Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through November 15, 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
Numb3rs (F), (P) 0.54
Three Rivers (P) 0.55
Cold Case (P) 0.60
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.62
Medium (F), (P) 0.62
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.63
Gary Unmarried 0.67
The Good Wife (P) 0.86
Accidentally On Purpose (P) 0.92
CSI:NY (P) 0.98
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.06
The Mentalist 1.09
CSI (P) 1.11
Criminal Minds (P) 1.12
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.13
CSI: Miami (P) 1.21
NCIS (P) 1.37
Two And A Half Men 1.40
Big Bang Theory 1.49

With a Renew / Cancel Index of 0.92, Accidentally On Purpose would seem to be in pretty good shape for renewal for next season, but it has a sweet timeslot (following How I Met Your Mother) and I think it’s very likely that CBS expected it to do a lot better. I think Accidentally On Purpose could be canceled at the end of the season and become this year’s Worst Week. Last season, Worst Week had an even better timeslot (following Two And A Half Men @ 9:30), but it was canceled with an above average Index of 1.01.

In a big vote of no confidence, the episode order this season for Numb3rs was reduced to 16 episodes. It’s now in significant danger of not coming back.

Both Three Rivers and Cold Case will be canceled by the end of this season. Their timeslots are being switched, likely to try and make the best of the late Sunday ratings mess at CBS, but ignore the nonsense about CBS possibly ordering more episodes of Three Rivers. That’s typical of the ridiculous internet chatter that pops up during a show’s slide into oblivion.

The Good Wife seems to have stabilized at about a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating. On NBC, it would be a star, on CBS that’s borderline. Fans can anticipate sleepless nights until next season’s schedule is announced.

New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried ratings remain horrid, they were last season too. If CBS is determined to weather their terrible ratings to establish another night of comedy they may be renewed for yet another season.

This is a breakdown of CBS 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 that’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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