The Cancellation Bear: Why Relative Ratings Matter For Your Favorite TV Shows
As the new broadcast television season begins, so do the fan laments over their favorite shows.
“Oh no! It needs to get a 2.0 rating to survive!”
“That’s too much of a drop, it’ll never make it!”
“Look at how well Big Bang Theory did, my show’s a goner!”
Fortunately for fans of individual TV shows, their renewal and cancellation decisions are a lot like the old joke about two guys being chased by a bear.
You don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the other guy!
In the broadcast TV world, for scripted shows “the other guy” is the other scripted shows on the same network. And you don’t have to outrun them all, even being a little below average in the adults 18-49 ratings (~10%) for the show’s network still means pretty certain renewal.
Fans wanting to see where their favorite broadcast scripted shows stack up on a relative basis vs. the other shows on their network should read our Renew / Cancel Index posts. I update them late each Tuesday with the newest ratings results and renewal and cancellation projections.
Next week there will only be posts for the CW and NBC (no other networks will premiere scripted shows until next week), but starting September 28 every English broadcast network will have its own weekly post going forward.
You can always reach our latest Renew / Cancel Index posts by clicking on the Renew / Cancel link in the white nav bar above.
Note: Of course, it’s the absolute ratings that matter to each network’s bottom line. So when all the shows on a particular network have ratings drops, it’s not bad news for any one of the shows in particular, but it is bad news for the network.