The Cancellation Bear And The Renew / Cancel Index Return

Categories: Cancel/Renew Index

Written By

September 24th, 2012

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!

  • Joe

    HOMELAND i want this show DEAD ASAP

  • Jon23812

    Will you post, or do you know a website that has the budget of the show and how much they charge for each commercial?

  • SPM

    I still get so angry that the CW axed The Secret Circle.

    I hope its a massive hit on netflix just to spite them.

  • Don

    The Bear is back!

  • Bill Gorman

    “Will you post, or do you know a website that has the budget of the show and how much they charge for each commercial?”

    Nobody knows the exact budgets for any show outside of folks internal to the networks/studios, and anyone that says they do is somewhere between exaggerating and lying.

    And while there typically are some ad cost estimates released by Ad Age before the season starts (although I’ve missed them if they are out this season already), in my experience people put *far* too much stock in them vs. their limitations.

  • Andrew

    Will the bear be still be bugging NBC as much this year even though Sunday- Tuesday nights are pretty much a success

  • TVDude

    I always love the index so I’m looking forward to a great year! Love the new addition to Twitter too! Great work guys!

  • ron

    welcome back u gonna eat a lot this season

  • Kyle7

    @Joel: I got your reference. Not sure how many others will.

    Maybe I’m just a hard-hearted cynic, but I’m always a little baffled by the people who are head-over-heels in love with a show after one episode. I’ve watched my fair share of TV shows, and loved some of them in the long run, but I can’t recall any whose pilots I liked so much that I would have been distraught if it had ended there. For me, at least, it takes time for a TV show to really sink in. But maybe it’s in part because I learned from this site not to get too invested in any program too soon, and those others do not hold such reservations.

  • a p garcia

    One thing is certain, the BEAR won’t go hungry. There are just so many awful shows to dine on, but I would like to see Cancellation BEAR merchandise.

  • Jason50

    The Bear was kind to my shows last year as Nikita and Fringe were spared from the bear’s wrath. The only two shows I lost last year were Terra Nova and Secret Circle although I didn’t lose sleep with their cancellations. After seeing the Beauty and the Beast pilot, I did wish TSC never got cancelled. Revolution almost feels like a replacement to Terra Nova and could maybe even be better. New shows I picked up on my viewing list from last year POI,Grimm,and OUAT hopefully are safe this year.
    I’m already keeping The Following, Last Resort, Revolution,and maybe even Arrow on this years list. Maybe at least two of those shows can survive the bear’s dinner party.

  • Dan S

    Sure, the Bear has to dine on Harry’s Law but leaves us with crap like Whitney. There’s no accounting for taste but I’m afraid the Mob Dr is about to get whacked. Hopefully it’ll quickly chow down on the likes of Neigbors & Partners.

  • DEB

    Revolution looks pretty good…Its just too bad it has to be up against Castle and 5-O. I hope it lasts the season. Doesn’t it seem like putting it up against those shows is like killing the show before it starts? Why would a network do that?

  • DEB

    Why move Mentalist to the old “Murder She Wrote” spot? Its gonna kill it.

  • DEB

    It seems that this season is wayyy better than the new shows last season. I think the submarine show is gonna go first…

  • Andrew J

    Sadly, I am more excited about return of the Renew/Cancel index than I am about actually watching TV. I religiously follow programs here that I could never be bothered to actually watch…

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I’ve been downloading shows for months, but the major downloading starts this week. I have five shows to download tonight. But very few of those will end up remaining on the hard drive after I view them. Castle, H5O, and Revolution aren’t going to remain – they’re OK to watch but forgettable later. WH 13 is a toss-up (depending on whether Jaime Murray appears, mostly). Alphas is the only one certain to be retained – best sci-fi on any network.

    Still annoyed I have to wait three more weeks for Nikita to return.

    This year I’ll be watching:

    Revolution (at least until it annoys me or tanks) – not saved on hard drive,
    Grimm – not saved on hard drive,
    Castle – not saved on hard drive,
    Hawaii Five-0 – not saved on hard drive,
    Last Resort (until it annoys me or tanks) – probably not saved on hard drive,
    Person Of Interest – possibly saved on hard drive – especially when Paige Turco is on,
    Elementary (for Lucy Liu mostly, until it annoys me or tanks) – not saved on hard drive,
    Fringe (which I am pretty sure WILL annoy me, given the stupid story arc they’ve decided to pursue) – not saved on hard drive,
    Once Upon A Time – not saved on hard drive,
    Revenge (YES! A great show!) – definitely saved on hard drive,
    Homeland – not saved on hard drive,
    Supernatural – saved on hard drive depending on episode,
    Arrow (most promising new show – unless they do a “Cape”) – possibly saved on hard drive,
    Vampire Diaries – definitely saved on hard drive,
    Beauty And The Beast (questionable but I’ll give it a shot) – possibly saved on hard drive,
    Walking Dead (I may give it one more chance to not be utterly boring) – not saved on hard drive, and
    Nikita (the BEST action show on any network) – definitely saved on hard drive; in fact I’ve been re-watching the first two seasons all this past week.

  • Alan

    I just have a feeling that tomorrow The Mob Doctor will be cancelled.

  • Eric_Philly

    Let the feast begin!

  • Justin121

    I’m very greatful to TVBTN’s R/C index as it has saved me so many hours and feelings of anxiety over getting invested in new shows.

    (though I don’t necessarily check the index, now I just get that from checking the ratings — usually the first few episodes are enough).

    And their method is so simple it’s almost unreal.

    Thought I’m surprised they are open about it. What if others steal it?

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