Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through November 29, 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
Ugly Betty (S), (F), (P) 0.39
Hank 0.54*
Eastwick 0.60
the forgotten 0.65
The Middle 0.69
Castle (P) :mrgreen: 0.77
FlashForward (P) ūüė≥ 0.97
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.00
Cougar Town (P) 1.04
Modern Family 1.14
Private Practice (P) 1.20
V 1.23
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.52
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.77

Ugly Betty will be moving to Wednesday at 10pm beginning January 6. Short of a ratings miracle, which I have no reason to expect, there is no chance this does anything but change its final timeslot before cancellation at the end of this season.

The move speaks to me more about ABC’s lack of confidence in their mid-season shows than any faith in Betty, if they think that Betty can do better at 10pm Wednesday than what they have on the bench. Note: while Ugly Betty’s episode last week did air in its regular timeslot it was designated a “special” by ABC, so is not included in any season averages. That’s a somewhat arbitrary distinction, but since its the convention, I am following it.

Three shows continue to be in some danger of cancellation by ABC by the end of this season, but they’re moving in different direction. The Middle, now freed of the Hank albatross, has reason to hope for better ratings in the future. Castle ratings have trended upwards since the start of the season, and the trend should provide hope to fans.¬†On the flipside, FlashForward ratings continue to deteriorate. After starting strong, it’s below ABC’s average¬†over the past 4 weeks prior to Thanksgiving and it hit a series low on November 22.

the forgotten, has an order for additional episodes, but hit a series low rating last night, and there is virtually no chance it returns in fall 2010.¬†Eastwick and¬†Hank have both been officially canceled, but since Eastwick may continue to air for an unknown number of episodes, I will not freeze it’s Index yet. *Hank’s Index is frozen at the point it was removed from ABC’s schedule.

For shows in the Some Danger category only, I am including short term Index indicators for ¬†shows either with sharply improving :mrgreen: or deteriorating ūüė≥ Indexes, based on 4 week Indexes instead of season to date Indexes.

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.

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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