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!

  • Hillbilly

    @Richard Steven Hack

    I bet the “crack of dawn” is not safe if left alone with you. ;)

  • Patrick G.

    I love bears!! ;) And the Cancellation Bear is my favorite!

  • Davis

    Is Cancellation Bear’s mouth watering when eyeing either Grimm, Community, Whitney and 30 Rock this season? …or will new fish turn out to be far more attractive?

  • Mr. Sparky

    Based on the wake up picture of Cancellation Bear on this post, it appears that he’s getting a dental check up. Hopefully, he didn’t get any cavities from Harry’s Law last season. Remember to floss after you eat the Mob Doctor!

  • psychic

    O Cancellation Bear, I hitherto thank you gratuitously for your merciful sparing of my show, Fringe. In humble sacrifice I offer up Nikita, Revolution, Unforgettable, and Duets. I humbly hope they satisfy your appetite. May your girth prosper for as long as Neilson ratings exist.

  • Tom

    It’s about time to put another Kathy Bates style smackdown on the Cancellation Bear. This critter only serves to gobble up one show so that another even less deserving one can take its place. Witness the Secret Circle being cancelled and Beauty and the Beast taking its place. Being sensitive to late season ratings plunges is pointless. For example, low ratings haven’t stopped the CW from bringing back a bunch of low rated programs. The reasons vary. However, it’s clear that the Secret Circle wasn’t among them simply because it cost more to produce. Good luck adjusting the cancellation index for that.

  • KarenM

    I think Vegas will be gone faster than Unforgettable.

  • mike

    revolution and mob boss should be one and two

  • Jayme

    What shows does everyone think is in serious trouble?

  • brutony


  • Johnny G

    @Joe Yeah, if the ratings and buzz weren’t enough, the Emmy’s made it official: Homeland isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. They *could* potentially screw it by having a terrible season. But a season 3 is guaranteed.

    On a different note, I would 100% buy a Cancellation Bear tshirt if it isn’t too obnoxious.

  • JRG

    The bear needs to feed on a few shows so it can survive its winter hibernation. Then come spring it will be ravenous and start feeding heavy on the weakest.

  • Phil

    For you dining pleaseure Mr Bear, we have Partners from our CBS plate.

  • Merry M

    It’s looking pretty easy to see the victims of the bear. The few who escape, not so much. This is NOT a good year.

  • Other Than That Mrs. Lincoln How Was The Play?

    The bear is hungry for the choice cuts of the Mob Doctor.

  • Kenny

    The Mob Doctor and The Neighbors are the first 2 TERRIBLE SHOWS!!!!!!

  • bigbrotherfan

    Snack on Animal Pratice..I dont think MOB DOCTOR will get cancelled until after baseball.

  • JustToClarify

    Welcome back, television.

    Now I await Nikita‘s return (although we’re still watching season two in the U.K.) with slightly less apprehension since it’s now within one-more-year-to-syndication territory. Let’s just hope things don’t go too badly.

  • Networkman

    So the bear is close to snacking on these new treats:

    Animal Practice (NBC)
    The Mob Doctor (FOX)
    Made in Jersey (CBS)

    Also let’s not forget Up All Night and Scandal which may finally get fed to the bear after escaping last season.

  • KoolRebel

    Mob Doctor is great, 666 Park Avenue is the best show so far & Revolution is also great. I love Animal Practice & Guys with Kids. I didn’t like Elementary & Last Resort, but the latter is better though. Go On & The Neighbors are terrible, A new Normal is getting better but still not great. Partners was funny. Ben & Kate & Mindy Project are better than I expected, let’s see more episodes first. NBC Thursdays are just terrible period. Grimm & Fringe are both great shows. CSI: NY & Blue Bloods are good but getting boring. Vegas & Criminal Minds are still on my DVR, I’ll watch them tonight. Didn’t bother watching Made in Jersey, I’m sick of Lawyers, Doctors (except Mob) & Cops (except serial killers) shows. Please cancel all the reality shows. Thanks.

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