Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (results through October 11, 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
The Beautiful Life: TBL (P) 0.49*
Melrose Place (P) 0.83
Smallville (F), (P) 0.93
90210 (P) 1.03
Gossip Girl (P) 1.10
One Tree Hill (P) 1.10
Supernatural (S), (P) 1.20
Vampire Diaries (P) 1.67

This is going to be a tough season for Melrose Place fans. Its ratings look almost good enough to hope for renewal for the 2010-11 season. Because of that, fans are likely to be conned by “entertainment” writers (you know who they are) into a “There’s hope for Melrose Place!” frenzy. Don’t fall for it.

Remember Privileged from last season, and it’s associated fan hope hoo-ha in May? It was canceled with an Index of 0.89**. Keep that in mind as you read the TV writers that are baiting the desperate fans.

*I have frozen The Beautiful Life’s Index at its value the week of cancellation.

**Although the CW’s Sunday ratings last season were so dreadful that it boosted the Index of all the CW shows to unrepresentative levels, my guess is that removing Sunday from the mix would likely have dropped Privileged’s index to about 0.8.

This is a breakdown of CW 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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