The Cancellation Bear And The Renew / Cancel Index Return

Monday September 24 was the official beginning of the 2012-13 broadcast primetime season, and that means among other things that the Cancellation Bear and the Renew / Cancel Index posts return on Tuesday, September 25! (at least for NBC and Fox, the other broadcast networks will follow next week (and even later for the CW) after they begin premiering shows).

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

The Index divides the new episode adults 18-49 average rating for each scripted show by its network’s overall new show scripted adults 18-49 ratings average.

The *approximate* Index ranges and their default predictions:
  • Index of 0.90 and above – near certain renewal (over 0.70 for Friday (F) shows)
  • Index of 0.75-0.90 – a “toss up”, could go either way, but higher numbers are better (0.55-0.70 for Friday (F) shows)
  • Index of 0.75 and below – near certain cancellation (below 0.55 for Friday (F) shows)

While there aren’t any new quantitative methods being introduced this season, one thing I will be more sensitive to is a sharp late season ratings plunge that isn’t long enough to move a show’s overall ratings average very much. The Secret Circle late season ratings dive didn’t move its Index into the danger zone, but was the apparent cause for the show’s cancellation nevertheless.

One change that was introduced last season will certainly continue is that no show within a season (~22 episodes) of syndication (~88 total episodes) at the end of the 2012-13 season will ever drop below a “toss up” for renewal or cancellation. Syndication economics, largely hidden to the public, can cause some decisions that otherwise run contrary to what’s indicated by the ratings.

New! This season you can follow the Cancellation Bear on Twitter via @TheCancelBear. The Cancellation Bear will retweet all the Renew/Cancel Index post titles and links as well as engage in a little more back and forth banter than we do on our standard @TVbytheNumbers Twitter feed.

To check out the Renew/Cancel Index posts from last season click here!

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