CW: '90210' Ratings Are Terrible, How Can It Be A "Toss Up" For Cancellation Or Renewal?

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

Written By

January 29th, 2013

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 December 31, 2012- January 27, 2013):

Program Status Renew/ Cancel Index
Emily Owens, M.D. canceled 0.51
90210 :| :| :| 0.58
Gossip Girl* final season complete 0.61
Nikita (F) :) :) :) :) 0.65
The Carrie Diaries :| :| :| 0.80
Hart Of Dixie :| :| :| 0.87
Beauty And The Beast :| :| :| 1.02
Supernatural :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.31
Arrow :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.60
Vampire Diaries :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 1.96

Fans of 90210 better hope that the CW's Mark Pedowitz is still handing out short final seasons for old shows, because that's the only way 90210 survives into next season. Its ratings are dreadful, even for the CW. Since reading Mr. Pedowitz's mind is the only way to know for sure, I'm keeping it as a "toss up".

Desperate fans may cite Pedowitz's public statements as cause for hoping for one thing, or another, but after doing this for more than five years, I'm 100% certain that trying to assign probabilities based on TV executive public statements is folly.

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.

From now through the end of the broadcast season in May, the Renew/Cancel Index values will only be calculated using new episodes airing during 2013. However, until new episodes of a show air in 2013, I will keep the "old"  Fall predictions in the table.

Want to know what the CW Renew/Cancel Index table looked like at the end of the Fall season? Click here.


  • :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.

  • Brandy

    VD,HoD,Carrie Diaries & Beauty and the Beast are CWs best shows, though I do like ANTM & 90210 too.I wish Hart,Carrie and Beauty would/could all be renewed but I don’t it’s possible.

  • James


    The Hundred (new)

    Hart of Dixie
    Blink (new)

    Tomorrow People (new)

    The Vampire Diaries
    The Originals (new)

    NIKITA (final)
    Beauty & The Beast

    MIDSEASON (or summer)
    90210 (final 10)
    The Selection (new)

    @ Brandy
    You’ll be lucky to get two of them.

  • KT

    Only show I watch on the CW is HoD, and I look forward to it more than other shows on other networks with higher ratings (*cough* New Girl *cough*), so I’m praying the CW won’t do to me what they did to me with Life Unexpected, which I still miss!

  • helpful_lurker

    Hmm, the race for which bubble show is a little tight this time around. I suspect the CW will renew at least six shows (probably seven), and while “Nikita” has rebounded making a strong case for renewal “90210” is going in the other direction, but the spring is young.

    Anyway, looking at it I think the CW will probably renew seven current shows (but which seven is the question, but maybe only six if they pick up four new shows for fall) while picking up at least five new shows for next season – three for fall and at least two (but maybe three if for no other reason then to try and avoid having a rerun hour next season) again this time. And, as I said, if they ended up picking up four for fall then that means only six current CW shows will make the cut.

    Going out on a limb I’m gonna guess “The Vampire Diaries,” “Arrow,” “Supernatural,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hart of Dixie,” and “Nikita” will be renewed with probably one more but I’m not comfortable enough to guess between the others right now.

  • Michael

    I could totally see Arrow and The Tomorrow People being paired up. I’d be all for it. And SPN filling the CW Tuesday 9pm death slot seems like a great idea. That show has an amazingly dedicated fanbase. If anything can save that timeslot, it’s SPN.

    HoD or Oxygen (new)
    90210 or Blink (new)

    The Hundred (new)

    Tomorrow People (new)

    The Vampire Diaries
    The Originals (new)

    (Reruns/bubble show)

  • Jarrod

    I’d switch HOD with 90210. 90210 did better on Tuesdays and at the 8:00PM time slot. HOD has a loyal audience that would follow it. Seems like a smart move to me. Then again, switching TCD with 90210 to begin with was utterly stupid.

  • Brian

    9021-uh oh. With ratings like this, unless CW has been watching too much of the Producers, I suspect that the Beverly Hills college gang won’t make the grade.

    Applauds Nikita for jumping out of the cellar. I like Maggie Q and her show deserves better than being the lowest rated show on TV.

  • Jarrod

    @Sonicphoto: Gossip Girl didn’t make 90210’s ratings. 90210 and Gossip Girl often aired on separate nights, with 90210 being first when they did get paired together. Furthermore, 90210 has always been given a decent timeslot that made it’s ratings. Putting it on 9PM on a Monday was a stupid move. The CW obviously predicted TCD giving 90210 better ratings (like Arrow did Supernatural) or knew 90210 would tank, because either way, they plan on giving it a final season of 10-13 episodes with the possibility of a retrospect.

  • Nick

    All of this talk, I’m assuming, was before 90210 got adjusted up to a 0.4. Still bad, yes, but 90210 has been steady in the 0.4-0.6 range all season. Like Jarrod said, The CW obviously wanted TCD to give 90210 a ratings boost but so far 90210 is performing the same as it did without it…maybe a little worse cause it probably would’ve hit a 0.5 in it’s 8PM timeslot. Anyway, I’m pretty sure The CW is going to give it a final season regardless if TCD boosted its ratings or not. I will admit though, I thought cancellation when I saw 0.3 but a 0.4 is average this season. The new EP’s really messed up last season which is why it lost so much of its audience but it’s 100x better this year.

    Gossip Girl and 90210 are practically getting the same numbers for their fifth seasons so I don’t see why 90210 wouldn’t get a short season. GG & 90210 are there first original hits. It’d be stupid to show “pity” (some would say) for one and not the other.

    Also, someone asked what episode 90210 is filming right now as to whether they’d have time to wrap it up. They’re filming episode 18 or 19, not sure, out of the 22 episode season. There’s no way to wrap things up at this point. People on this site have been saying wrap it up since the season premiere and I don’t see any sign of them doing that cause these storylines keep getting more intense.

  • Dave


    I don’t think The CW knew/wanted 90210 to tank by moving it to 9p.

    Like you said, I guess they were hoping The Carrie Diaries(which was given the affiliates lead-in support of a regular 0.7-1.0) would’ve had a big launch after the excessive promotion thus boosting 90210 with it.

    Either way, 90210 is in a different position than Gossip Girl. For starters, Gossip Girl didn’t plummet to these numbers when it aired Season 5. It was also their flagship drama(ala WB’s Dawsons Creek). It already has 100 episodes so there’s no “Nikita” situation here.

    A final season would be useless. The same way ABCF decided to end Secret Life abruptly(by announcing it and letting the crew know) is the same thing CW should do to 90210. It gives the network a better opportunity to try something new in the fall traction than to have another Carrie Diaries situation.

  • RS

    Well, it appears that Beauty and the Male Model may return next year for a final season on Friday. I can’t say I’m happy about it, but if you little ones like the recent reincarnation of the trope, then more power to you. I’m saddened that it so awful – this is what you know of the mythos? Sorry, I’ve seen them all – from George C. Scott to Robbie Benson. This is not a good representation of the story. But I know that if this is all that you’ve experienced, it is probably good to you. So enjoy this sad little representation of the original story. I’m really sorry for you right now.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I agree that the ONLY reason 90210 should get another season is syndication – and it already has 90 episodes at the end of this season, so unless they want extended syndication instead of stripped syndication, there’s no real reason to give the show another season EXCEPT for Pedowitz’s alleged desire to do so.

    The show is doing WORSE than Nikita! And more so because it’s not on Friday. It’s on a par with Ringer – although Ringer was only in a season one which is way worse than a season four.

    At least two shows out of The Carrie Diaries, Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast need to be canceled to make way for new shows. The Carrie Diaries is toast. Beauty and the Beast is – at the moment, at least – STILL above 1.00 on the network ratings average, so it probably will get renewed and moved to Friday.

    Hart of Dixie in my opinion should be axed along with 90210 to make room for new shows. HoD’s premise fits in with the “old CW” way, whereas Beauty and the Beast fits in more with the “new CW” way.

    However, I would axe Beauty and the Beast as well because it’s going to be doing .4-.5 if not lower on Fridays in a second season and will likely be axed then – unless the studio thinks it can do a Nikita and be syndicated successfully even after two additional horrible ratings seasons, which I doubt unless Kristin Kreuk is considered an “Asian” star like Maggie Q, which she isn’t.

    So I would axe BATB and make way for another new show. Pedowitz just needs to take the risk on a new show rather than let BATB stumble along for another season.

    Of course, the producers and writers of BATB COULD decide to up the ante on the show for a second season and sell that to Pedowitz. If they did, the show could even become decent. But the odds are against it. As it stands, the show has no compelling premise at all. The “love story” just doesn’t cut it because it has nothing in common with the original TV show’s premise.

  • Amanda

    The new Beauty and The Beast isn’t suppose to be like the original tv series. The producers and the actors have all said this countless times.

    Why people are still waiting for it, beats me?

    But I hear the original series is on Netflix.

  • chris23

    In regards to CW Current schedule and next Season.. I see The CW renewing The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and Supernatural which are givens to anyone who follows the network ratings.

    Unfortunately I see the CW taking 4 additional shows from its current season and bring a total of 7 back for next year.

    90210 needs to go NOW.

    Carrie I say cancel this underperforming series but who knows what CW does.

    Beauty and the Beast Honestly I think it would have to start maintaing .7/.8 the rest of the season to even get considered.

    CULT I’m going to check out this show. Matt Davis I believe played Alaric on TVD so I’m hoping for a strong or decent start. However CW is stupid for pairing it with HOD as a leadin. This show, I believe, is the key factor in determining what moves on for next season. If premiere is good with S1 ratings steady its not good and tanks, it gives the other underperforming a shows more hope for a Season 2!

    Nikita will probably get 4th season due to syndication reasons. Even if it is the lowest rated show and people wonder who would want to take this show into syndication if they get it dirt cheap anything possible.

    Hart Of Dixie Will get a 3rd season. Not impressive in the ratings department but has a loyal audience I guess. CW don’t use HOD as a leadin show. Put it at 9. I wouldn’t be surprised if HOD got the “Nikita” treatment.

    A lot of the scheduling for next year depends on how CULT will perform in its premiere and first season.

    If it were me I would take a chance and put 4 new shows and renew 6 with 2 midseason. But this is highly unlikely CW will be this risky.

    5 pilots picked up to series with 2 airing in Midseason..

    Out of the 6 other underperforming shows I see HOD and Nikita definitely making it. Who will be the other two? Will CW consider bringing ANTM back for half a season to fill a slot in fall? Maybe try their new HG/Survivor themed reality show in the fall? Air 4 new pilots in the fall? Give 90210 a Friday final season farewell?

    This network needs change but it takes one step at a time. Try not to trip cw you learn to walk before you run, and it seems to me you’ve been walking backwards for a long time now if not blindfolded!!!!

  • Dahne

    @Richard Steven Hack – Given that the picture in the article is clearly the 90210 cast celebrating their 100th episode, they don’t need anymore episodes for extended syndication. Also given that Nikita has only beaten 90210 once I think it’s premature to say that 90210 is doing WORSE than Nikita. It remains to be seen if Nikita can continue to hold a 0.5 in demo. I do agree that Nikita will get a final season while it is a tossup on whether 90210 will. Everything for the CW will depend on how shows are doing in the last 8 weeks. It’s certainly the most difficult to predict.

  • helpful_lurker

    Really right now if nothing changes ratings wise and I was forced to pick seven shows (because maybe the CW simply doesn’t want to start four new shows in the fall) then in addition to the ones I mentioned above I’d pick “The Carrie Diaries” as the seventh renewal, because according to the photo above “90210” will film and air its 100th episode sometime this season. However, this one will (most likely) depend on stuff “we” won’t see – you know things like how much mileage the CW thinks it could get out of another season of “90210” vs whatever potential the CW thinks “The Carrie Diaries” has.

    And then, of course, “Cult” hasn’t aired yet, so if it happened to explode on the scene despite expectations then “Cult” might make the cut over both “The Carrie Diaries” and “90210,” though I could see a situation even then where “90210” gets a short final season and “Cult” remains a half season show.

    But then again, as I also said above, the spring season is still young. Still plenty of time for “90210”s ratings to maybe rally back to where they was in the fall, or “Nikita” could potentially sink back down to those 0.3s again, which would make calling it tricky again. And lastly still time for “Beauty and the Beast” to follow the paths of “Hellcats” & “The Secret Circle,” or “The Carrie Diaries” to follow the path of “Emily Owen’s, M.D.”

    Really, as I said way back it’s really hard to get some good guesses going until at the very least “Cult” premieres, except for the obvious renewals for “The Vampire Diaries,” “Arrow,” and “Supernatural.”

  • Jarrod


  • chris23

    @ helpful lurker. I agree with your logic. However Expect the UNexpected with CW lol.. What makes sense to us does not seem to make sense for the execs over at the CW Network!!!

    You’re also right about Cult as I mentioned prior a lot will depend on Cults premiere and stability through Spring.

    I personally think a lot of shows are too close to call so it will be down to the wire for the bubble shows.

    If right now I had to pick it would be VD, Supernatural, Arrow(which are all givens)

    Nikita for syndication and a final season, Hart of Dixie which would get the “Nikita” treatment.

    90210 is a definite NO. And as for Carrie, Beauty and Cult these are all truly bubble shows..

    If BATB can slightly improve the remainder of the season then renewal is def possible in my eyes a .8 and .7 would have to be the majority of ratings it would need even though that is still not impressive w/VD Leadin but a lot better than .6.

    Carrie repeats well but does not show in live eps. It has the loyal total audience in its first 3 episodes but who knows how spring will treat the SEX and the City Prequel.

    Cult I’m rooting for I will check it out and it would be nice to see 2 Freshman series make it to season 2 for the CW. Last year only HOD made it and the year before that nothing was renewed. Nikita is the only freshman series renewed from the 2010-11 season when airing behind VD in which it started off strong in viewers but demos were kind of low considering it was scoring 3 mill plus and getting 1.0/1.1 and the tapering off throughout the season..

    I just have a hard time believing CW will only take 6 shows into the 2013-14 season unless they decide to make ANTM a fall series only.. This also makes me sort of believe that 90210 will get a pity renewal of 10-13 episodes and if this is the case it needs to be shipped to Fridays at 9 and let Nikita stay at 8.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Amanda: “The new Beauty and The Beast isn’t suppose to be like the original tv series. The producers and the actors have all said this countless times. Why people are still waiting for it, beats me?”

    That’s not my point. My point is that the original series had a compelling premise: a love affair between two people who could not ever be together because one of them looked like an animal. That IS the basic premise of the entire “Beauty and the Beast” CONCEPT from the original myth!

    The current version does NOT have that hook. The “beast” involved looks like a normal human being (except for the scar). There is nothing keeping the two of them apart EXCEPT the threat from the conspiracy – which the writers are IGNORING. If the guy has a problem mutating into an animal, fine – without the conspiracy, he gets medical help and everyone lives happily ever after. The conspiracy is the ENTIRE premise of the show – not the procedural police aspects, not the relationship, not all the pointless family drama with Cat, her sister and her father. Without that, the show makes zero sense. Everything else is just filler because the writers don’t know where to go with the premise.

    It’s like Alcatraz which was sold as a “sci-fi mystery” possibly involving time travel – and turned into a police procedural with a thin veneer of faux sci-fi. When audiences get told a show is about one thing and it immediately turns into something much less interesting, they tend to stop watching.

    This makes the show stupid.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Dahne: “90210 cast celebrating their 100th episode”

    Good catch. I counted up the episodes on IMDB. I must have miscounted. In fact, I think I missed season five altogether for some stupid reason. Didn’t notice the pic at all! OK – so 90210 has ZERO reason to be renewed except for Pedowitz’ preferences.

    “Also given that Nikita has only beaten 90210 once I think it’s premature to say that 90210 is doing WORSE than Nikita.”

    From Wikipedia on season 5:

    90210 opened up with 0.94 viewers in its season premiere and scored a 0.4 in the demo. Episode two, however, was up 50 percent to a 0.6 while rising 14 percent in total audience by hitting 1.1 million viewers.[52] 90210 was down 10 and 33 percent, only managing 950,000 viewers and 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic.[53] However, DVR ratings for episode 3 were up by 75% of three-tenths of a point from the original 0.4 to a 0.7.[54] Though 90210 began to slip in further in viewers (850,000) during episode 4, it managed to remain stable with a 0.4. demo.[55] Episode 5 saw a sharp rise and season high with viewers by reaching 1.16 million, as well as a sharp rise in the demo to a 0.6 up 50% from last week’s 0.4[56] Episode 6 hit a .4 in the demo while hitting a series low in viewership with 780,000 viewers. By episode 7, 90210 seemed to have gained some audience back by reaching a .5 in the demo with 1.03 million viewers. Episode 8 stabilized at .5 in the demo but added ten thousand viewers reaching 1.04 million. The mid-season finale saw another rise in the demo garnering a .6 as well as 1.16 million live viewers tuning in. Episode 10 was down two tenths from the mid-season finale with a 0.4 in the demo while managing 790,000 live viewers. Episode 11 maintained the 0.4 score in the 18-49 demographic but lost a mere ten thousand viewers averaging 780,000 live viewers.

    In short, it’s done .4 more than it has anything else (5 .4’s versus 3 .6 and 2 .5) and that’s worse than Nikita because of the Friday factor. The average over the 10 episodes listed in Wikipedia averages out to .48 or .5 rounded.

    “It remains to be seen if Nikita can continue to hold a 0.5 in demo.”

    Even if Nikita averages a .4 that’s on a par with the .5 90210 is averaging taking the Friday factor into account. Of course, Nikita has 14 episodes to go and it could well drop to .3 several times in that run, averaging less than .4. We’ll see.

    The main issue is that 90210 is lower on the Renew/Cancel Index than Nikita is.

    “Everything for the CW will depend on how shows are doing in the last 8 weeks. It’s certainly the most difficult to predict.”

    Agreed, A lot will also depend on whether Cult proves to be a hit or a flop. I still think it will be a flop but it’s hard to be sure until I see the premiere.

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