Too Soon? Early Renew/Cancel Index for NBC: 'Outlaw' Shoots Blanks; Early Gloom For 'Chuck'

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV,Featured

Written By

September 25th, 2010

This is an unofficial renew/cancel index for NBC and I’ll disclaim all the reasons why it’s unofficial in a bit.   As for whether it’s premature and too soon, the best answer is: of course it is! Just like it’s premature and too soon to try to figure out who will play in the Super Bowl after only the first two weeks of the season, but that doesn’t stop the prognosticators!

If you can't wait, skip past the rambling disclaimerand scroll down to the smiley faces.

The fact is, even when all the networks renew/cancel posts are posted on Tuesday it will be premature and too soon for most of the shows.  These indexes are always point in time looks at what will happen in May -- they do not attempt to predict what will be cancelled in-season, though at the extremes it can be obvious.

Save for the extremes, it is absurd to use these numbers other than for ruminating and entertainment purposes.  Even at the extremes it is by no means safe to make any assumptions yet, for example, about The Event other than it had a decent premiere.  Remember FlashForward!

Why Only NBC?

Because I can!  Bill’s new and improved index looks only at the average of scripted original shows versus the average of other scripted original shows on the same network. Here’s the official description:

The Renew/Cancel Index is the ratio of a scripted show's new episode adults 18-49 ratings relative to the new episode ratings of the other scripted shows on its own network. It's calculated by dividing a show's new episode Live+Same Day adults 18-49 average rating by the Live+Same Day new episode average of all the new scripted show episodes on the show's own network. The network's average ratings in the calculation are not time weighted (ex. hour long shows are not weighted twice what 30 minute shows are).

I can’t do ABC, CBS and Fox yet because they still have scripted originals coming up on Sunday that will definitely impact the averages for those networks.  Not so, with NBC which is already done with scripted originals for the week.

Why This is Still Unofficial:

  • Only the numbers from Monday-Thursday are final.  Friday’s numbers are still preliminary
  • The 18-49 average was calculated based on ratings rounded to a tenth of a ratings point.  Bill might (or might not, I’m not sure really) use an average that is based on ratings rounded to a hundredth of a ratings point.
  • The line I picked between “toss up” and likely to be canceled is a bit arbitrary.  Bill’s approach might be less arbitrary based on deeper analysis of last year’s cut offs (I looked at last year, but not on a per network basis).  Or his approach might be similarly arbitrary but result in a different outcome
  • update: and I didn't pay close attention to the snippet I copied/paste from Bill! I weighted the network's average based on show duration.  Bill will not be doing that.

With those disclaimers aside, here is an unofficial, premature, early look at NBC’s Renew/Cancel Index:

Show Rating Index Status
The Office 4.4 1.67 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Outsourced 3.6 1.36 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
The Event 3.6 1.36 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
L&O:SVU 3.2 1.21 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
30 Rock 2.6 0.98 :) :) :) :)
Parenthood 2.5 0.95 :) :) :) :)
Chase 2.3 0.87 :| :| :|
Community 2.2 0.83 :| :| :|
Undercovers 2.1 0.80 :| :| :|
Chuck 2.0 0.76 :cry: :cry:
Outlaw 1.1 0.42 :oops:

-

  • :oops: - certain to be cancelled by May, 2011
  • :cry: :cry:- likely to be cancelled by May, 2011
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2011
  • :) :) :) :) - likely to be renewed by May, 2011
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2011

Remember, this doesn’t say anything about this year.  The index isn’t about what is likely to be canceled in season, but rather what’s likely to not be renewed for next season.  Despite this, you probably shouldn’t be surprised if you hear Outlaw got pulled off the schedule (and I certainly wouldn’t expect it to get a back 9).

In anticipation of the quibbling.

The Monday Night Football game aired on the NBC affiliate in New Orleans giving NBC 1% less national coverage than it normally had.  Chuck got screwed!

Yep, the Monday Night Football game aired on the NBC affiliate in New Orleans.  But that impacted The Event and Chase too.  And, well…look at the chart.

But Dateline and The Apprentice both rated lower than Chuck and the new index doesn’t take those ratings into account in the averages!

Indeed.  But it also doesn’t take the average of the much higher-rated Biggest Loser into account or the much, much, much higher-rated Sunday Night Football (which runs for 3 hours) into account.  Chuck and all the other shows above fare better with the approach we’re using.

Chuck rated a measly tenth of a ratings point below Undercovers and Undercovers is a toss up? C'mon!  Make Chuck a toss-up!

As mentioned in the disclaimers above, the line draw was somewhat arbitrary, but based on last year's line, that's where I drew it. Bill might draw it differently for Undercovers and Community. Perhaps my love and undying affection for Dan Harmon influenced me.

As both a Chuck fan and a numbers guy, I'm not optimistic about a fifth season of Chuck (I'm not exactly alone in that thinking).

P.S. This will very likely be the only early look at NBC's index. With just one week of data it's very easy to do.  Add in a second week and it gets trickier.

 
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