CW: '90210' Would Be Canceled Elsewhere, But Expect A Short Final Season On The CW

Categories: Cancel/Renew CW Shows,Cancel/Renew Index

Written By

October 16th, 2012

Click this link for the latest CW renewal / cancellation information:

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts the network's decision on renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows by the end of the 2012-13 season in May, 2013. (includes results from September 17-October 14, 2012):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Gossip Girl final season 0.46
90210 :| :| :| 0.46
Hart Of Dixie :| :| :| 0.68
Supernatural :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.03
Beauty And The Beast :) :) :) :) 1.37
Arrow :) :) :) :) 1.48
Vampire Diaries :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.82

With its woeful premiere ratings, 90210 would be headed for certain cancellation anywhere else but the CW. However, the CW has shown a fondness for short final seasons of their veteran shows (One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl) once they are past their sell by dates, and that's what I'd expect for 90210. However, I reserve the right to keep the prediction a "toss up" for at least a while until we can see more results for other CW shows over the next few weeks.

Hart  Of Dixie's second episode ratings cooled noticeably, and it's now no better than a "toss up" for renewal or cancellation at the end of this season. It could become another one of the cancellation bear's sophomore snacks.

The rest of the CW shows likely have the folks at CW HQ giddy with their initial results.

Better to Follow The Bear, Than Be Chased By Him. 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.


  • :oops: - certain to be cancelled by May, 2013
  • :cry: :cry:- more likely to be cancelled than renewed by May, 2013
  • :| :| :| - toss up between renewal or cancellation by May, 2013
  • :) :) :) :) - more likely to be renewed than cancelled by May, 2013
  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - certain to be renewed by May, 2012

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).

(F) -Fridays: Shows airing on Fridays were renewed with significantly lower than average Indexes.

How would the Renew / Cancel Index Have Done Predicting Last Season's Scripted Show Fates? Check out how the Renew / Cancel Index predicted renewals and cancellations from the 2010-11 broadcast television season.

  • Bill Gorman

    “Am I missing something?”

    Yep, you’re missing the fact that season to season comparisons of the CW averages are completely apples/oranges because they started their shows after the season began (and effectively aired a week+ of repeats and summer dreck), instead of before, as used to be the case.

    We should have put in a caveat for that in the season/season comparisons. I will edit that in now.

  • ann

    90210 needs to go at the end of this season. It had a good run and most shows don’t get to 100 episodes as it will. If Pedowitz wants to continue moving the CW in the right direction, he cannot keep underperformers like 90210 around.

  • Luke

    It seems that zombies are making success in Tv. ;)
    My “insignificant opinion”, the two first Supernatural episodes were great. :D

  • John A

    0.9 for a repeat outside of primetime. Geez that is great for CW.

  • Bill Gorman

    “@ Mr. Gorman My comment about the CW’s 50 hours of additional programming came from for May 17, 2012:

    “One of our biggest priorities this year at The CW was adding more original programming, and we’ve added 50 original hours to our schedule in 2012,” said Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW. “With dynamic new dramas for the fall and midseason, and our first-ever summer schedule leading into our October fall launch, this is poised to be a transformative season for The CW.”

    I don’t understand what you mean about other loss mitigation. If that requires anything close to the one billion dollars the joint venture expects to rake in on the Netflix deal, I’d expect them to have closed up shop by now.”

    Ah, its 50 hours over the calendar year, not the broadcast season. For 2012 it looks like most of those 50 original hours were summer reality + summer Canadian imports.

    As for loss mitigation, (1) that Netflix deal isn’t going to be worth $1b, the CW said “up to a billion” which the idiot TV press and CW fanboys immediately latched onto as $1 billion in the bank!, (2) the conventional wisdom is that the CW loses money on an operating basis and that CBS & WB make it back (or at least some of it) through the licensing of the shows they produce for the CW in syndication and DVD sales.

  • Mark3

    Give 90210to a proper ending!! Its the best show on TV!!! IT NEED A SIXTH AND FINAL SEASON. the cw did a great job witg oth:) now 90210 should get there short final season as well:)

  • Dan

    @Jared – some shows that get “final seasons” even with buzz will still get garbage numbers. It seems people have given up on these series. I’m sure for 90210’s final season it will likely have terrible numbers but CW still needs it for 2013-2014 until they can find available replacements. Realistically how long can Supernatural last and Nikita is likely done in May 2014 as well.

  • Dan

    CW is on contract with its affiliates until 2016, by then it will become something else and whatever remains will either continue to another network or end 2015-2016. WB and UPN pulled much better numbers than CW has now.

  • Tom

    I would assume 90210 gets another 13-ish episode season. As either spackle or promotional delay (you can’t do the promotion necessary to swap out 50% of your schedule at once), with syndicated backend, it just works out too well.

    I flat out assume Nikita gets another season. It might be Fridays at 8, and the ratings may actually register as 0.0 towards the end, but it will happen.

    And I never thought I would say this, but Hart of Dixie is a bellwether show. The numbers (at the moment*, anyway) look downright mediocre, but it is 50% of the way to syndication. If CW renews, it is clear they are simply attempting to get as many shows to syndication before the affiliates walk out in 2016. If they cancel, the CW will pretend to be an ongoing entity until the bitter end.

    *Again, that’s at the moment. For all we know, all of EOMD/BATB/CD/TC will fizzle by Spring, GG will be over, and CW will be looking at swapping out 50% of their schedule next fall. In that case, even a 0.3-0.4 HoD makes sense for another 8pm hour season.

  • Zach

    Clearly you don’t know much about 90210. In its first season the two leads, tristian Wilds and Shenae Grimes were both 18. Teenagers playing teenagers. Most of the rest of the main cast was 21 or under as well so the average age of the new cast was a lot younger than that of the cast on the original

    Also with GG ending this year, Carrie, Emily and Beauty all expected to fail by the end of the season and ANTM moving to summer there is no way the CW is going to cancel both HOD and 90210. They will not be debuting 6 new shows next fall. Even if Beauty and another one of the new shows sticks around there is little chance they will premiere 4 new shows and completely rebuild the first two nights of the week all at once. I expect at least 90210 to come back in the fall for a short run.

  • Dan

    We dont know how the new CW series will perform until May but I do know that 1 of the 3 will get a second season, maybe 2. Since ANTM isn’t airing next fall, that frees Fridays up for a show paired with Nikita. Maybe Supernatural or a 90210 final season. If Carrie Diaries performs well it can very well come back. Its hard to tell which of the new shows will return but we can expect Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, 90210, and Nikita to return.

  • PV

    Just watched Emily Owens M.D., it’s such a CUTE show. Perfect match for Hart Of Dixie. It’s a shame that they will flop together and at least one of them won’t be back next season ):

  • stefan

    My midseason guesses:
    8: 90210
    9: Carrie diaries

    8: Heart of dixie
    9: Cult

    8: Arrow
    9: Supernatural

    8: Vampire diaries
    9: Beauty and the beast

    8: Americas next top model
    9: Nikita

  • Eric_Philly

    I wonder if the CW execs are thinking about what other teen dramas they can come up with to bomb in the ratings.

  • thesnowleopard

    I think it’s too early to write off 90210. Sure, its ratings are crappy so far, but they’re not quite plumbing the depths of terrible that Gossip Girl is. And 90210 has been fairly reliable in the past. It could even bounce up a tenth of a point.

    But I also think it’s too early to assume 90210 will get a final shortened season just because the cast is signed for six seasons and that’s what the CW did with Gossip Girl, or that Nikita will get a fourth season before it’s even started its third, just because two more seasons would get it to syndication numbers. Two more seasons of crappy ratings is a looooonnng time in TV Land. The network could decide it will make more money cutting its losses with one or both of those shows, especially if its new shows do well. All of those new shows don’t have to do well, either. Even one or two doing very well would give them wiggle room, the way TVD’s success did.

    Syndication and cast contracts are just factors not guarantees. They may increase or decrease a show’s chances, but they don’t make anything a slamdunk. Just as some shows make it past the dreaded season-six cast contract renegotiation, others don’t get syndication, despite being relatively close in their numbers (Not to mention, our data points are limited with those shows, since the vast majority don’t make it past two seasons).

    And if getting a final season due to having that extra year on the cast’s contracts is so compelling, why did Brothers and Sisters and Fringe only get five seasons? Why are The Good Wife, Castle and The Mentalist in danger? Why were Supernatural’s renewal prospects so uncertain up through season five that one of its leads stated early in season four that they had a plan to end the show’s mytharc by the end of the season (with only 82 episodes), on the expectation that they would *not* be renewed? And the renewal after season three was *not* a given, either, with the show only having 60 episodes at that point. How did syndication prospects make it a slamdunk then?

    The thing is that we don’t have a lot of data for how the CW will react to subzero ratings in a show with these factors. Gossip Girl is the only CW show (created by the CW not grandfathered in) to even make it to six seasons and it did not get a full final season. For the rest in this gray zone, you’ve got 90210 (fifth season), TVD (fourth) and Nikita (third). Am I missing someone because that’s not a whole lot to go on.

    Now the older shows that made it so long on the network – like Smallville, ANTM, SPN, and OTH – all had A18-49 ratings that were sufficiently high to keep them ahead of the Cancellation Bear. I’m sure there were other factors involved that we don’t know about, but you could predict their survival adequately based on their A18-49s.

    If you look at the younger CW shows whose fates we are discussing, the same thing happened with them. Even GG last season did just enough better than the new shows and there were just enough holes on the schedule, to keep it alive. 90210 was smack in the middle between the shows doing pretty well and the shows doing poorly. Plus, it was steady. So, there’s its reason for making it to this season. Same with Nikita – its numbers were both relatively steady and not quite terrible enough at the end of the season. And TVD’s reasons for renewal are Captain Obvious. It’s not necessary to invoke other factors because their fates were predictable based on their A18-49s. So, why are we now talking as if there’s a big mystery here?

    Could Nikita pull a Fringe? Sure, it’s possible. But then again, Nikita could well premiere this season so badly versus other CW shows that the network decides to cut its losses. Sure, the network could decide to renew 90210 for a final, shortened season, if it continues to tank, but they could also decide that the experiment went badly with GG and decide not to repeat it.

  • Leia-TX


    TVbtN did publish the press release on a separate webpage. I am terrible at making things clicky , but I’ll try.
    The CW has a decent week

    If that doesn’t work, here is the url

  • Kavyn

    Personally I think out of the three new shows, Arrow is very likely to get another season, and I think EO/BTB will do the same dance HOD and TSC did last season, with EO making it through and BTB dying out.

    For the most part a lot of people liked EO’s charm and thought the lead was relatable, while people that saw BTB thought the writing/acting was terrible. Even if EO starts lower than the other two (I’m going to guess 0.6-0.8, keeping in mind it was the only show out of the three to be released a week ago online), it’ll probably be way more consistent than BTB which will likely drop by a lot within the next month, or if not by Spring.

  • BATB

    A lot of people actually liked it BATB.

  • omabin

    I think people are being too hard on Hart of Dixie (and, to some extent, 90210) right now, by comparing them with beauty which only has one single data point that happens to be the premiere following a very inflated vampire diaries and no competition. At this point, anyone’s predictions are just guesses, too many variables to come yet. My guesses are:
    – The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, Supernatural will be no brainer-renewals
    – Nikita is renewed for syndications reasons and because they don’t have anything else to put on friday unless it’s a failing show from the season (a la secret circle) but nikita is still a better option
    – This leaves them with 4 guaranteed slots and 5 slots yet to fill.
    – The CW will not premiere more than 3 shows in the fall, they don’t have the promotion means for it (although a later in the year premier as they are doing this year is entirely possibe and likely)
    – As such, 2 out of Hart of Dixie, 90210, Emily Owens, Beauty and the Beast, Cult and The Carrie Diaries will make it to next year.
    – This is where the guessing part beggins. I think carrie diaries ill be dead as soon as it arrives and that cult will also not make it. This leaves us with the 4 fall shows. I think 90210 could actually make it because it would allow the cw to launch another show later on in the year, which mark pedowitz seems to like to do. Between hart, emily owens and beauty… well, i still say hart gets is because it will be closer to syndication and because all these will be virtually on the same ratings spectrum. A lot of guesses here, of course.

    If it was up to me (ignoring ratings, preferences only), they would renew vampire diaries, arrow, supernatural, nikita, hart of dixie and maybe cult (i have yet to see it). I don’t know which 7th show i would renew as i dont like any of the other ones.

  • Geordiegirl1967

    “I expect Nikita to certainly be renewed in May for a fourth season because as long as there is syndication, 3rd year shows will be safe.”

    This is usually a good bet I know. But as far as I am aware SPN is currently the only CW show in syndication. Is it automatic that every show gets a syndication deal when approaching its 4th season?

    I love Nikita. It is a great show that IMO deserves a bigger audience. But it’s ratings, even when paired with the always reliable SPN, were terrible last year. Now with ANTM as its lead in I am even more worried.

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