With the fall broadcast television schedule announcements coming next week, it’s time for Robert and I (and you too, in the comments) to make our final guesses as to the renewal chances for broadcast primetime shows.

Without further ado, here are our final predictions of the likelihood of renewal for all the ABC scripted shows that are not already officially renewed (in homage to TVBTN favorite PTI).

Program Bill Robert
Desperate Housewives 100% 100%
Grey’s Anatomy 100% 100%
Private Practice 100% 100%
Romantically Challenged 51% 55%
V 40% 20%
Flash Forward 10% 2%
Better Off Ted 0% 0%
Happy Town 0% 0%
The Deep End 0% 0%

Robert’s comment: If ABC stops to think “If “V” aired on Thursdays at 8pm instead of after Lost would it be doing any better than FlashForward? “ The answer would be: probably not. I still have V’s odds at much higher than FlashForward’s but that’s only to designate the degree I buy into the theory that ABC will purposefully renew one freshman just so it can say the season wasn’t completely a bust. But as you can see, I don’t buy into that theory very much.

Bill’s comment: I buy into that theory just a bit more than Robert. Otherwise, we’re eye to eye on ABC shows.

Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through May 9, 2010):

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010, Officially Canceled
  • Some Danger Of Being Canceled By May, 2010
  • Likely to Be Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
  • Renewed For The 2010-11 Season
Program Renew/ Cancel Index
Better Off Ted 0.42
Ugly Betty (Fri) (S), (F), (P) 0.46
The Deep End 0.53
Hank 0.54*
Happy Town 0.54
Ugly Betty (Wed) (S), (P) 0.55
Scrubs (P) 0.56
the forgotten 0.61
Eastwick 0.62
The Middle 0.76
FlashForward (P) 0.84
Castle (P) 0.86
Cougar Town (P) 0.96
Romantically Challenged 0.98
Private Practice (P) 1.02
V 1.02
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.06
Modern Family 1.18
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.46
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.51
Lost (final season) 1.53

Relative new episode scripted show ratings since 12/28/09.

Eastwick 0.36
Better Off Ted 0.39
Scrubs (P) 0.46
The Deep End 0.52
Happy Town 0.53
Ugly Betty (Wed) (S), (P) 0.54
the forgotten 0.56
FlashForward (P) 0.58
V 0.83
The Middle 0.87
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 0.95
Romantically Challenged 0.96
Cougar Town (P) 1.01
Castle (P) 1.03
Private Practice (P) 1.12
Modern Family 1.40
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.41
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.48
Lost 1.55

Note that for the top table, FlashForward’s and V’s ratings averages includes only a single repeat each, most other ABC shows have many, which distorts the comparisons somewhat.

The ABC boneyard:

The Deep End has ended its season and will not be coming back. Better Off Ted will be canceled. Zach Braff says Scrubs is canceled, but no official word from ABC yet.

Happy Town is headed for summer burn off, and certain cancellation.

Ugly Betty, Hank, the forgotten and Eastwick are already canceled. Lost is in its final season.

I’ve added a new category, Renewed For The 2010-11 Season, for shows who’s renewal has already been announced for the next season. It may take a while to get all the past announcements noted, let me know what I have missed, yet be patient.

This is a breakdown of ABC 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 a 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.

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: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. All ratings used are Live+Same Day viewing.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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