Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through November 1, 2009):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010
  • Some Danger Of Being Canceled By May, 2010
  • Likely to Be Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
Program Renew/ Cancel Index
Til Death (S), (F) 0.20
Brothers (F) 0.24
Dollhouse (F), (P) 0.25
Fringe 0.60
Bones (P) 0.76
Lie To Me (P) 0.76
Glee (P) 0.89
American Dad (P) 0.93
The Simpsons (P) 1.11
The Cleveland Show (P) 1.15
Family Guy (P) 1.29
House 1.49

While a certain favorite commenter of ours may find it hard to believe, I had never heard of Joss Whedon before we started this site two years ago. He’s shown he’s got a sense of humor about himself, his shows and the entertainment business in general. That seems a healthy thing to have when your show (Dollhouse) is going to be canceled, particularly when he’s got the talent to keep at it.

Dollhouse, ‘Til Death and Brothers , all certain to be canceled, are off Fox’s schedule for the November sweeps period. Dollhouse will gets its 13 episodes aired, as it seems Brothers will too. The situation with all the episodes of ‘Til Death produced or ordered and not aired is so confusing, and not worth thinking about, I will let “Riff Rafferty” fill you in via comments if you care.

While I think the prospects are still positive for Fringe because it has done much better for Fox on Thursday’s at 9 then they’ve done for awhile, there is at least some question about its future, so I will keep it in orange.

Note that the Index values for all Fox shows will continue to be very depressed for next few weeks because the World Series ratings have unusually boosted Fox’s overall average. That will slowly subside as Fox’s average evens out post-baseball.

This is a breakdown of Fox scripted shows and their renewal and cancellation prospects. Here are links to the other networks:


The Renew/Cancel Index is a show’s Season To Date adults 18-49 rating divided by its network’s Season to Date average 18-49 rating. If a show’s season to date 18-49 ratings average equalled its network’s 18-49 average, the show would have an Index of 1.00. Without special factors, scripted shows that were more than 10% below their network’s average are typically canceled by the end of the broadcast primetime season.

Factors that could cause a show to be renewed with well below average index:

  • (F) -Fridays: Shows airing on Fridays have been renewed with significantly lower than average Indexes.
  • (S) – Syndication: Shows nearing syndication (66-88 episodes), often have economic factors that trump ratings leading to renewal.
  • (T) – Third Party: Shows that have a portion of their cost underwritten by a 3rd party can be renewed with substantially lower ratings.
  • (P) – Produced by the network’s production company – For shows on the bubble, being produced by the network’s corporate production company can be a survival advantage. For real losers, it’s unlikely to help.

While I initially tried to designate shows with “plum” timeslots, I think it’s hard to make that call at this point in the season. It’s likely still a factor, but will have to be an “after the fact” call.

What’s the History of the Index and How Did It Do In the Past? Check out the results from the 2007-8 season and the 2008-9 season.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings used are Live+Same Day viewing.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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