Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through November 1, 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) 0.61
New Adventures of Old Christine (S) 0.61
Medium (F), (P) 0.62
Ghost Whisperer (F), (S) 0.64
Gary Unmarried 0.67
The Good Wife (P) 0.86
Accidentally On Purpose (P) 0.92
CSI:NY (P) 0.97
How I Met Your Mother (S) 1.05
The Mentalist 1.07
CSI (P) 1.09
NCIS: Los Angeles (P) 1.13
Criminal Minds (P) 1.14
CSI: Miami (P) 1.21
NCIS (P) 1.38
Two And A Half Men 1.40
Big Bang Theory 1.50

Neither Three Rivers nor Cold Case will be back next season. They will both be canceled by the end of the year, but while Cold Case will likely air a full 22 episode season, the most Three Rivers will get will be the 13 episodes already ordered, and they’ll be lucky to get all of those. Three Rivers fans who’ll claim “but you said it would be off the air by now!”, can thank the accountants.

The Good Wife is still on the borderline. Its Index is depressed slightly because of last week’s repeat, see below.

New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried ratings remain horrid, but what’s new? If CBS is determined to weather their terrible ratings to establish another night of comedy they may be fine for yet another season.

Numb3rs ratings are again close enough to those of Medium and Ghost Whisperer to put its future in less doubt. Last season Numb3rs was renewed with a gap between its Index and that of Ghost Whisperer of 0.10. At that gap or less, I figure the show is safe, above that gap there’s a risk it gets canceled, but I acknowledge there is some risk that the rest of CBS schedule is doing well enough that Numb3rs could get canceled just to open a slot for a new show.

11/7 Update: The episode order this season  for Numb3rs was reduced to 16 episodes. It’s now in significant danger of not coming back.

Note: About half of the CBS scripted shows were in repeats last week, which depresses their Indexes vs. those that were not. In the short run, it causes some tricky comparisons, in the long run it pretty much evens out.

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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