its new episode 18-49 average. That eliminates the problem comparing shows with different numbers of repeat episodes.
  • The denominator of the Index will be the show's own network's scripted show new episode adults 18-49 average. That eliminates the problems associated with network averages being influenced by sports, reality and news programming.

One of the benefits of the new method will be the ability to begin next Tuesday (9/14) instead of having to wait until the Tuesday after the new broadcast season officially begins (9/28) for the traditional season averages.

To see my current idea for the new format of this season's posts click here.

How would the new methods have done LAST season (2009-10)?

The new method predicted the following with very few exceptions:

  • Index of 0.90 and above - near certain renewal
  • Index of 0.80-0.90 - the bubble, could go either way, but higher numbers are better
  • Index of 0.80 and below - near certain cancellation

With a few notable exceptions:

  • Friday Night Lights - shows subsidized by third parties can be renewed at any ratings level.
  • Medium - Friday shows can be renewed with much lower relative Indexes. Since Medium was the only Friday scripted show renewed, we'll figure something in the ballpark of 0.60 for renewal, but with just a single data point our mileage may vary. A lot.
  • Ghost Whisperer - Why keep Medium and not Ghost Whisperer or Numbers? Had to be non-ratings related economics. CBS produces Medium, so has an additional incentive to keep airing it to increase episode numbers for syndication, they owned only 50% of GW and needed no additional Numb3rs episodes for syndication.
  • 90210 - did fine in the fall, only to be ground into dust by American Idol. I will split the Index in "Fall" and "Spring" for this reason, as well as the fact that spring ratings generally decline after daylight savings time and improving weather.
  • Romantically Challenged - shows in an easy timeslot that deliver mediocre ratings are in danger even with an Index above 0.90.
  • 24 - old, expensive shows with better than average ratings can be in danger even with an index above 0.90.

Here's how the new "Spring" Index (using ratings after 1/1/10) would have worked out through early May this season when the networks were about to make their final decisions. (renewed shows in bold)

Show Index
Dollhouse (F), (P) 0.29
Til Death (Sunday) (S) 0.32
Eastwick 0.36
Better Off Ted 0.39
Miami Medical (F) 0.42
Scrubs (P) 0.46
Past Life 0.47
Melrose Place (P) 0.50
Friday Night Lights (T) 0.51
The Deep End 0.52
Happy Town 0.53
Ugly Betty (Wed) (S), (P) 0.54
the forgotten 0.56
FlashForward (P) 0.58
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.58
Medium (F), (P) 0.59
Law & Order (F), (P) 0.60
Mercy (P) 0.60
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.60
Trauma (P) 0.61
Numb3rs (F), (P) 0.64
Gary Unmarried 0.66
Sons of Tucson 0.72
90210 (P) 0.72
Law & Order (Monday), (P) 0.75
Cold Case (P) 0.77
Human Target (Wed only) 0.81
V 0.83
Heroes (P) 0.85
Accidentally On Purpose (Wed) (P) 0.86
The Middle 0.87
Fringe 0.87
The Good Wife (P) 0.88
Community 0.89
Parks & Recreation (P) 0.89
Life Unexpected (P) 0.91
Smallville (F), (P) 0.92
Chuck 0.95
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 0.95
Gossip Girl (P) 0.95
The Cleveland Show (P) 0.96
Romantically Challenged 0.96
American Dad (P) 0.97
CSI:NY (P) 0.98
Rules of Engagement 0.98
One Tree Hill (P) 1.00
Cougar Town (P) 1.01
Castle (P) 1.03
24 1.04
CSI (P) 1.04
Bones (P) 1.05
The Mentalist 1.08
Parenthood (P) 1.10
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.10
Private Practice (P) 1.12
CSI: Miami (P) 1.12
The Simpsons (P) 1.12
Supernatural (S), (P) 1.14
30 Rock (P) 1.16
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.17
Criminal Minds (P) 1.18
Law & Order: SVU (P) 1.20
Family Guy (P) 1.25
NCIS (P) 1.28
Modern Family 1.40
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.41
Grey's Anatomy (P) 1.48
Lost 1.55
Vampire Diaries (P) 1.55
The Office (P) 1.58
House 1.62
Two and a Half Men 1.77
Big Bang Theory 1.80
Glee (P) 1.90

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