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

  • Likely To Be Canceled By May, 2010
  • 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
Mercy (P) 0.67
Trauma (P) 0.70
Law & Order (Monday), (P) 0.73
Parks & Recreation (P) 0.83
Community 0.88
Heroes (P) 0.93
Chuck 0.93
Law & Order: SVU (P) 1.04
Parenthood (P) 1.08
30 Rock (P) 1.14
The Office (P) 1.52

Parenthood has a new episode average of a 2.63 rating for adults 18-49. It may not look like much, but on NBC it’s the biggest scripted fish they’ve caught all season. NBC has only 3 scripted shows with better new episode averages (Office, 30 Rock and Law & Order: SVU). By comparison, CBS has thirteen scripted shows with a better ratings average.

On CBS, Parenthood would get thrown back in the lake. On NBC, it looks like a trophy.

Chuck’s chances were certainly not helped by its 1.9, 1.9, 2.1 and 2.1 adults 18-49 ratings it drew in its last four new episodes (before taking a 2 week repeat break). Last season its ratings moved up a good 20% in its final few episodes. That might have saved the show last season. That might happen again this season. And it might not.

Note that Chuck and Parenthood’s ratings averages contain only new episodes, most of NBC’s fall shows have many repeat episodes factored into their ratings averages.

Some would put Heroes on NBC’s bubble. For me, its final show ratings of 2.2, 2.1, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 2.0 say its a goner, even on NBC.

As horrible as the situation is, NBC will try something new other than keeping the ratings hulks Trauma and Mercy.

I continue to believe that Law & Order will be renewed based on earlier statements by NBC’s Angela Bromstad that she wasn’t going to be the one to cancel the show short of the broadcast drama longevity record.

Fans will know the future of all the NBC shows no later than the NBC upfront presentation on May 17.

This is a breakdown of NBC 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 (in NBC’s calculation  I have removed the ratings effects of the weeks that included the Winter Olympics). 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. Note: In past years I used the Live+Same Day ratings averages for both shows and networks, I can no longer get both of those numbers from Nielsen, only Most Current ratings averages which are Live+7 ratings when available and Live+Same Day ratings within the past 2 weeks.

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: ©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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