Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through January 24, 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 0.43
Ugly Betty (Fri) (S), (F), (P) 0.46
Scrubs (P) 0.57
Ugly Betty (Wed) (S), (P) 0.59
Hank 0.54*
the forgotten 0.61
Eastwick 0.62
The Deep End 0.67
The Middle 0.75
Castle (P) :mrgreen: 0.81
FlashForward (P) 1.02
Cougar Town (P) 1.06
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.18
Modern Family 1.19
Private Practice (P) 1.22
V 1.41
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.74
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.75

ABC’s newest drama, The Deep End, premiered last week to just a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating. <insert underwater metaphor here> With those ratings it’s certain to be canceled. Only a sharp increase in ratings (to the mid-2’s), which would not be typical post-premiere, can possibly save it.

Castle has pulled in a 2.6, 2.8 and 3.1 rating in its last three airings, continuing to improve its relative ratings. It’s not 100% certain for renewal, but barring a complete collapse at the end of the season, it looks good.

If FlashForward keeps falling when it returns, it has no future. We’ll now have to wait until mid-March to see its next ratings.

V’s future entirely rests on how its ratings do on its return in March. Its fall episode ratings are meaningless now. No guesses from me.

The only way that Ugly Betty escapes cancellation is if ABC is willing to endure its terrible ratings to stock up on more episodes for syndication. I think that’s a long shot. Note: I have added a separate Index for Betty’s Wednesday episodes.

1/27 Update: Bye, bye Betty: Ugly Betty officially canceled.

Who is Steve McPherson kidding about Scrubs and Better Off Ted? There is a very tiny possibility that Scrubs comes back just to generate more episodes for syndication. There is no such possibility for Ted.

Hank and Eastwick are already canceled, and the forgotten’s cancellation is a certainty.

For shows in the Some Danger category only, I am including short term Index indicators for  shows either with either improving :mrgreen: or deteriorating 😳 Indexes, based on recent averages instead of season to date.

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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