Our Renew / Cancel Index predicts potential renewal or cancellation for scripted broadcast primetime shows for the 2010-11 season (includes results through April 25, 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*
Ugly Betty (Wed) (S), (P) 0.55
Scrubs (P) 0.56
the forgotten 0.61
Eastwick 0.62
The Middle 0.75
Castle (P) 0.86
FlashForward (P) 0.87
Cougar Town (P) 0.96
Private Practice (P) 1.01
Romantically Challenged 1.07
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 1.08
V 1.09
Modern Family 1.15
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.46
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.54
Lost (final season) 1.59

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
Ugly Betty (Wed) (S), (P) 0.54
the forgotten 0.56
FlashForward (P) 0.59
The Middle 0.87
V 0.87
Brothers & Sisters (S), (P) 0.96
Cougar Town (P) 1.01
Castle (P) 1.04
Romantically Challenged 1.05
Private Practice (P) 1.13
Modern Family 1.39
Desperate Housewives (P) 1.41
Grey’s Anatomy (P) 1.50
Lost (final season) 1.56

I’ve written about my ideas for new methods for the Renew / Cancel Index for next season. One idea is comparing only new episode scripted show ratings after the holidays. While I’m not sure where the new method would have me “draw the line” between renewal and cancellation until I can take the entire season into account, I’m pretty sure we can use them to take a closer look at this season’s bubble shows, so I’ll be including the “experimental” relative new episode ratings for the last few week’s worth of posts.

Looking at the ratings of V compared to the other new episodes of ABC’s scripted shows this spring, I’m going to reverse my assessment of its likely cancellation and put it back into the “in danger of cancellation” category. Compared with the spring ratings for other ABC scripted shows, it’s below average (87%), but not by nearly so much that it seems automatically headed for cancellation.

Looking at FlashForward’s relative new episode ratings causes me to do no similar reassessment. It has averaged only 59% of ABC’s scripted show new episode ratings since the start of 2010. It its case, the new method provides no new hope.

And while the conventional wisdom is to write off Romantically Challenged, the ratings so far don’t indicate it should be dismissed so quickly.

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.

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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